Preservation and Access: Documenting Endangered Languages - Preservation

Period of Performance

9/1/2013 - 3/31/2017

Funding Totals

$339,411.00 (approved)
$339,411.00 (awarded)

Penobscot Dictionary

FAIN: PD-50027-13

University of Maine, Orono (Orono, ME 04473-1513)
Pauleena Mary MacDougall (Project Director: January 2013 to June 2017)

Digitization of an unpublished dictionary manuscript, creation of a revised and expanded database, and preparation of a Web-based and print dictionary of Penobscot, an Algonquian language originally spoken in central and eastern Maine. Drawing on original field notes and collected texts, the project would add 30-45,000 lexical items (words, phrases, sentences, notes, and examples of usage) to the current 17,000 lexemes in the manuscript dictionary.

(edited by staff): Dr. Frank T. Siebert, Jr.'s "Penobscot Dictionary" manuscript represents more than a half-century of largely unpublished scholarship of an under-documented language. Currently, its 494 double-columned pages (approximately 17,000 lexemes) of entries in Penobscot/English format are available to tribal members and scholars only as a photocopied dot-matrix printout from the late 1980s. Working with Siebert's manuscript as a base, this project will prepare a final edited edition of the dictionary for publication with an English index, as well as a searchable database of the dictionary for the Penobscot community's electronic immersion program. Additions to the dictionary will be made from Siebert's field notes and collection of texts, which have been copied and digitized by the American Philosophical Society. A fully-edited version of the dictionary with an English index will be printed by the University of Maine Press (with funding from the Penobscot Nation).