Miskitu Language Collection of Natalia Bermúdez and Wanda Luz Waldan Peter

Colección de la Lengua Miskitu de Natalia Bermúdez y Wanda Luz Waldan Peter

Object Details

Collection LanguageMískito
Language PIDailla:119700
Title [Indigenous]Miskitu bila wahbi sakanka nani
Language of Indigenous Title
TitleMiskitu Language Collection of Natalia Bermúdez and Wanda Luz Waldan Peter
Country(ies)Nicaragua
Collector(s)Bermúdez, Natalia
Waldan Peter, Wanda Luz
Depositor(s)Bermúdez, Natalia
Project/Collector Website
Description [Indigenous]
Language of Indigenous Description
DescriptionThis project began in a graduate Field Methods linguistics course taught by Dr. Anthony Woodbury in the Fall of 2014 at UT Austin, where Wanda Luz Waldan Peter, a Miskitu speaker from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, was the language consultant. During the course, students produced a texts, a lexicon, and a grammar sketch of Miskitu. A few of the students continued working with Wanda during Spring 2015 on various topics such as language contact, syntax, and texts. The first resources in this collection (R001-R006) are the texts produced by collaboration between Wanda and Natalia Bermúdez, a student in the Linguistics Department who works on Chibchan languages and is interested in genetic and contact relationships with Misumalpan languages. The collectors envision this collection as a work-in-progress, where researchers engaged with ongoing work with Wanda at UT Austin can use and contribute to the collection.

The resources R001-R006 are accompanied by transcriptions in English and Spanish, and resources R001-R004 include interlinear glosses. R006 includes a subtitled video in Miskitu and English.

Mískitu (ISO code MIQ) is a Misumalpan language spoken by about 180,000 people who live along the Atlantic Coast, mainly in Nicaragua and Honduras. It is heavily influenced by contact with English, and to a lesser extent, with Spanish. Several other indigenous languages surrounding Miskitu-speaking areas are endangered, such as Ulwa (~350 speakers), Mayangna (~8,000 speakers), Pesh (~900 speakers), Tol (~350 speakers) and Rama (~20 speakers). Wanda explains in the texts how Miskitus have fought for their social and indigenous rights, which suggests that the vitality of Miskitus may be linked to their political activism. Other vital languages in contact with Miskitu are Garifuna (~200,000 speakers) and Nicaraguan English Creole (~30,000 speakers). Mískitu has SOV word order, nominative-accusative alignment, is predominantly head-marking, and has a complex system for marking possession on nouns.

References on the Miskitu language:

Gray, S. (1971). An introduction to Miskito grammar.
Heath, G. R. (1927). Grammar of the Miskito language. F. Lindenbein.
Salamanca, D. (1988). Elementos de gramatica del miskito (Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Martínez Webster, E. (1995). Introducción al estudio de la lengua miskita.Fondo Editorial INC/ASDI. Managua.
References