3197 - Making Language Visible: language documantation and cosmology in Amazonian Ecuador

This paper explores the collaboration between anthropologists, linguists and Waorani consultants in an ongoing project to document indigenous language in Ecuador . Drawing on previous work on indigenous media and the expression of ‘culture’ as a political identity in Amazonia, it explores the ways in which Waorani language consultants attempt to document their language through video and the processing of texts. It raises questions about the kinds of speech events and social interactions that Waorani people envision to be relevant to the documentation of their language and culture. The paper addresses the role of visual culture in Waorani understandings of language, power, and objectification, and how cosmology relates to popular ideas about documenting endangered languages in linguistics.

Keywords: language, cosmology, objectification, Amazonia, Ecuador

Author: High, Casey (Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom/Ver Königr)


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