Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
State University of New York at Potsdam


chol gesture

For my dissertation research I analyzed the relationship among linguistic, conceptual, and cultural notions of time through ethnographic observation of spoken interactions in Chol Maya, and especially through analysis of the spontaneous gestures which are produced during such interactions. 

In order to study temporal gesture I created a database for coding and analyzing the speech and gesture of Chol Maya monolingual speakers. The database was developed as an interactive tool for the study of multimodal communication, and it is also a digital repository for the archive and preservation of Chol language and culture.

The data were collected between the years 2009 and 2010, in Chiapas, México. There are two main varieties of Chol: Tila Chol and Tumbalá Chol. Most speakers in this database are monolingual speakers of the Tilec variety of Chol, but the sample also includes a monolingual speaker of Tumbaltec Chol. 

Click here to watch a presentation on my research (Spanish, Encuentros virtuales de metodología cualitativa).

Click here to listen a podcast about this database (English, Scholar's Lab presentation, University of Virginia) 

I am now planning new research that explores the effects of bilingualism and literacy on thought. In my new project I examine the gestures of Chol community-members who participate fully in Chol cultural life, but who also speak Spanish, a tensed language. I plan to compare my existing data from non-literate monolingual speakers of Chol with two different additional groups: bilingual speakers of Chol-Spanish who are non-literate, and bilingual speakers of Chol-Spanish who have attended school and are literate.

2019 © Copyright. Lydia Rodríguez