OLAC Record
oai:scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu:10125/42034

Metadata
Title:Language Loss and Wellbeing among the Ch’orti’ Maya
Bibliographic Citation:Hull, Kerry, Hull, Kerry; 2017-03-05; In the last century the endangered language of Ch’orti’ Mayan in southern Guatemala has undergone radical changes in both its quotidian and ritual vocabulary. In daily speech Spanish loanwords are now ubiquitous and Spanish grammatical forms have been adopted, often at the expense of native terms and constructions. In this paper I document the effect of the loss of vocabulary and language structures on the wellbeing of the Ch’orti’ Maya in three specific areas. First, based on a long-term study of ritual and poetic language forms among the Ch’orti’ I argue that the wholesale loss of community-wide ritual practice and its accompanying ritual language is recognized by the Ch’orti’ themselves as a detriment to their wellbeing. Not knowing the ancient prayers and “how to say them” is said by some Ch’orti’ to be the reason for the drought and famine plaguing their region today. In addition, I draw upon my fieldwork with the Ch’orti’ over the last 18 years to detail the role of grassroots language revitalization projects play in local empowerment and self-improvement for those Ch’orti’ who engage in these efforts due to outside funding and employment opportunities for language documentation. Finally, I discuss the startling decline in botanical knowledge related to medicine among younger Ch’orti’ and the effect this loss has on individual health and wellbeing. Today, ritual specialists—those who are the most skilled in the use of botanical medicines among the Ch’orti’—are being killed out of fear of witchcraft, resulting in a loss of traditional healing practice and its ritual vocabulary, all of which is altering the paradigm for both assessing and treating issues of health among the Ch’orti’. The documentation of rapidly disappearing ritual language is therefore of primary importance with the Ch’orti’.; Kaipuleohone University of Hawai'i Digital Language Archive;http://hdl.handle.net/10125/42034.
Contributor (speaker):Hull, Kerry
Creator:Hull, Kerry
Date (W3CDTF):2017-03-05
Description:In the last century the endangered language of Ch’orti’ Mayan in southern Guatemala has undergone radical changes in both its quotidian and ritual vocabulary. In daily speech Spanish loanwords are now ubiquitous and Spanish grammatical forms have been adopted, often at the expense of native terms and constructions. In this paper I document the effect of the loss of vocabulary and language structures on the wellbeing of the Ch’orti’ Maya in three specific areas. First, based on a long-term study of ritual and poetic language forms among the Ch’orti’ I argue that the wholesale loss of community-wide ritual practice and its accompanying ritual language is recognized by the Ch’orti’ themselves as a detriment to their wellbeing. Not knowing the ancient prayers and “how to say them” is said by some Ch’orti’ to be the reason for the drought and famine plaguing their region today. In addition, I draw upon my fieldwork with the Ch’orti’ over the last 18 years to detail the role of grassroots language revitalization projects play in local empowerment and self-improvement for those Ch’orti’ who engage in these efforts due to outside funding and employment opportunities for language documentation. Finally, I discuss the startling decline in botanical knowledge related to medicine among younger Ch’orti’ and the effect this loss has on individual health and wellbeing. Today, ritual specialists—those who are the most skilled in the use of botanical medicines among the Ch’orti’—are being killed out of fear of witchcraft, resulting in a loss of traditional healing practice and its ritual vocabulary, all of which is altering the paradigm for both assessing and treating issues of health among the Ch’orti’. The documentation of rapidly disappearing ritual language is therefore of primary importance with the Ch’orti’.
Identifier (URI):http://hdl.handle.net/10125/42034
Table Of Contents:42034.pdf
42034.mp3
Type (DCMI):Text
Sound

OLAC Info

Archive:  Language Documentation and Conservation
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/ldc.scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu
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OAI Info

OaiIdentifier:  oai:scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu:10125/42034
DateStamp:  2017-05-11
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for simple DC format

Search Info

Citation: Hull, Kerry. 2017. Language Documentation and Conservation.
Terms: dcmi_Sound dcmi_Text


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Up-to-date as of: Thu Sep 5 13:54:11 EDT 2019