May 13, 2012

Chukchansi Pledges $1 Million for Language Study & Revitalization


Chukchansi Pledges $1 Million for Language Study & Revitalization

By KSEE News
May 7, 2012

The Chukchansi variety of the Yokuts language will be preserved and revitalized thanks to a $1 million gift from the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians to Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities for the Department of Linguistics.

The gift will provide funding for programs and research support to document, preserve and revitalize the Chukchansi language in collaboration with the Department of Linguistics.

Since 2009, Fresno State faculty and students have worked with native speakers to devise a writing system and start the process of developing a Chukchansi dictionary and grammar. According to Dr. Vida Samiian, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, they have established a strong foundational understanding of the complex language but there is much left to be accomplished.

“This is a rare and exciting opportunity for the students and faculty of the Department of Linguistics,” said Dr. Samiian. “We are deeply honored to support the efforts of the Chukchansi people to revitalize and preserve their unique and historically significant language.”

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