Preservation and Access: Documenting Endangered Languages - Preservation

Period of Performance

7/1/2011 - 6/30/2015

Funding Totals

$321,200.00 (approved)
$321,200.00 (awarded)

Mescalero Apache Language Project

FAIN: PD-50015-11

Mescalero Apache Tribe (Mescalero, NM 88340)
E. Scott Rushforth (Project Director: December 2010 to November 2015)

Creation of a dictionary and introductory grammar of Mescalero Apache, an Athapaskan language spoken in New Mexico, and expansion of a digital archive of recordings, transcriptions, and analyzed examples of Apache language use.

Mescalero Apache, spoken in southern New Mexico, has received scant attention from linguists, is poorly documented, and is rapidly disappearing. Ndé Bizaa, The Mescalero Apache Tribe Language Program will: (1) produce a dictionary and introductory grammar of Mescalero Apache (southern Athapaskan); and (2) expand the Language Archive by recording, transcribing, and analyzing examples of Apache language use. A database will be created to construct the dictionary and grammar. The proposed dictionary will contain approximately twenty thousand lexical items arranged in two sections: a Mescalero Apache to English dictionary and a glossary of English to Mescalero Apache. The introductory grammar will include sections on phonology, morphology, and syntax, with greatest emphasis on morphology. For the academic community, the proposed tools will provide a foundation for further linguistic study of Mescalero Apache and provide data for comparative analyses. Ndé Bizaa's experience, knowledge of linguistic work in other Athapaskan languages, and expertise in computer applications and audio-visual recording, will ensure the quality of intellectual content. For the Mescalero community, these tools will provide materials that the Tribe can use in language-planning activities, especially at the Mescalero Apache School, and provide a foundation for language revitalization.