I have two main goals for the blog.  The first is to document my time in Oaxaca researching MacZ, in particular while I am on a fellowship awarded through the Documenting Endangered Languages program, which is administered jointly by the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities.

The second goal of the blog is to provide a venue for documenting aspects of culture that do not easily fit into a dictionary.  So, a dictionary can tell you that neeri is ‘turpentine’, but are there any cultural specific uses of ‘turpentine’ and if so, where should these be recorded?  A blog provides, I think, a good place to record this information and when applicable, I will be linking to the online, wiki-dictionary project I am currently working on.

I intend the blog to be for a general audience, with no particular training in linguistics.  Still, it should be kept in mind that I record things from my perspective, a linguist working on a contemporary language.  As such, some observations which may be new to me may be old hat to those with a greater knowledge of the history and cultures of Oaxaca.  I hope what is written here to still be of interest to such persons since I focus on a very particular place which probably has many similarities but also probably subtle differences with many other communities in Oaxaca.

For those who might be interested, the name of the blog, ‘5 Market’, is a calque of the Nahuatl name for the town Macuiltianguis (from macuil ‘five’ and tianguis ‘market’).  The Zapotec name for the town, Tagaayu’, may have a similar meaning, but it is less clear.  Gaayu’ is the MacZ word for ‘five’, but the meaning of the ta part is uncertain.


One comment

  1. Hi John! How’s Oaxaca? Just noticed your blog here. Happy New Year!


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