I am a documentary linguist, with a PhD from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. I always wanted to be a librarian, and I worked in the UT Linguistics Department’s library while I was a graduate student. However, I also wanted to do work that would contribute to the preservation of the world’s endangered languages. I found the perfect marriage of these two passions at the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America, a.k.a. AILLA, where I am the now the Archives Manager. In addition to helping language documenters from all over the world to add their language data to AILLA, I also work to educate language documenters on the ins and outs of the archival side of the work. I use this website to post news about my upcoming workshops and presentations and to help publicize training materials that I have created.


I did most of my field work on Huehuetla Tepehua, a Totonac-Tepehua language spoken in Huehuetla, Hidalgo, Mexico.  This body of work consists of 4 major projects:

  1. Lexical research as part of the Project for the Documentation of the Languages of MesoAmerica (Terrence Kaufman & John Justeson, Directors) in 1999, 2000 & 2005.
  2. Grammatical research done with a Fulbright fellowship to Mexico in academic year 2000-2001.
  3. Spatial language and cognition research as part of MesoSpace (Juegen Bohnemeyer, PI) in 2008 & 2011.
  4. Olfaction research done with Carolyn O’Meara as part of Meaning, Culture, Cognition (Asifa Majid, PI) in 2014.

All of the data that I collected is archived at AILLA in 2 collections:

Download my CV: SmytheKung_cv

Photo by Mari Correa (c) 2013.