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Grant number like: HD-228866-15

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Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA 17325-1483)
Jonathan D. Amith (Project Director: September 2014 to present)
Eric Remy (Co Project Director: March 2015 to present)

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper][Grant products]

$29,930 (approved)
$29,930 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 10/31/2017

Comparative Ethnobiology in Mesoamerica: A Digital Portal for Collaborative Research and Public Dissemination

Prototype development of a database and website that would aggregate indigenous linguistic information relevant to Mesoamerican flora and fauna.

In 1983 Catherine Fowler completed a pioneering study of Uto-Aztecan cultural history, focused on locating the Proto-Uto-Aztecan homeland by linking reconstructed PUA biological terms to the historic distribution of biological species labeled by these terms. Others have studied loan patterns in biological nomenclature among non-genetically related languages to develop models of migration and linguistic and cultural convergence in prehistoric periods. These two complementary approaches require an immense dataset of biological terminology from diverse languages. To achieve this dataset for Mesoamerica, an area characterized both by extensive migration and great biodiversity, this project will create an innovative portal to facilitate the exchange of information on Indigenous nomenclature, classification and use of biotaxa. This portal will enable a community of scholars to share material that would otherwise languish for years before, if ever, being disseminated in a print publication.