Language documentation in the Tohono O’odham community

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This paper examines language documentation efforts on the Tohono O’odham (formerly known as Papago) reservation. Tohono O’odham is an endangered Uto-Aztecan language spoken in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. The focus here is on legacy documentation, which consists of recordings and manuscripts collected by previous researchers. These materials could potentially serve as a valuable resource for the tribal community in language maintenance and revitalization. However, most have not been transcribed, translated, or published. This article describes the beginning of a collaboration between tribal community members and academics to make O’odham legacy materials more accessible. This paper offers suggestions to other groups for developing similar collaborations and presents community-generated ideas for how to develop and work with these legacy materials.


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