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Products for grant FN-50065-10

FN-50065-10
Lachixio Zapotec Conversations: Audio-Visual Archive and Transcription Collection
Mark Sicoli, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FN-50065-10

“I won’t say it. I won’t say it…OK I’ll say it.” Textual and Ironic Topics in a Zapotec Dialogue." (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: “I won’t say it. I won’t say it…OK I’ll say it.” Textual and Ironic Topics in a Zapotec Dialogue."
Author: Mark A. Sicoli
Abstract: In Lachixío, Oaxaca, a code-shifting socialization style is taking hold that was first advocated by state-sponsored teachers and had been resisted through the political organization of generations of Zapotec parents protecting Zapotec as a home language while Spanish became institutionally pervasive in this rural community. This talk uses transcribed videotaped data to examine topics at issue in a conversational conflict revealing the tense social relations entailed by rapid social change. In a Zapotec dialogue, an elder woman noticed a young Zapotec teacher-assistant addressing his daughter in Spanish. She posed a question explicitly topicalizing whether his daughter understands Zapotec, and implicitly, critically topicalizing the emerging code-shifting socialization style. Ironic statements introduce two topics: one coded in the proposition and another that lurks in the inferential pragmatics. The man only orients to and ratifies the explicit topic. Only after his “missing” the inference over several turns does the woman make the topic explicit, and then shifts to a less controversial topic. Topical irony as indirect critique is a discursive device that allows for ideological contestation without profoundly damaging ongoing social relations. This appeals to the polite social context where the man is a visitor in the woman’s household. The new socialization style of addressing children exclusively in Spanish represents a contemporary transformation of the political-economy and the ongoing integration of the autonomous indigenous region into the Mexican nation state. Topicalizing the new socialization style through “topic irony” reveals a subtle interactional mechanism involved in the contestation of these social changes.
Date: 11/14/2012
Conference Name: 111th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA

“Multimodal Interaction in Cross-Cultural Perspective” (Course or Curricular Materials)
Title: “Multimodal Interaction in Cross-Cultural Perspective”
Author: Mark A. Sicoli
Abstract: Face-to-face interaction in multimodal contexts involves the integration of linguistic constructions, voice qualities, gestures and gesticulation, eye gaze, as well as other embodied actions relevant to the ongoing discourse. Cross-cultural and cross-linguistic comparison of talk in interaction raises methodological concerns about just what is comparable across different ethnographic contexts, as well as what means researchers have to recognize actions as socially relevant to the flow of discourse when our own speaker-intuitions are not a viable source of knowledge. In this course we will survey theoretical literature on multimodal interaction and cross-cultural conversation analysis, and build analytical skills working with video data through a focus on less-commonly studied languages recorded in their natural discourse settings. Skills will involve tools for video editing, transcription, and the discourse coding of both verbal and non-verbal semiotic actions. Laboratory “data sessions” will be conducted throughout the term in which class participants will hone analytical skills through the formulation and testing of hypotheses grounded in the turn-by-turn sequences of the transcribed video data. Requirements are engagement of course readings, active participation in class discussions and data sessions, write-ups of data session findings, and a term project that can involve a student’s own data or data from archived sources. This course provides you with tools and experience working with interaction data different from your own language and culture and methods for productive comparison across the typological and cultural variability of the world’s languages.
Year: 2012
Audience: K - 12

