The objective of this project is to document and analyze, from an acoustic perspective, the sound system of Shipibo-Conibo, an endangered Amazonian language indigenous to Peru. Shipibo has long puzzled linguists because of the ways its consonants and vowels interact with other aspects of the language (in particular, its prosody and morphology). Besides the study of vowels and consonants, this project will provide a detailed characterization of the intonational patterns of Shipibo as well as an acoustic examination of the phenomenon of nasalization. The results obtained will allow for a much better understanding of how human languages vary cross-linguistically. In addition to the dissemination of the results through publications, a substantial amount of high quality digital audio recordings will be made available to the wider linguistic community through the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (www.ailla.utexas.org/).
A key element in the project is the educational potential it will yield. The project interweaves its research objectives with the training of graduate students, undergraduate students, and the collaboration of Shipibo native speakers in recording, analyzing and publishing the data. Part of the project includes the production of a bilingual (Spanish-Shipibo) children's book, the creation of which involves three generations of the Shipibo community. One of the aims of the children's book is to facilitate ways in which the Shipibo can participate in the conservation of their linguistic heritage.
The objective of this project was to document and analyze, from an acoustic perspective, the sound system of Shipibo-Konibo, an endangered Amazonian language indigenous to Peru. This project has provided a detailed characterization of its vowels and consonants. In addition to the current dissemination of the results through publications, workshops and talks, a substantial amount of digital audio recordings have been collected, the vast majority were transcribed using PRAAT textgrids, thus increasing their usefulness to the wider linguistic community. The data collected bring together for the first time reliable, high quality digitally recorded speech data related to the segmental inventory of Shipibo-Konibo, its intonational patterns, and the ways in which its suffixes interact with its stress system. The project also used oral/nasal airflow measurement equipment to provide extremely precise data on the nasal characteristics of this endangered language.A key element in the project was the educational potential it yielded. The project provided opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in the USA, Colombia and Peru to be trained in acoustic documentation techniques as well as learning about the intricacies of an Amazonian language. The project funded one MA student at SUNY Stony Brook. The PI also undertook three workshops open to linguists and students on the latest acoustic phonetic documentation techniques. The laboratory associated with the project has enhanced the teaching and training of graduate and undergraduate students at SUNY Stony Brook. The project also interweaved its research objectives with the training of graduate students, undergraduate students, and the collaboration of Shipibo native speakers in recording, analyzing and publishing the data. Part of the project included the production of a bilingual (Spanish-Shipibo) children's book, entitled Xoke, the creation of which involved three generations of the Shipibo community. One of the aims of the children's book was to facilitate ways in which the Shipibo can participate in the conservation of their linguistic heritage, and improve the general standing of Shipibo within Peruvian society. As part of the project, Shipibo artists conducted workshops in which they showcased their skills to younger members of the Shipibo community in Lima. Social networks were used to increase the impact of this community-based component of the project. The storybook was projected in digital form on several occasions to children in the Shipibo communities of Nuevo Ahuaypa, Nuevo Samaria, Vista Alegre de Iparía and Puerto Belén in Ucayali, Peru. Reading workshops were also conducted by the project, associated with the bilingual storybook