She received her Ph.D. in linguistics in 2006 from the University of California, Los Angeles. It was in Los Angeles that she first heard Zapotec and she has now been working on Zapotec languages for 20 years. Lillehaugen’s research profile includes technical grammatical description as well as collaborative language documentation and revitalization projects. She publishes on the grammar of Zapotec languages in both their modern and historical forms. She has found combining linguistic fieldwork with tools from the digital humanities to be a productive way to collaborate with both Zapotec speaking communities and undergraduate students. She leads several teams in developing online Talking Dictionaries for Zapotec languages, she was co-producer of the documentary web-series in Tlacochahuaya, Dizhsa Nabani – Lengua Liva – Living Language, and is co-director of Ticha, a digital text explorer for Colonial Zapotec texts.
One of her current project is a guide to reading Valley Zapotec in the Colonial era: Reading Colonial Valley Zapotec, which she hopes will facilitating wider access to these Zapotec-language historical texts. Her work has been supported by the NSF, NEH, and ACLS and was awarded the 2018 Ernest A. Lynton Faculty Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty. She enjoys speaking to diverse audiences on endangered languages, language revitalization efforts, and the importance of linguistic diversity. Follow her on Twitter: @blillehaugen.
I recognize that I live and work on Lenape land, and pay respect and honor to the caretakers of this land, from time immemorial until now, and into the future.