Zapotec Conversations Archive (Database/Archive/Digital Edition)
Title: Zapotec Conversations Archive
Author: Mark A. Sicoli
Abstract: This archive is the result of the Documenting Endangered Languages Project "Lachixío Zapotec Conversations: Audio-Visual Archive and Transcription Collection (zpl)" [Oaxaca, Mexico] funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities FN-50065-10. The NEH funding provided for Mark Sicoli to produce transcriptions of a 40 hour video corpus, enrich and code segments of the data for conversation analysis of basic social actions, and translate the transcribed Zapotec to Spanish and portions of the corpus to English. Lachixío (including the close dialects of San Vicente, and San Miguel and San Mateo Mixtepec) is the last language of the West Zapotec clade in which speakers are competent conversationalists. This corpus was produced at a time when the historical trajectory was one of language shift to Spanish monolingualism throughout the region and in which the opportunities to document the language in its natural conversational ecology had grown few. The videos were recorded during the summers of 2008 and 2009 under funding from the Max Planck Society when Sicoli was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The corpus of transcribed videos provides resources that represent the language in everyday cultural settings, such as families receiving visitors, working together on daily chores, eating meals, joking, teasing, socializing children, sharing stories and more. The materials can both be considered a linguistic "text" collection as well as a representation of Zapotec culture in the Lachixío region of the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca, Mexico through conversational (multimodal) social interaction.
Year: 2012
Primary URL: http://corpus1.mpi.nl/ds/imdi_browser?openpath=MPI1554638%23
Primary URL Description: Zapotec Conversations Archive in The Language Archive of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Family Conversation Styles in Zapotec-Spanish Language Shift (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Family Conversation Styles in Zapotec-Spanish Language Shift
Abstract: The trajectory of language shift in the West Zapotec region of Oaxaca, Mexico is apparent from the dialect geography: of eleven town centers where Zapotec was spoken, only four remain where some children are raised in Zapotec. Against this backdrop of language shift this talk examines contrasting styles of conversation used in child language socialization in Santa María Lachixío. For many decades Lachixío has been characterized by a functionally differentiated bilingualism in which Zapotec was used in all domains of social life outside of public schooling and public health. In the fourteen years that I have been conducting fieldwork there, a mosaic has developed where some families are now code-shifting to Spanish in their child-directed speech. Using transcribed videotaped data I contrast two families’ conversation styles involving same-aged children. I discuss a Zapotec-language speech event in which a family socializes a boy to the Zapotec respect register and contrast videos of another family code-shifting to Spanish when addressing their children. I then turn to analyzing an interaction where these two families intersect and the code-shifting style of socialization became topicalized. Through analysis of the sequence organization of the dialogue I argue that the new socialization style is contested, and discuss several linguistic and interactional devices for constructing irony and “off-record” disagreement. Moving beyond the transcripts, I draw on my ethnographic work to argue that the positions taken up by the participants of this dialogue voice prior conversations between parents and school teachers who suggested that parents stop using Zapotec. Previously, parents organized a unified resistance that partly explains Lachixío’s language enduring to the present day. The new socialization style exemplified through the multimodal data presented in this talk represents a contemporary social change being enacted (and contested) through talk in interaction.
Author: Mark A. Sicoli
Date: 3/20/2012
Location: Georgetown University Department of Linguistics, Washington D.C.

“Repeticion entre hablantes en la conversación Tzeltal, Yucateco, y Zapoteco” (Cross-Speaker Repetition in Tzeltal, Yucatec and Zapotec Conversation) (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: “Repeticion entre hablantes en la conversación Tzeltal, Yucateco, y Zapoteco” (Cross-Speaker Repetition in Tzeltal, Yucatec and Zapotec Conversation)
Abstract: This presentation was delivered for the students and faculty of the Indo-American PhD program in Linguistic Anthropology. All the students in this program are native speakers of indigenous languages of Mexico. The talk focused on repetition across speakers in three Meso-American languages for which the Zapotec data analysis was supported by NEH grant FN-50065-10. I presented examples drawn from collections of repetition in different sequential locations in conversation in Yucatec and Tzeltal Mayan and Lachixío Zapotec, with the following questions in focus: What kinds of action are performed by repetition in these three languages, and what evidence enables us to identify these action types? What sustains this repeat practice, and makes sense of it in the Mesoamerican context?
Author: Penelope Brown
Author: Mark A. Sicoli
Author: Olivier Le Guen
Date: 1/13/2011
Location: Indoamerican Linguistics PhD Program, Center for the Investigation and Study of Social Anthropology, (CIESAS) Mexico, D.F.

