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!
Hey there! My name’s José Armando. I grew up in Tijuana, Baja California. I am about to start graduate school at the University of California, San Diego. I just finished my undergraduate degree at Cornell University, majoring in linguistics and anthropology. It was far from where I’m from and quite cold! In any case, I will now start my PhD program in linguistics in San Diego – much closer to my family in Tijuana.
I first visited San Miguel and El Campanario, Chiapas in January 2018 to learn Ch’ol. I was tagging along with my mentor Carol-Rose Little. It was amazing! I thank wholeheartedly Morelia Vázquez Martínez, Nicolás Arcos Lopez, and their families for everything they have done. I visited them again this past August on the way to a conference in Guatemala called FAMLi5. I cannot wait to go visit them again.
I wish to continue to study Ch’ol because there is a lot in the language that I don’t know. It is a beautiful language. I also study Ja’a Kumiai, another native language spoken in Baja California, Mexico. My grandparents spoke Otomí, so the native languages of Mexico are dear to my heart.
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).
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.
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.
Stay tuned for workshop details and schedule!