Field Notes

Ep. 38: Anthony C. Woodbury on Language Documentation & Field Linguistics Training

September 29, 2022

This month's guest is Anthony C. Woodbury,  Professor of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. Woodbury has taught in the UT Linguistics Department since 1980, serving as its chair for nine years. He was elected Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America in 2017, and Vice-President and President of the Society for 2022 and 2023. Woodbury's research focuses on the Indigenous languages of the Americas, and how they reveal general as well as historic linguistic diversity and creativity on the parts of their speakers. He began work with Unangan-Yupik-Inuit languages in 1974, especially Cup’ik in Chevak, Alaska, and in 2003 he became engaged, together with a cohort of then-graduate students, in the documentation and description of Chatino, an Otomanguean language group of Oaxaca, Mexico. Themes in his writing have included tone and prosody; morphology, syntax, and historical linguistics; ethnopoetics and speech play and verbal art; and language documentation, revitalization, and the role of linguistics in the struggle for human rights and intellectual justice, especially under conditions of language shift that is directly or indirectly coerced. He is also co-director, with Patience Epps, of the digital Archive for Indigenous Languages of Latin America at UT's Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies. He now centers his teaching on Ph.D. and other training in linguistics for speakers of Indigenous languages of the Americas.

Things mentioned in this episode: 

1. Onondaga language 

2. Kalaallisut language

3.  Aleut language 

4. Mayan languages 

5. Sugt’stun (Pacific Yupik) language 

6. Cugtun (Central Alaskan Yupik) language 

7. Nora England Oral History Project 

8. Anthony C. Woodbury on Google Scholar and Academia 

9. Field Notes Patreon 

10. Lingthusiasm Podcast 

11. Superlinguo Blog 

Recommended Reading: 

Anthony C. Woodbury (2003). Defining documentary linguistics. In Peter K. Austin (ed.) Language Documentation and Description, vol 1. London: SOAS. pp. 35-51

Anthony Woodbury, Compiler/Editor. 1984. Cev’armiut qanemciit qulirait=llu: Eskimo narratives and tales from Chevak, Alaska. Told by Tom Imgalrea, Jacob Nash, Thomas Moses, Leo Moses, and Mary Kokrak; translated by Leo Moses and Anthony Woodbury. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska. 88 pp. [Cup’ik texts with linguistic and cultural introduction.] Text Audio

Emiliana Cruz & Anthony C. Woodbury. Collaboration in the context of teaching, scholarship, and language revitalization: Experience from the Chatino Language Documentation Project. Language Documentation & Conservation 8: 262-286. Special issue: Keren Rice & Bruna Franchetto, (guest eds.), Community Collaboration in the Americas.

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