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Anthropology Editorial Intern – Juchitán Zapotec Dictionary


Since 2003, Dr. Gabriela Pérez Báez, Curator of Linguistics (Anthropology, NMNH, Smithsonian) has documented the lexicon of Juchitán Zapotec. This is a language spoken indigenously in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico by some 70,000. Despite this robust figure, the language is vulnerable given the dramatic shift to Spanish over the last 30 years: in 21 of the 22 municipalities where the language is spoken, children are no longer learning the language. Dr. Pérez Báez seeks to complete the manuscript of the dictionary by late 2017 in order to make this resource available in support of local revitalization efforts. The Editorial Assistant would work closely with Dr. Pérez Báez to refine the Toolbox and Access documents that comprise the 10,000 entry dictionary. Attention to detail and Spanish reading skills are required. Work would be performed at the National Museum of Natural History in downtown DC during the Spring 2016 semester and can be scheduled around the assistant’s school schedule. Computer equipment will be provided on site.


This internship is suitable for advanced undergraduate students or early graduate students in Linguistics or Anthropology. Attention to detail and Spanish reading skills are required. Please submit CV and explain motivation to carry out this work.


The student will learn about the linguistic diversity in Mesoamerica and current issues related to endangered languages and language revitalizaton and reclamation; lexicography principles; documentation and lexical data management. In addition, the student will be immersed in the Recovering Voices program ( with access to seminars, public programming and a variety of collections based and field research project.


Spring 2016 semester


Gabriela Pérez Báez

Phone: 202-633-0880