Emiliana Cruz

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Emiliana Cruz is a contemporary linguistic anthropologist. She received her doctorate in linguistic anthropology from University of Texas at Austin and currently teaches at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Much of her academic work focuses on the documentation and preservation of the Chatino languages of Oaxaca, Mexico.[1] A native speaker of Chatino, Emiliana uses anthropological methods to document naturally occurring discourse in indigenous languages.[2] Her approach recognizes the crucial role played by native speaker linguists, whom Emiliana trains to support their efforts to preserve their native languages.[3] Her anthropological work also includes the study of the relationship between language and landscape, especially in the context of language loss.[4] In linguistics, Emiliana Cruz has published papers on the complex tonal structure of Chatino languages, and has developed the San Juan Quiahije variety's alphabet. Some of the communities that Emiliana has worked in include: Santa María Yolotepec, Santa María Amialtepec, San Francisco Ixpantepec, and San José Ixtapan.

Emiliana has also been integral to the creation of pedagogical materials that will enable members of the Chatino community to preserve their language and cultural integrity, and she is the founder of The Chatino Language Documentation Project, which aims to document and revitalize Chatino languages.[5][6] She also leads an annual tone workshop for linguists.[7]


  1. ^ Cruz, Emiliana, Frida Cruz, Anthony Woodbury, Camille Woodbury. “Linguistics and language activism: A report on the Chatino Language Documentation Project.” A talk given at the Linguistics Society of Columbia, Columbia University, New York, NY. 2007.
  2. ^ “Names and Naming in Quiahije Chatino.” Symposium about Language and Society—Austin (SALSA). XVIII Annual Conference: Speech Play and Verbal Art: A Conference in Honor of Joel Sherzer. University of Texas, Austin, TX. 2010.
  3. ^ “Taller sobre tonos para lingüistas hablantes de lenguas de Mesoamérica,” Taught at the Tone Workshop for Linguists and Native Speakers of Mesoamerica, Oaxaca, Mexico, June 2012.
  4. ^ “La Geografía, la Demografía y la Vitalidad del Chatino [Geography, Demography and Language Vitality of Chatino Language].” Coloquio sobre Lenguas Otomangues y Vecinas IV: Thomas Smith Stark. Oaxaca, México. 2010.
  5. ^ http://www.lenguachatino.com/
  6. ^ “San Juan Quiahije tones: The story of the Chatino Language Documentation Project.” Symposium on Teaching and Learning Indigenous Languages of Latin America, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN. 2011.
  7. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/tallerdetonos/lecturas