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Grant number like: FN-50010-06

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Ellavina T. Perkins
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (Flagstaff, AZ 86004)

Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2006 – 8/31/2007

Navajo Language Investigations

This is a critical time for the Navajo language. Although most Navajo adults can at least converse in the language, very few children of pre-school age can speak the language at all. Existing reference materials in Navajo focus on its magnificently complex verbal structure. However, there is no existing reference work that exposes the range and use of possible sentence structures. Several native speakers of Navajo have obtained advanced degrees in linguistics and in recent years have brought increased momentum in theoretical and descriptive work on the grammar. However, much of it is highly technical, and a large portion is unpublished or out of print. This project will bring together insights gleaned over the years, complemented by original research to fill in the gaps, to complete a reference grammar that focuses on Navajo sentence structure. The project began with a three-year NSF grant, and this fellowship will allow the applicant, a linguist who is a native speaker of Navajo, to complete the work. (Edited by staff)