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Grant number like: PD-50010-09

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University of Oregon (Eugene, OR 97403-5219)
Stephanie G. Wood (Project Director: December 2008 to December 2013)

Documenting Endangered Languages - Preservation
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$350,000 (approved)
$350,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2013

An Online Nahuatl Lexical Database: Bridging Past, Present, and Future Speakers

The preparation of a multilingual dictionary of the Nahuatl language.

With years of experience collaborating on the Nahuatl language and managing large grants, the Wired Humanities Project at the University of Oregon and academic teams in Mexico are proposing to create a multilingual, no-cost, Nahuatl lexical database with unparalleled dimensions. The database will include the first-ever monolingual dictionary of Nahuatl with its own online interface. We are choosing Eastern Huastecan Nahuatl for the core dictionary because it will serve the largest number of living Nahuatl speakers, but also because we can enhance it with comparisons that will serve speakers of other endangered dialects of the language. We will also provide Spanish translations that bilingual speakers can offer and access through an additional online interface. To this modern Nahuatl written material we will add Classical examples, extracting attestations from recently published colonial manuscripts and studies of the same, with their Spanish and English translations and commentaries. It is our sincere goal to bridge the gap between Modern and Classical Nahuatl and bolster native speakers' literacy and access to the unparalleled cultural legacy that potentially thousands of manuscripts written in Nahuatl can represent. Finally, this lexical database will have the enhancement of audio files pulled from focus group discussions where university students who are native speakers come together to consider word usage and meanings across dialects and capture vital contextualizing language and ethnographic examples.