Documentation of Ecuadorian Siona

Documentation of Ecuadorian Siona

Language: Ecuadorian Siona
Depositor: Martine Bruil
Location: Ecuador
Deposit Id: 0184
ELDP Id: IPF0211, SG0067
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit
Ecuadorian Siona [snn] is a severely endangered language that has less than 200 speakers. It is spoken in six communities in the Cuyabeno reserve and on the banks of the Aguarico in Eastern Ecuador (Lat.: -0.089607, Long.: -76.141434). Even within the under-documented Western-Tukanoan branch of the Tukanoan family, there is little existing documentation on Ecuadorian Siona, a gap that this deposit is expected to address. The corpus contains various genres, ranging from life stories traditional stories to conversations and it has a special focus on the documentation of the expression of evidentiality in the language.

This deposit is the result of the HRELP project Documenting and Describing Ecuadorian Siona.

Group represented
The Puerto Bolívar Siona & the Sototsiaya Siona

Special characteristics
The materials gathered in the period from 2010 - 2011 consist of narratives and conversations that provide interesting insights in the use of reportative evidential, assertive and interrogative morphology. The data shows that reportative, assertive and interrogative morphology is mutually exclusive. Reportative forms are mostly used in traditional stories and assertive forms are mostly use in personal narratives. The recordings also show the use of many other types of complex verb morphology.

The recording session entitled "The one from the forest" is of particular interest as it contains important switches between reportative and assertive morphology showing that the speaker witnessed some of the events and learned about the other events through someone else.

The audio recordings and pictures collected 2010-2011 contain important cultural and historical information about the Ecuadorian Siona people. The deposit contains some information about the history of the Siona villages, their way of life, modern agricultural practices, and the medicinal use of some plants.

The recordings collected in September 2012 were made in order to conduct a phonetic and phonological analysis of Siona verbs and nouns. The verbs and nouns were mostly recorded in small sentences. The recordings contain features such as the preaspiration and laryngealization of consonants and the nasal harmony.

Deposit contents
The materials consist of 64 bundles of documentation sessions each of which have been transcribed and translated into Spanish and English. There is an additional bundle containing pictures. The deposit also contains a description of the orthographies used in the documentation and as well as a story booklet which was produced with the help of the HRELP funding.

The documentation session bundles collected in the period between June 2010 and August 2011 contains narratives and conversations. The narratives include various genres such as traditional stories, descriptions of local events and local narrative-history. The documentation sessions collected in September 2012 contain elicited sentences that can be used for phonological and phonetic analysis of Ecuadorian Siona.

In addition to the deposit, extensive metadata has been included which describes the genre, topics, content, and context of the bundles. The metadata also includes the sociolinguistic background of the involved speakers.

All the audio recordings are in .WAV format, the trascriptions were done in ELAN. The orthography and the storybook are in .pdf format. The pictures are in a .jpg format.


Resources online and curated


Martine Bruil
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Affiliation: University of California, Berkeley

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2018 July 22 to 2018 July 22
Deposit hits:2
Downloaded files
Without statistics

Showing 1 - 10 of 166 Items

The speaker tells the story of two girls that are taken by an anaconda. One girl recognizes that he is a man and she survives. The other girl just sees an anaconda and she dies a horrible death.

Recorded on: 2010-09-13

The speakers talk about planting coffee and cocoa and about the maintenance of their crops.

Recorded on: 2010-11-19

The speakers tell two traditional stories together. One is about the night heron and the other about the mother of the tigers.

Recorded on: 2011-02-27

The speakers talk about the people at the three day Siona gathering in Puerto Bolívar. They have seen some Sionas from Colombia and comment on how they speak differently.

Recorded on: 2011-02-27

Alicia cuts fire wood for the preparation of përi. There is little talking in this short recording.

Recorded on: 2014-08-05

Alicia cuts fire wood for the preparation of përi. There is little talking in this short recording.

Recorded on: 2014-08-05

The speaker tells the recent history of Puerto Bolívar, focusing on the education system and the contact with non-Sionas people.

Recorded on: 2010-06-30

Recorded on: Unspecified

Recorded on: Unspecified

Recorded on: Unknown