30 September 2013

Summer update from Undergrad Linguistics Student Evi Alva

Evi Alva, who is currently a senior in USC's undergraduate linguistics program and a research assistant in Dr. Elsi Kaiser's Language Processing Lab, spent her summer in the Amazon forest of Brazil, in a town called São Gabriel da Cachoeira. There, she worked with University of Rochester professor/field linguist Wilson da Silva on documenting the language Desano.

Desano is spoken by only 200-300 individuals in Colombia and Brazil, making it an endangered language. Desano has been endangered due to language policies in Brazil, which recognize Portuguese as the one official language. Evi's focus was on adding to the database of the Desano translation dictionary (to English, Spanish, and Portuguese) and documenting Desano through photographs and interviews with native speakers about the flora, fauna, food and other topics of their environment. Evi also helped in recording data, transcribing and interviewing the native Desano speakers, and collecting data on their cultural views.

Thanks for sharing your impressive summer work with us, Evi!

Evi working with Desano speakers

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