Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Published In

Electronic Lexicopgraphy In The 21st Century: Smart Lexicography: Proceedings Of The eLex 2019 Conference


Online dictionaries have become a key tool for some indigenous communities to promote and preserve their languages, often in collaboration with linguists. They can provide a pathway for crossing the digital divide and for establishing a first-ever presence on the internet. Many questions around digital lexicography have been explored, although primarily in relation to large and well-resourced languages. Lexical projects on small and under-resourced languages can provide an opportunity to examine these questions from a different perspective and to raise new questions (Mosel, 2011). In this paper, linguists, technical experts, and Zapotec language activists, who have worked together in Mexico and the United States to create a multimedia platform to showcase and preserve lexical, cultural, and environmental knowledge, share their experience and insight in creating trilingual online Talking Dictionaries in several Zapotec languages. These dictionaries sit opposite from big data mining and illustrate the value of dictionary projects based on small corpora, including having the flexibility to make design decisions to maximize community impact and elevate the status of marginalized languages.


lexicography, collaboration, endangered languages, Zapotec

Published By

Lexical Computing CZ


I. Kosem, T. Z. Kuhn, M. Correia, J. P. Ferreira, M. Jansen, I. Pereira, J. Kallas, M. Jakubíček, S. Krek, and C. Tiberius


eLex 2019

Conference Dates

October 1-3, 2019

Conference Location

Sintra, Portugal

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Included in

Linguistics Commons