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Grant number: PD-50031-14

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PD-50031-14

Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA 17325-1483)
Jonathan Amith (Project Director: 12/23/2013 to present)

A Biological Approach to Documenting Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives

Fieldwork and comparative research in five Nahuat and two Totonac communities in Mexico to include nomenclature, classification, and use of plants in language documentation tools. The project would create recordings to document traditional ethnobotanical knowledge as well as employ DNA barcoding technology to facilitate plant identification.

"A Biological Approach to Documenting Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives" explores ethnobotanical knowledge of Sierra Nororiental de Puebla, Mexico, Nahuat and Totonac communities to address theoretical issues in cognitive anthropology (e.g., the structure of native ethnobotanical categories), historical and contact linguistics (e.g., diachronic retention, loss, semantic shift, and innovation of ethnobotanical nomenclature), and cultural history (migration and language contact between two Mesoamerican groups). It employs an innovative molecular technology, DNA barcoding, to facilitate extensive, multisited, and comparative research on Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge while documenting this knowledge through extensive digital recordings by native natural historians.

Project fields:
Linguistics

Program:
Documenting Endangered Languages - Preservation

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2014 – 6/30/2018