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FN-266279-19


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Analysis and Documentation of Cahto Language (ktw) Texts

Analyzing and digitizing a variety of texts (folktales and other stories, prayers, song lyrics) in Cahto, a Native American language from Northern California.

The goal of Analysis and Documentation of Cahto Language (ktw) Texts is to morphologically and syntactically analyze legacy texts in the Cahto language of Mendocino County, California (Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit family). This work will make the texts available to scholars and to the Tribe, and also provide a basis for the future creation of a reference grammar of Cahto. The twelve-month period of the fellowship will allow for analysis of at least fifteen of the Bill Ray/Pliny Earle Goddard longer texts of stories, folktales, description of folk characters and practices, and one full-length prayer (Goddard, 1909; Goddard, 1902, 1906). The applicant will also analyze a number of one- or two-line texts (song lyrics, short prayers, etc.) recorded by other researchers, primarily E. M. Loeb (1932). The applicant will systematically phonemicize the texts into the practical orthography used by the Cahto Tribe and represented in the Applicant's 2018 NEH-funded Cahto Dictionary (DEL #FN-255579-17). The text analysis will be done using the same linguistic database software (SIL's FLex/FieldWorks) that produced the Dictionary, allowing easy interlinking between dictionary entries and text examples. FLex database software is a standard platform among linguists for lexical and text documentation. Fieldwork supported by this Fellowship will link the texts, collected over a century ago, with contemporary knowledge in the community. The Applicant is already aware of versions of the stories still told in English, as well as traditional lifeways and technologies reflected in the texts that are still practiced and passed down. Documenting these connections represents a significant secondary goal of the project.

Project fields:

Program:
Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2019 – 5/31/2020