Gulf Nawa Dialect Survey

Encuesta Lingüística del Nawa del Golfo

Object Details

Collection LanguageNahuatl, Istmo-Pajapan
Nahuatl, Istmo-Mecayapan
Nahuatl, Tabasco
Nahuatl
Language PIDailla:119760
ailla:119759
ailla:119628
ailla:119713
Title [Indigenous]
Language of Indigenous Title
TitleGulf Nawa Dialect Survey
Country(ies)Mexico
Collector(s)Kaufman, Terrence
Depositor(s)Kaufman, Terrence
Project/Collector Website
Description [Indigenous]
Language of Indigenous Description
DescriptionThis collection contains audio-visual recordings and documents related to the Gulf Nawa Dialect Survey, a project to study the lexical and grammatical variation among the varieties of Nawat (Uto-Aztecan) spoken on Mexico’s gulf coast in Tabasco and Veracruz states. Ethnologue matches these Nawat varieties to four ISO 639-3 codes:
  • nhc Tabasco Nahuatl
  • nhp Isthmus-Pajapan Nahuatl
  • nhx Isthmus-Mecayapan Nahuatl
  • nhk Isthmus-Cosoleacaque Nahuatl


The Gulf Nawa Dialect Survey was planned by Una Canger, Roberto Zavala, Valentín Peralta, and Terrence Kaufman as part of the Project for the Documentation of the Languages of MesoAmerica in 2010. The questionnaire for this dialect survey was based on the “Linguistic questionnaire for dialect variation research on the languages of Guatemala” (Kaufman 1970-1971), the “Linguistic questionnaire for dialect variation research on the Totonac language” (Kaufman, McKay and Trechsel, 1994), the “Swadesh list of the Project for the Documentation of the Languages of MesoAmerica” (Kaufman 1995), and a lexical questionnaire made for dialect variation research on Tzeltal by Gilles Polian. The questionnaire was revised and modified by Canger and Peralta in 2010 for use in the collection of the materials in this collection. Also included in this collection is dialect variation research done by Canger in 2004 prior to the creation of the Gulf Nawa Dialect Survey project itself.

Surveys were taken in the following municipalities:
In Tabasco
  • Comalcalco
  • Paso de Cupilco
  • Zaragoza

In Veracruz
  • Mecayapan
  • Moloacán
  • Catemaco
  • Ocotal Texizapan
  • Tatahuicapan de Juárez
  • Cerro de la Palma
  • Oteapan
  • Pajapan


This collection features 26 folders containing 159 audio recordings in WAV or MP3 format, 4 video recordings in MPG or MP4 format and 13 digital documents (2 blank questionnaires and interview guides, 1 document with notes on Paso de Cupilco Nawat phonology, 2 documents containing photographs of the towns and people represented in the survey, and 7 transcriptions of respondents' answers to biographical and sociolinguistic questions).

Most folders contain all media associated with a single set of responses to the dialect survey or metalinguistic interview. Most folders contain all the audio-visual media recorded in a given town, though a few extensive interviews are split across a few folders. A small number of these survey response folders also contain documents with digital photographs taken in or near the surveyed community. Some of these photos are of the participants in this project, though there is no metadata to identify the people in each picture. Other folders contain single documents relevant to the collection. As of July 2018, there are no transcriptions of the survey responses, although seven metalinguistic interviews in this collection have been transcribed.

These materials were given to AILLA for digitization and preservation by Terrence Kaufman in 2012. Some born-digital materials were given to AILLA beginning at that time. After processing, physical media was returned to Kaufman beginning in May 2018.

All items in this collection are Public Access. Refer to AILLA's Access Levels and Conditions of Use for more information.

The digitization and preservation of this collection was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. BCS-1157867. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
References