With National Science Foundation support, Dr. Mary S. Linn will spend three years collecting Euchee (Yuchi) words and texts and entering the information into a database. The Native American language Euchee is a genetic isolate that was originally spoken in the Southeast. In 1832, the Euchee were removed to Oklahoma, where the tribe of approximately 2,500 people lives today. Only 12 elders continue to speak the language. This project will have two major results. It will produce the first dictionary of the Euchee language, containing approximately 6,000 entries, and providing reliable spellings, grammatical analyses, and example sentences for each word, along with an English-Euchee finder, drawings of culturally specific terms, and full conjugations for verbs. The project will also create a database of Euchee texts, which will provide the most significant resource for future work on Euchee grammar, discourse analysis, folklore and mythology.
This project will contribute significantly to the Euchee language and revitalization programs. The dictionary will provide a much-needed tool for teachers and language learners. The database and its sound files can create supplementary learner's dictionaries, CD dictionaries and teaching materials, and Euchee literature. The dictionary and database will add to the growing resources for researchers interested in historical and comparative studies of the indigenous languages of the Southeast, and it will be the main resource for investigating possible distant genetic relationships to Euchee. The project will also be of interest to researchers working in linguistic typology, ethnohistory, folklore, and anthropology.