With National Science Foundation support, Dr. Amy Miller will continue research begun in 1998 on Yuma (also known as Quechan). Yuma is an endangered Native American language spoken on Fort Yuma Indian Reservation in Winterhaven, California. This project will result in language documentation of three types: a detailed dictionary comprising approximately 12,000 items; a body of texts on Yuma traditional culture published in the original language with English translation and linguistic analysis; and a pedagogical grammar suitable for teaching the Yuma language in reservation schools and in evening adult classes.
The dictionary, texts, and pedagogical grammar will serve as permanent resources for both the academic community and the Yuma people. For linguists and anthropologists, these materials will provide data on a rapidly disappearing language and culture. For Yuma people, the materials will be used in language revitalization efforts: The grammar will serve beginning and intermediate speakers; the text collection will strengthen the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge of those already fluent; and the dictionary will be useful at all levels. For future generations, these documents will serve as records of Yuma linguistic and cultural heritage.