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4723 - A Language Documentation Project among Huastec of la Sierra de Otontepec

South Eastern Huastec (Ethnologue code HSF) is one of the Huastecan languages spoken in the region of La Huasteca, Mexico. It belongs to the Mayan family. South Eastern Huastec is spoken by about 1700 people in the Municipality of Chontla, the northern part of the State of Veracruz. This language is considered endangered because it is not transmitted to new generations any more; there is hardly anyone under 25 years of age who can speak it.

This project is aimed to document the usage of the language in all its varieties and to create a digital data base. It was financed by an 8 months SOAS HRELP grant (Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Program, the School of African and Asian Studies of the University of London, UK) and a Mexican Government scholarship. The collection of the HSF primary data is deposited with ELAR for long term archiving, where it will be accessible to other interested parties.

The author would like to talk about her documentation project and her experiences from the extensive field work undertaken in the village of San Francisco Chontla, Veracruz, Mexico in 2008 and 2009, and would focus especially on this Huastec community attitude towards the project, their lifestyle and their attitudes. The attempts to encourage the usage of the language by the local Huastec community will be discussed too.

Keywords: Mayan languages Language documentation Huastec

Author: Kondic, Ana (University of Sydney, University of Lyon 2, France / Frankreich)

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