“Las fonaciones y las voces de relaciones sociales en el zapoteco de Lachixío” (Phonation and the Voicing of Social Relations in Lachixío Zapotec) (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: “Las fonaciones y las voces de relaciones sociales en el zapoteco de Lachixío” (Phonation and the Voicing of Social Relations in Lachixío Zapotec)
Abstract: The sound qualities of a speaker's voice animate speech and shape social interactions. Yet, studies of sound quality have not been well developed in anthropology and linguistics. This is in part because the voice is generally thought to be biologically given, directly related to things like body size or sex of the speaker. This talk presents research that considers qualities of human voices as cultural constructions and contextualizes the study of voice qualities within social theory. I present functions of voice qualities from social interactions between speakers of Lachixío Zapotec, an Otomanguean language spoken in the southern mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. The interactions demonstrate the use of high pitched and falsetto voices, which I argue index a respect register that presupposes social categories present to a speech event: ritual kin relationships; age grades; and distinguishing among territorial roles like visitor vs. visited. These multiple person categories show that respect in Lachixío is not binary but hierarchical. Some uses of high pitch are merely polite, while others are part of a formal honorific system tied to kinship roles. Where the speech scene involves multiple addressees representing different levels of the social hierarchy, speakers can show varying degrees of respect such that where high pitch displays respect, higher pitch shows more respect, and falsetto voice is the most respectful. Pitch is varied with addressee choice and such pitch variation uses the voice to create a publicly available diagram of the unequal social relations present to a speech situation. In the last section of the talk I investigate the question of how children are socialized to this complex system for voicing social relations in Lachixío and point to potentials for further research on voice qualities in linguistic anthropology.
Author: Mark A. Sicoli
Date: 1/13/2011
Location: Indoamerican Linguistics PhD Program, Center for the Investigation and Study of Social Anthropology, (CIESAS) Mexico, D.F.

“Las fonaciones y las voces de relaciones sociales en el zapoteco de Lachixío” (Phonation and the Voicing of Social Relations in Lachixío Zapotec) (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: “Las fonaciones y las voces de relaciones sociales en el zapoteco de Lachixío” (Phonation and the Voicing of Social Relations in Lachixío Zapotec)
Abstract: The sound qualities of a speaker's voice animate speech and shape social interactions. Yet, studies of sound quality have not been well developed in anthropology and linguistics. This is in part because the voice is generally thought to be biologically given, directly related to things like body size or sex of the speaker. This talk presents research that considers qualities of human voices as cultural constructions and contextualizes the study of voice qualities within social theory. I present functions of voice qualities from social interactions between speakers of Lachixío Zapotec, an Otomanguean language spoken in the southern mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. The interactions demonstrate the use of high pitched and falsetto voices, which I argue index a respect register that presupposes social categories present to a speech event: ritual kin relationships; age grades; and distinguishing among territorial roles like visitor vs. visited. These multiple person categories show that respect in Lachixío is not binary but hierarchical. Some uses of high pitch are merely polite, while others are part of a formal honorific system tied to kinship roles. Where the speech scene involves multiple addressees representing different levels of the social hierarchy, speakers can show varying degrees of respect such that where high pitch displays respect, higher pitch shows more respect, and falsetto voice is the most respectful. Pitch is varied with addressee choice and such pitch variation uses the voice to create a publicly available diagram of the unequal social relations present to a speech situation. In the last section of the talk I investigate the question of how children are socialized to this complex system for voicing social relations in Lachixío and point to potentials for further research on voice qualities in linguistic anthropology.
Author: Mark A. Sicoli
Date: 1/13/2011
Location: Indoamerican Linguistics PhD Program, Center for the Investigation and Study of Social Anthropology, (CIESAS) Mexico, D.F.

Assistant Professor, Georgetown University Department of Linguistics (Staff/Faculty/Fellow Position)
Name: Assistant Professor, Georgetown University Department of Linguistics
Abstract: Based primarily on research results and products of my NEH Fellowship FN-50065-10, I was awarded a tenure track position in the Linguistics Department of Georgetown University. My job talk was “Family Conversation Styles in Zapotec-Spanish Language Shift” presented to the Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. March 20.
Year: 2012
Primary URL: http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/mas498/?PageTemplateID=129
Primary URL Description: Faculty Description Georgetown University Linguistics.
Secondary URL: https://sites.google.com/a/georgetown.edu/mark-a-sicoli/home
Secondary URL Description: Official web page or Dr. Mark A. Sicoli, Georgetown University Department of Linguistics.


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