The corpus contains nearly 40 hours of audio recordings, in addition to videos, transcriptions, translations, and photos, and was created with the help of a team of Ch’ol-speaking students, led by project directors Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez and Jessica Coon, with local coordinators Nicolás Arcos López and Bernabé Vázquez Sánchez.
Members of the Ch’ol documentation project convened June 7th and 8th at CIESAS-Sureste in San Cristóbal de las Casas for a workshop focused on file management and transcription, organized by Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez and Jessica Coon, and with ELAN and audio file editing tutorials by Justin Royer and Sandra Cruz Gómez.
the group at work transcribing
Groups traveled from Oxolotán Tabasco (led by Nicolás Arcos López) and Yajalón, Chiapas (led by Bernabé Vázquez Sánchez). Altogether, they had collected more than 30 hours of Ch’ol recordings during the first phase of the project. During phase 2, they will select their favorite narratives to transcribe and translate. At the end, all materials will be uploaded to the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA).
My name is Jessica Coon and I’m originally from Oregon in the United States. Since 2011 I have lived in Montreal, Canada where I’m a linguistics professor at McGill University. This semester I am living and working in San Cristóbal de las Casas with my husband and two kids.
Jessica and kids in Montreal
I started working on Ch’ol in 2002 in Campanario and have worked on topics in Ch’ol grammar, and more recently on Chuj with speakers in Montreal.
We had a great first workshop in Oxolotán last week, with active participation from students in the Universidad Intercultural’s Lengua y Culturaprogram. The university’s article, and more pictures from the event, can be found here. We’re looking forward to continuing the collaboration!
Our first workshop on Ch’ol documentation is coming up! We’ll be in Oxolotán on February 9th at the Universidad Intercultural de Tabasco. The workshop is open and will introduce participants to the motivation and goals of language documentation, along with recording basics. Stay tuned for a similar workshop in Yajalón, Chiapas!
Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez will give a talk “Las lenguas indígenas en las políticas educativas” (“Indigenous Languages in Education Policies”), in the 1st Forum: Indigenous Languages and Challenges in the 21st Century, organized by INALI and the Asociación Indígena Académica in connection with International Mother Language Day. The talk will take place on February 16 in the Aula Magna of the Faculty of Law of the UNACH, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
The Ch’ol documentation project is now underway. Jessica Coon, Nicolás Arcos López, and Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez met in San Cristóbal de las Casas to plan the first workshops on Ch’ol documentation and transcription.
Jessica, Juan Jesús, and Nico
The workshops will take place in Oxolotán, Tabasco and in Yajalón, Chiapas in February, and will train Ch’ol-speaking students in basics of working with speakers, recording, storing data, and collecting metadata.