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Gary Holton
University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu, HI 96822-2247)
A shorter grammar of Eyak (ISO 693-3 eya)

Research and writing of a grammar of Eyak, a dormant Alaska Native language, accessible to both scholars and the Eyak community, to be published as a book and e-book, including illustrations and audio files.

This project will create a shorter reference grammar of Eyak (ISO 639-3 eya), a sleeping language once spoken across the Gulf Coast of Alaska from Cordova to Yakutat. Eyak plays a unique role in the linguistic prehistory of Alaska, for it is just as closely related to the neighboring Ahtna language as it is to distant Navajo in the desert Southwest US. This succinct (300-400 pages) work incorporates a modern approach to grammatical description, including links to recordings of Eyak language which illustrate the language in use. The research draws on the work of the late Michael Krauss, world renowned scholar of Eyak and Alaska Native languages, as well as a vast collection of archival recordings from three of the last speakers of the language. The resulting grammar will be a reference for linguists and other scholars, as well as anyone interested in learning the Eyak language.

Project fields:

Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Research Programs

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

Grant period:
6/1/2021 – 9/30/2022