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Grant number like: FN-50023-07

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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:
9/1/2007 – 8/31/2008

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 on 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. This project will bring together insights gleaned over the years, complemented by original research, to complete a reference grammar that focuses on Navajo sentence structure. This is a proposal for a year of fellowship support to allow Dr. Ellavina Perkins to complete work on this grammar which was begun with a three-year NSF grant that is now in its final year. This reference grammar will cover traditional topics but is unusual in that it includes teachers and curriculum planners as part of its target audience along with linguists. Another unique feature of the project is the involvement of teachers and community members in the Navajo Language Academy (NLA) summer workshops. The resulting book and CD-ROM will be an important tool for educators developing more advanced language courses as well as for linguists doing pure research on the world's languages. (Edited by staff)