Senior Editors: Stephanie Wood and Kaitlan Smith
Consultants: Matthew Restall, Amara Solari, Inga Calvin, Eric Boot, Peter Mathews, and Martha Macri
Principal Data Entry: Kaitlan Smith
Website Design: Ginny White, Jamil Jonna, Aaron Lopez
Launch date: Spring Term, 2010
Objectives: As envisioned by the Wired Humanities Projects of the University of Oregon, in collaboration with the ethnohistorians and art historians who work with manuscripts in Mayan languages, this dictionary will be a continuously expanding, online, searchable, and (eventually) trilingual dictionary (Mayan-Spanish-English) that includes early (colonial) and modern Mayan (endangered) languages. Currently, our focus is Yucatec Mayan. We hope to add Ch’olan and other Mayan languages, as well, along with glyphic representations of words.
The dictionary’s databases include fields that support a wide range of orthographies and sources, so that users will most easily be able retrieve a rich array of information, including translations into various languages (all authored by native speakers) and examples of usage in excerpts from historical documents from New Spain. The dictionary incorporates vocabulary from the work of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Catholic priests, harvests terms from the recent translations of colonial manuscripts (originally written by indigenous notaries and scribes, 1540-1800), and will elicit language from modern speakers, all under the interdisciplinary guidance of scholars with specializations in linguistics, language teaching, anthropology, and history. It is our policy not to mine more than 10% of any published work of recent times without permission. The work of Latin American history Professor Matthew Restall at Penn State, is central to the harvesting we have conducted so far. We also graciously thank the additional consultants, named above, who have been so generous with their guidance.
We are also appreciative of the generosity of the Dover Press (De Landa) and AMS (Brinton, The Maya Chronicles) for the data mining we are doing in important published resources.
This multipurpose tool is intended to document and preserve language, help re-establish literacy for modern speakers, train them for professional work, and pave the way for the translation of manuscripts for the historical and cultural-heritage benefits they will offer the world. For further information, please contact: Stephanie Wood, swood (at) uoregon.edu, tel. (541) 346-5771.
The online Mayan dictionary currently owes its existence to the generosity and dedication of WHP intern Kaitlan Smith, a graduate from Oregon State University who now lives in Eugene.
We are earnestly seeking funds to expand this project and involve native speakers. We also seek the collaboration of epigraphers who would like to help us add readings and analyses of glyphs to our database.