On June 13th, 2019, Dr. Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez (CIMSUR) and Carol-Rose Little (Cornell) were invited to appear on the Canal 10 Chiapas show “La voz de nuestras raíces” [the voice of our roots], hosted by Freddy López Vázquez (advisor to the Minister of Sustainable Development of Indigenous Peoples in Chiapas). There, Juan Jesús talked about how he became a linguist and the importance of continuing to speak and write in Ch’ol. Carol-Rose talked about her work with the Ch’ol language and how she became involved with the Ch’ol communities in Chiapas.
Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez, Freddy Vázquez López, Carol-Rose Little, Miguel “Sebsor” (Tseltal rapper)
On July 18th, 2019, Morelia Vázquez Martínez was also an honorary guest on “La voz de nuestras raíces”. During her interview she discussed her work on linguistic projects, starting in 2015. When asked about advice for preserving Ch’ol, she emphasized the importance of teaching Ch’ol speakers how to write in their language.
Morelia Vázquez Martínez and Freddy López Vázquez during the taping of “La voz de nuestras raíces”
“La voz de nuestras raíces” is a TV program on Canal 10 Chiapas which airs in various languages of Chiapas. The Ch’ol version airs live every Thursday at 3pm.
In June and July, we organized two workshops, one in Tumbalá and the other in San Miguel. In Tumbalá, the workshop was on the language and culture of the Mayan people, with a special focus on Ch’ol (June 20th). The organizers were Carol-Rose Little (Cornell University), Esteban Mirón (Berkeley) Morelia Vázquez Martínez (ITSM), and Silvestre Gómez Jiménez (CELALI). The workshop took place in the Tumbalá cultural center, whose director is Juana Karen Peñate Montejo. Members of the cultural center, including students and teachers, attended the workshop. Esteban talked about the archaeology of the Maya people of Palenque. Carol-Rose and Morelia presented on what linguists do as well as the importance of preserving languages. Silvestre ended with some advice on how to continue preserving the Ch’ol language. At the end of the workshop, participants ate tamales prepared locally and listened to some marimba music. This workshop was possible thanks to funding from Engaged Cornell and Berkeley.
The cultural center in Tumbalá
Esteban talking about Mayan archaeology
On July 4th and July 5th, Morelia and Carol-Rose gave two Ch’ol writing workshops in the local secondary school in San Miguel. This workshop was attended by 120 students. On the first day, they went over the Ch’ol alphabet, paying special attention to how to write glottalized consonants (C’) and the sixth vowel in Ch’ol (ä). On the second day, students had a spelling quiz and then wrote down their own stories about daily life, which they then shared with the class. This workshop was possible thanks to funding from Engaged Cornell.
Morelia teaching the Ch’ol writing system
The secondary school in San Miguel
On January 7th, 2019, Morelia Vázquez Martínez led a workshop on how to use ELAN, a transcription program for linguists. Participants were CELALI employees who work with various languages of Chiapas. This program helps users transcribe and translate audio and video. This workshop was funded through an Engaged Opportunity grant from Engaged Cornell.
Morelia showing participants how to use ELAN
Cornell Arts & Sciences recently interviewed ITSM undergraduate student and Ch’ol speaker Morelia Vázquez Martínez and Cornell graduate student Carol-Rose Little about their joint linguistic work with Ch’ol. Read their article here!
Morelia Vázquez Martínez and Carol-Rose Little
On August 3rd, 2018, bilingual Ch’ol-Spanish students and teachers from UNICH met at the Casa de la Cultura, Salto de Agua, Chiapas for a workshop on tools for documenting and preserving Ch’ol. Here is a video in Ch’ol with clips from the workshop.
This workshop was organized by Carol-Rose Little (Cornell University) and Silvestre Gómez Jiménez (CELALI). Funding thanks to Engaged Cornell. The invited speakers were Nicolás Arcos López (UIET) and Morelia Vázquez Martínez (ITSM).
How to make empanadas, shot in San Miguel
Mia Wiegand, me, and Morelia Vázquez Martínez
My name is Carol-Rose Little. I am doing my PhD in linguistics at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. I am from the United States and I did my BA in linguistics and Russian studies at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. I started learning Ch’ol in 2015 when I went to San Miguel, Chiapas. There I stayed with Nicolas Arcos Lopez’s mother and sisters. They were the ones who taught me the Tumabalá dialect of Ch’ol. I am also familiar with the Tila dialect.
Making tamales in Campanario
For my PhD, I am writing my thesis on the syntax and semantics of noun phrases in Ch’ol and Tojol-ab’al.