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Frank R. Trechsel
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 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 project will supplement other work that the PI and Carolyn MacKay have done on Misantla Totonac since the 1980s. The PI and MacKay are each applying for a one-year fellowship (August 2015-July 2016) in Mexico to devote their time exclusively to the documentation effort.   The PI believes that he and MacKay can accomplish the work of this project within a year.  (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