Documenting A’ingae: an isolate language at the Andes-Amazon interface

Documenting A’ingae: an isolate language at the Andes-Amazon interface

Part of the Critical Indigenous Studies Network events

Speaker: Scott AnderBois (Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island)

Friday 12 May 2023, 5:30pm-7:00pm

All welcome


In this talk, I present an overview of the A'ingae Language Documentation Project, a community collaborative project to document A'ingae (Cofán, ISO code: con), an isolate spoken by ~1,500 people along the Aguarico and San Miguel rivers in what is today Ecuador and Colombia. Our transnational team has made use of modern technology (e.g. the creation and use of LingView, a customizable web-based user interface for community language materials) and cutting edge language documentation (e.g. the use of digital animation) to create an extensive annotated multimedia corpus consisting of hundreds of narratives, interviews, traditional stories, and other materials collected from a diverse community of speakers. The talk will introduce the overall project and present case studies of ways our team is using these materials to produce community-oriented outcomes such as a community-based dictionary as well as addressing research questions about the grammar of A’ingae. As an understudied isolate language, A’ingae has much to teach us about cross-linguistic variation. Conversely, better understanding the grammar of A’ingae can in turn shed light on the history of the language and the complex linguistic interaction between different cultural and linguistic regions of South America.




Dr. Scott AnderBois is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) at Brown University. His research is focused on issues in semantics and pragmatics, especially those concerning non-truth conditional meanings and the way they interact with sentence type. Empirically, he explores these issues primarily through fieldwork on understudied languages, including Yucatec Maya (Mayan, Mexico), A'ingae (Isolate, Ecuador/Colombia), and Tagalog (Austronesian, Philippines). He is the co-director of the A'ingae Language Documentation Project with Wilson Silva (Arizona), a community collaborative project aiming to document A'ingae (Isolate, Ecuador/Colombia), also known as Cofán. Check out their digital corpus in progress here. Also check out a multipurpose digital corpus of Yucatec Maya, U koorpusil maaya t'aan, co-directed with Miguel Oscar Chan Dzul (Universidad de Oriente).


This talk is sponsored by the Astor Visiting Lectureship grant. For any questions about the talk, please email Daniel Altshuler (


Part of the Critical Indigenous Studies Network events.