Natalia Bermúdez

Faculty Photo
Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow, Instructor in Linguistics
Rosenwald 224A
(773) 702-8522
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 2018
Teaching at UChicago since 2018
Research Interests: Language Documentation and Description, Historical Linguistics

Dr. Natalia Bermúdez has extensive experience documenting indigenous languages of Latin America, primarily Chibchan languages, especially Naso (Panamá). Her current research focuses on verbal art (linguistic forms that are interpreted as salient, e.g. ideophones, puns, poetic couplets) through an intersection of humanistic, grammatical, and social perspectives. She is also interested in the multilingual expressions and experiences of Latinx and queer identities.

Recent Publications

Books:

  • Naso Cultural Encyclopedia: Nasoga Tjangyo Tjlokwo - Palabras de los sabios Naso. Volume 1: Mitología y cosmología ancestral; Volume 2: Cantos tradicionales; Volume III: Arte verbal; Volume IV: Artesanía; Volume V: Medicina tradicional. 2018.

2019-2020 Course Offerings

Verbal Arts (LING 27170) - Spring 2020

This course introduces linguistic patterns of speech play and verbal art (SPVA), including parallelism, jokes, language games, sound symbolism, puns, ideophones, poetry, and other expressive strategies. We examine how speakers of indigenous and minority languages around the world use these strategies in everyday speech, and discuss how native intuitions and interpretations of SPVA data provide a key to understanding epistemologies, social identities, power and inequalities, and language ideologies. Through a humanistic and scientific lens, we will theorize how SPVA pushes the boundaries of iconicity, creativity, and variation. The everyday use of SPVA becomes central to understanding the language, culture, society, and individual nexus.

2020-2021 Course Offerings

Field Methods I (LING 40301) - Autumn 2020

The field methods course is a two-quarter course, taken by graduate students and advanced undergraduates. (Students may elect to take the course more than once.) This course is devoted to the elicitation, transcription, organization, and analysis of linguistic data from a native speaker of a language not commonly studied. Students will also gain practical experience in the use of fieldwork equipment. Language chosen may vary from year to year.

Field Methods II (LING 40302) - Winter 2021

The field methods course is a two-quarter course, taken by graduate students and advanced undergraduates. (Students may elect to take the course more than once.) This course is devoted to the elicitation, transcription, organization, and analysis of linguistic data from a native speaker of a language not commonly studied. Students will also gain practical experience in the use of fieldwork equipment. Language chosen may vary from year to year.

Iconicity/Sound Symbolism (LING 20430/LING 30430) - Spring 2021

Course Description TBD