IU researcher looks to save endangered language

Indiana University
(WISH file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana University researcher has won more than $250,000 in federal grants to document and preserve an endangered language that’s spoken by only a few thousand people in rural Mexico.

Linguistic anthropologist Dan Suslak will work with documentary filmmaker Ben Levine on a two-year project to document the Ayook language that’s spoken only in a mountainous region of southern Mexico’s Oaxaca state.

The university says Suslak and Levine will document the Ayook language and create an online archive of high-resolution videos with Ayook, Spanish and English subtitles.

That database will serve as a resource for Ayook speakers in the region and for scholars who are interested in studying the language and culture.

Researchers believe the Ayook language was influenced by and also influenced the Aztec and Mayan languages.

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