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Grant number like: FN-260674-18

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Timothy J. Thornes
Boise State University (Boise, ID 83725-0001)

Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2018 – 3/31/2019

Wadateka'a Nadeguyengana: Harney Valley Paiute Stories

Research and analysis in preparation of a book of Northern Paiute folktales and autobiographical narratives that document the language and history of the Wadateka’a in Harney Valley, Oregon.

The Wadateka'a Nadeguyengana: Harney Valley Paiute Stories project involves the preparation of recorded narratives in the Northern Paiute language (categorized as Western Numic, Uto-Aztecan) as spoken by a few remaining speakers on the Burns Paiute reservation in Harney Valley, Oregon. The present-day community is part of the band known as the Wadateka'a (seepweed seed-eaters). The goal of the project is to complete the thorough transcription, analysis and translation of more than 70 narratives of various genres for publication as a book. As a critically endangered language, such material in Northern Paiute is not widely available. The final product will include supplemental material in the form of basic grammatical information, a detailed description of the writing system, and photos, maps, and drawings. The selection and vetting of the material by the community is ongoing, as feedback has already been solicited and received on draft portions modeled upon what will be the final product. The publication will serve both the field of linguistics and the various communities that identify the language as a fundamental part of their cultural heritage. Tribes are interested in capturing elements of history that take the perspective of the community more fully into account. Such history, in the form of folktales and legends as well as ethno-historical and autobiographical narrative in the indigenous language, is invaluable to the task of reclaiming and asserting that perspective. (Edited by staff)