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Grant number: FN-50066-10

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FN-50066-10

Shelley DePaul
Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA 19081-1390)

Lenape Language Project

The Lenape tribe, indigenous to the Delaware river valley, was long ago dispersed to Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ontario, but a remnant live in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Two dialects of the Lenape language, which is part of the Algonquian family, have received the most attention from linguists. No fluent native speakers of Unami exist. Munsee still has one native speaker and a few competent second-language learners in Ontario and Wisconsin. Recent surveys among the 300+ Lenape community members in Pennsylvania indicate a widespread desire to revitalize the language and to have a reliable Lenape-language program as part of this effort. I seek a DEL fellowship to pursue three main objectives: to develop conversation-based written, audio, and online language resources, to collect and document extant language and analyze previously collected samples of language, and to continue to teach and collaborate with linguistics students at Swarthmore College and maintain work in progress with other Lenape communities. This project will help determine the extent of Lenape language survival in traditional Lenape territory and help develop new dictionary materials and annotated texts for use by scholars of Algonquian languages within and outside native communities. These will be disseminated at the Swarthmore Linguistics website and that of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania. (Edited by staff)

Project fields:
Linguistics

Program:
Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2010 – 5/31/2011