Understanding the effects of language revitalization workshops using long-format speech environment recordings

Julia Nee


Long-format speech environment (LFSE) recordings are increasingly used to understand language acquisition among young children (Casillas & Cristia 2019). But in language revitalization, older children are sometimes the largest demographic acquiring a language. In Teotitlán del Valle, Mexico, older children have participated in Zapotec language revitalization workshops since 2017. To better understand how these children use language, and to probe whether the language workshops impact language use, I invited learners to collect LFSE recordings. This study addresses two main questions: (1) what methodological challenges emerge when children ages 6-12 collect LFSE data?; and (2) what do the data suggest about the effects of the Zapotec workshops? I argue that, while creating LFSE recordings with older children presents methodological challenges, the results are useful in highlighting the importance of not only teaching language skills, but of creating spaces where learners are comfortable using the Zapotec language.


language revitalization; natural language; daylong recordings; Zapotec

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v6i1.4967

Copyright (c) 2021 Julia Nee

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