Ewald Hekking (Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro)
Otomi-Spanish dictionary from Queretaro, Mexico: three decades of research and language documentation

Date: June 13, 2017
Time: 17:00-18:30
Venue: Collaboration Room 3 on the 4th Floor of the Building 18, Komaba Campus, UTokyo
Language: English
Co-sponsored by the Department of Area Studies (Latin American Studies)

In this work a review of an Otomi-Spanish dictionary is presented. The dictionary has been formed during 30 years of research and documentation of the Otomi language in the State of Querétaro. The extensive linguistic corpus was elicited in situ in a discontinuous way in Santiago Mexquititlan, Amealco and in Toliman, indigenous communities where two of the four dialects of Querétaro Otomi are spoken. In order to get our data, different sampling techniques were used among native Otomi speakers of different ages and gender, such as questionnaires, interviews, conversations and translations specific for the documentation of indigenous dialects. The linguistic corpus was also supplied with information obtained from different bibliographic sources, particularly the bilingual Otomi-Spanish dictionaries previously published for the states of Querétaro and Hidalgo, and also literary works, stories and tales, which reflect the cosmovision of the Otomis. The dictionary is written in a phonematic and standardized orthography of the Otomi spoken in the state of Querétaro, which was approved by the Council of Indigenous Peoples of the state and which was also taken as a basic reference for the standardization of the Otomi spelling system at a national level. For each dictionary entry the lexical and morphosyntactic variation of the documented dialectal variants, its grammatical categories, tones, synonyms, antonyms, examples and their respective translations into Spanish have been specified. The dictionary has 1115 pages and contains about 35 000 Hñäñho entries with their respective meanings in Spanish. Until now it is the most extensive Otomi dictionary that has been written in Mexico.

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