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Indiana University, Bloomington (Bloomington, IN 47405-7000)
Daniel F. Suslak (Project Director: December 2013 to August 2016)
Community Directed Audio-Visual Documentation of Ayöök and Development of an Online Ayöök Language Portal

Documentation of the Ayöök language, spoken in the region of Totontepec (Oaxaca, Mexico), through the expansion of an existing dictionary and development of an online portal of audio and video recordings.

The aim of this project is to comprehensively document Ayöök (MTO), an endangered Mixe-Zoquean language spoken in and around the municipio of Totontepec (Oaxaca, Mexico). The project brings together a fully engaged indigenous community, a linguistic anthropologist who has done extensive fieldwork in Totontepec, and experienced language documentation filmmakers. At the heart of this proposal is the redesign and expansion of a web application, the Ayöök Portal, which links an archive of high quality video with transcribed and translated text and an online lexical database. A key component is the training of communitybased video production and text production teams. Co-PI Levine will train a team of local filmmakers using the methods he developed for the Passamaquoddy (PQM) community. PI Suslak will train a team of local linguists and language consultants to transcribe, translate, and analyze the materials they record. The Ayöök Portal will serve to share these materials and will also make it possible for the PIs to remotely monitor, guide, and collaborate with Totontepec as it continues to document its language after the project formally ends. The ultimate goal of this approach is to transfer resources back to a community that is ready to take responsibility for documenting and reviving its own language.

Project fields:

Documenting Endangered Languages - Preservation

Preservation and Access

$253,393 (approved)
$253,096 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2014 – 4/30/2016