The Project

Ticha is an online, digital explorer for a corpus of Colonial Zapotec texts. (The name ticha — pronounced [ˈti.tʃə] — comes from the Colonial Valley Zapotec word for 'word', which can also mean 'language' and 'text'.) Zapotec languages are indigenous to Mexico. There is a large corpus of alphabetic texts written in Zapotec languages, the earliest dated to 1565 (Oudijk 2008:230). Reading and interpreting these colonial documents can be extremely difficult because of the challenges of early Zapotec orthography, vocabulary, grammar, and printing conventions, yet the documents contain rich linguistic, historical, and anthropological information.

Ticha allows users to access and explore many interlinked layers of these texts, including images of the original documents, transcriptions, translations into English and modern Spanish, linguistic analysis (including morphological interlinearization), and commentary. Ticha is innovative in bringing together data analyzed in FLEx (Fieldworks Language Explorer) a system for lexical and grammatical analysis, with current TEI standards (Text Encoding Initiative) for paleographic and translational representations of texts. Ticha seeks to make this corpus of Colonial Zapotec texts accessible to scholars in diverse fields (including linguistics, anthropology, and history), Zapotec community members, and the general public.


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Lillehaugen, Brook Danielle, George Aaron Broadwell, Laurie Allen, and Michel R. Oudijk. 2015. Archives, morphological analysis, and XML encoding: interdisciplinary methods in the creation of a digital text explorer for Colonial Zapotec manuscripts. Presented at Humanidades Digitales Hispánicas II: Congreso Internacional. Innovación, globalización e impacto, Madrid. [Slides PDF]

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Allen, Laurie, Brook Danielle Lillehaugen, George Aaron Broadwell, Michel R. Oudijk, & Mike Zarafonetis. 2016. Ticha: The Story of an International, Community Engaged, Digital Humanities Project. Keystone DH, Pittsburgh. [Slides PDF]

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Lillehaugen, Brook Danielle, George Aaron Broadwell, Michel R. Oudijk, Laurie Allen, Michael Zarafonetis & May Helena Plumb. 2016. Humanidades digitales multilingual y multicultural: el caso de Ticha, un explorador digital de texto para el zapoteco colonial. 3er Encuentro de Humanistas Digitales, Mexico City. Online: [Slides PDF]