Elwira Dexter-Sobkowiak

a RISE COLING secondment researcher and a Ph.D. candidate at the “Artes Liberales” Faculty at the University of Warsaw. She has an M.A. in Ethnolinguistics from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and an M.A. in Language Documentation and Description from SOAS, University of London. Her doctoral dissertation is on Nahuatl and Tének, two indigenous languages of the Huasteca Potosina in Mexico, and changes in their morphosyntax resulting from contact with Spanish. Elwira’s main research interests are the Mesoamerican linguistic area and Nahuatl and Mayan languages in particular, missionary linguistics, anthropological linguistics, sociolinguistics, and the history and culture of the Huasteca region. She has experience working with the speech communities of endangered languages in Mexico (Huasteca, Milpa Alta, Tlaxcala, Sierra Norte de Puebla), on Guernsey Island, and in El Salvador. Since 2014, she has been engaged in documentation and revitalization projects in the Huasteca where she has been helping the Nahua and Tének communities by promoting indigenous language use, literacy in native languages, social justice, gender equity and sustainable development. In 2015, she received a grant from the Foundation for Endangered Languages to document the oral tradition of the Nahua people from the region of Xilitla. Elwira has been involved in several projects at the “Artes Liberales” Faculty, including: Europe and America in Contact, Engaged Humanities, and recently also LCure – Language as a Cure. As a RISE COLING researcher, she spent nine months on a secondment to Americas Research Network in Mexico where she was developing teaching materials for Nahua and Tének children in their native languages. For the summer of 2019 she was assigned a secondment to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., in order to continue her research on native American languages, promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity, and teaching methodology for endangered and minority languages.


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