Jean Léo Léonard, Vittorio Dell’Aquila, Antonella Gaillard-Corvaglia
March 13, 2012
Mazatec (Popolocan, Eastern Otomanguean) became world-renowned following an article by Pike & Pike (1947) and the famous chapter VIII in Pike (1948) on the Huautla variety, which inspired several other seminal studies by Bull (1984), Kirk (1966), Jamieson (1988, 1996), and more recently by Steriade, Golston & Kehrein (1998, 2004), Silverman et al. (1995) on this extremely relevant language as far as phonological typology is concerned. However the early monographs and sketches, which have had a major impact on modern linguistics (laying the premises for the syllabic constituency theory, the theory of tones and tone sandhi as well as their functions in inflectional systems), only take into account a minute proportion of this language’s inner diversity. The ALMaz project is an attempt to both revisit second-hand data on Mazatec varieties all over the area where it is densely spoken (especially using Kirk 1966 lists of over 700 cognates as a data base), and to gather and process new data on Mazatec diatopic and diastratic variation, using computational geolinguistics.