My primary research interests lie in language documentation and the semantics of under-studied languages. Since 2013, my research has focused on Zapotec, a highly-diversified family of languages indigenous to Oaxaca, Mexico. I also collaborate with international teams of linguists, historians, and language activists to support community-led projects aimed at language revalorization and youth empowerment. Much of my research draws on digital scholarship to improve access and communication within the transnational Zapotec community.Download Full CV (PDF)
My current research focus is temporal-modal semantics in Tlacochahuaya Zapotec. In particular, my PhD Qualifying Paper research analyzed the expression of imperfectives.
I collaborated on the construction and maintenance of Talking Dictionaries for three Tlacolula Valley Zapotec languages. These multimedia dictionaries include audio recordings, pictures, videos, and embedded tweets, and every dictionary is coauthored with Zapotec collaborators.
I first started studying Zapotec languages as a research assistant on Ticha Project, cataloging and analyzing Colonial Valley Zapotec documents from the 16th- through 18th-centuries. My contributions to the Ticha Project include transcription, linguistic analysis, and XML/TEI encoding.
The Ticha Project team has presented extensively about our methods, particularly in regard to community collaboration and digital scholarship.
My research with Colonial Valley Zapotec documents including many levels of lingusitics analysis and resulted in conference presentations both in the US and Mexico and publication at IJAL.
In the summer of 2019, I developed a workflow to transform crowdsourced transcriptions of Mixtec syntax surveys into machine- and human-readable corpora. The resulting documents were publicly archived.
I served as a volunteer reader on the Voces del Valle project, an initiative to support Zapotec speakers in writing their language on social media. (For background, see Lillehaugen 2016.)