In this episode, Daniel Arbino talks to Susan Kung and Ryan Sullivant—managers, archivists, and curators of the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America at the Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin. How did this archive originate and what are its goals? Listen to native Indigenous speakers tell stories and share the languages of their communities. Escuchar en español.
Languages in Order of Presentation
To view, transmit, or download the multimedia archives linked below, you will need to create a free AILLA account here: https://ailla.utexas.org/user/register
Cacaopera audio from the Mesoamerican Languages Collection of Lyle Campbell
Lyle Campbell elicits vocabulary from Pascual Cortés, a “semi-speaker” of Cacaopera in El Salvador in 1973. Presuming Cortés is one of the “two men [who] knew more than a few words” mentioned in Campbell (1975), then Cortés learned the Cacaopera he knew from a grandparent who spoke the language fluently. Audio quality is poor, with abrupt changes in tape speed every time Campbell started and stopped the recording.
Yámana audio from the Chilean Languages Collection of Oscar Aguilera and José Tonko
Sisters Cristina Calderón and Úrsula Calderón provide short elicited sentences in Yámana (Yagán) to help with Óscar Aguilera’s study of their language’s grammar. The phrases that are heard are Kyat lampiá (‘the cat is black’), Kyat paf lampiá (‘the cat isn’t black), Yašála lampiá (‘the dog is black’), and Yašála paf lampiá (‘the dog isn’t black).
Audio: https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:166958, https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:166960, https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:166986, https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:166988
Note that the majority of the Yámana-language materials are restricted. Two public resources are:
Words and Phrases https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:129416
Sentences https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:129417 (also listed above).
Cristina Calderón obituaries:
El adiós a Cristina Calderón, pobladora yagán de Tierra del Fuego. Página 12. https://www.pagina12.com.ar/415851-el-adios-a-cristina-calderon-pobladora-yagan-de-tierra-del-f
Cristina Calderón, champion of the Yaghan people and the last native speaker of their language – obituary. Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2022/02/22/cristina-calderon-champion-yaghan-people-last-native-speaker/
Cholon audio from the Cholon Language Collection of Luis Miguel Rojas Berscia
Greetings in the Cholón language, spoken by Martha Pérez Valderrama, using some written records.
Chinantec Whistling from the Sochiápam Chinantec Whistled Speech Collection of Mark Sicoli
A man whistles to another about plans to work on the coffee patch. He then repeats what he said in Spanish and Chinantec.
A portion of the Sochiápam Chinantec whistled speech recorded in this collection appears in Whistles in the Mist, an episode of the television program In the Americas with David Yetman.
Tepehua Whistling from the Huehuetla Tepehua Language Documentation Collection of Susan Kung
Nicolás Vigueras Patricio explains and demonstrates Tepehua whistled speech for two researchers, Susan Smythe Kung and Mark Sicoli. No other Tepehua speakers were present to participate in the demonstration.
Nahuatl Whistling from the Nahuatl Collection of Jane Hill and Kenneth Hill
The Hills elicit a list of common names and phrases from Rolando Zapeda Serrano in Central Nahuatl (Mexicano) and the surrogate whistled speech.
Tseltal Whistling form the Tzeltal Collection of Brian Stross
In this audio letter from Brian Stross to his dissertation supervisor, Brent Berlin, Stross demonstrates several Tseltal whistled phrases that he learned during his time living in Tenejapa, a Tseltal community in Mexico.
Isthmus Zapotec Whistling from the Project for the Documentation of the Languages of MesoAmerica
In this series of five audio tracks, Marilyn Feke Manley elicits whistled nicknames and phrases used among friends in Isthmus Zapotec (or Juchitán) from Rosalino Gallegos Luis. No other Isthmus Zapotec speakers were present to participate in the demonstration.
Audio: https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:230052, https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:230054, https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:230056, https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:230058, https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla:230060
Indigenous-led Research Collections
K’ichee’ audio from the Oxlajuuj Keej Maya’ Ajtz’iib’ Mayan Languages Collection
Jokes and other topics. Telma Can Pixabaj (researcher and native speaker) elicits jokes from Miguel Paulino Can Yac (another native speaker) in K’iche’ as part of the OKMA project to document the Mayan languages of Guatemala.
Chol audio from the Chol Collection of Juan Jesús Vásquez Álvarez and Jessica Coon
The farms. Marcelina López (native speaker) and Juan Jesús Vásquez Álvarez (interviewer, recorder, native speaker). Sabanilla, Chiapas, Mexico. 2007. Beginning of a conversation between researcher Vásquez and López that will eventually focus on characteristics of farms in López’s village. This conversation took place at night, as shown by the crickets that can be heard in the background.
Chol Collection of Juan Jesús Vásquez Álvarez and Jessica Coon
See the link above in Indigenous-led Research Collections.
Guna audio from the Kuna Collection of Joel Sherzer
Agouti Story (spoken). Muristo Pérez (speaker) and Joel Sherzer (researcher). Mulatuppu, Panama. 1970. Beginning of a story of the trickster Agouti who repeatedly tricks Jaguar. Joel Sherzer introduces the story in English.
Article by Sherzer about the Agouti story (with transcription and translation) in English: https://ailla.utexas.org/islandora/object/ailla%3A140740
AILLA static pages
- Conditions of Use of Archive Resources https://ailla.utexas.org/site/rights/use_conditions
- Frequently Asked Questions: https://ailla.utexas.org/faq-page
- Registration https://ailla.utexas.org/faq-page#n108
- Searching and Browsing https://ailla.utexas.org/faq-page#n109
- Access Terms https://ailla.utexas.org/faq-page#n128
- Access Levels https://ailla.utexas.org/faq-page#n117
Awards for Archiving Collections of Language Documentation
- SSILA Archiving Award https://www.ssila.org/en/archiving-award
- DELAMAN Award https://www.delaman.org/delaman-award/
Campbell, Lyle. 1975. Cacaopera. Anthropological Linguistics. Vol. 17, No. 4 (Apr., 1975), pp. 146-153 (8 pages) https://www.jstor.org/stable/30027563
Holmes, Bob. 2022. More than 80 cultures Still Speak in Whistles. Smithsonian Magazine. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/studying-whistled-languages-180978484/
Kung, Susan, Ryan Sullivant, Elena Pojman, and Alicia Niwagaba. 2020. Archiving for the Future: Simple Steps for Archiving Language Documentation Collections [OER]. https://archivingforthefuture.teachable.com/ — Spanish and Portuguese versions coming soon!