The Coeur d'Alene language is a highly endangered, under-documented, native American language that is today beginning to undergo a major revival effort. It is spoken fluently today by only a few elders of the Coeur d'Alene Reservation in northern Idaho. Due to the advanced age and small number of speakers, there is an urgent need to preserve what remains of this important part of our common American heritage.
The object of this project is to proceed toward the preservation of the Coeur d'Alene language on two fronts: one technical, the other educational. Thus, the goal of the Coeur d'Alene Dictionaries Project is to create two dictionaries of the language: a comprehensive, linguistically sophisticated, analytical dictionary and a corresponding instructional dictionary. The analytical dictionary is intended for use by linguists, anthropologists, historians, and other scholars and will include all information necessary for scholarly investigation of the language. The instructional dictionary will be designed for use by non-specialists, including high school and college students of the language, and interested members of the native and non-native communities. The dictionaries and the computer database will be available to the Coeur d'Alene language program for use in developing computer-assisted language teaching materials.