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Carolyn J. MacKay
Ball State University (Muncie, IN 47306-1022)
A Dictionary of Misantla Totonac

The goal of this fellowship project, A Dictionary of Misantla Totonac, is to produce a trilingual (Totonac/Spanish/English) analytical dictionary and an extensive corpus of Misantla Totonac, an endangered Mesoamerican language spoken by fewer than 200 individuals in Yecualta and nearby communities in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The dictionary, of at least 5000 lexical items, will be produced in both print and electronic versions. The project will also result in a corpus of audio and video recordings of naturally occurring speech in different genres (e.g. narratives, conversations, jokes, personal histories, community history, descriptions of current and traditional uses of local flora and fauna and of culturally important activities and events). These materials, to be archived at the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) at the University of Texas at Austin, will provide the remaining elderly speakers of Totonac and younger non-Totonac-speaking members of the communities with a basis for developing meaningful and coherent strategies of revitalization and preservation. The PI, together with Frank R. Trechsel, has conducted fieldwork and published on Misantla Totonac since the 1980s. MacKay and Trechsel are each requesting a fellowship in tandem to spend a year in Mexico compiling the dictionary and related recordings. Their experienced teamwork is required for the project’s success. Neither of them could undertake and complete the project alone. (Edited by staff)

[Grant products]

Project fields:

Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2015 – 6/30/2016