Grassroots Grammar: The documentation of an Endangered Guatemalan Maya Language

Presentation by Dr. Jule Gómez de García

On Thursday, February 24, 2011, Dr. Jule Gómez de García shared some intimate details of her National Science Foundation project focused on preserving Mayan language, specifically the Nebaj dialect of Ixhil with the help of some of the last speakers of that dialect.

Participating in the project are 54 Ixhil Maya speakers and U.S. and Guatemala-based linguists and anthropologists. Ixhil participant elders have provided historical narratives and descriptions of cultural activities which serve as data for analysis.  This interactive presentation will provide guests with ample opportunity to ask questions about the Ixhil Mayan language and culture.

Dr. Jule Gómez de García specializes in the documentation and revitalization of endangered languages and has worked on language revitalization efforts with several communities, including the Oklahoma Kickapoo, the Jicarilla Apache, the Q'anjob'al Maya community in San Diego, and the Ixhil Maya community in Nebaj, El Quiché, Guatemala. She collaborated with other linguists and a team of Jicarilla Apache speakers on a dictionary of their language and has presented a number of articles on Ixhil sociolinguistics and grammatical structures, and on the emergent literacy of the Ixhil women with whom she works. For more information on Dr. García’s work click here: Dr. Jule Gómez de García