Thursday, August 30, 2007

Some thoughts

I think it's important to be very explicit in demarcating the authority, the force, and the role of a linguists in Indian Country. Before assuming that linguits and various consultants can answer all questions related to language (commerce, economy, history, public opinion), it's important to understand their role in answering the big questions. I think everyone is a little uncertain of where to go from here? What even happened to this language? The linguists asks questions like, "How many people speak it." The community should ask the complimentary question, "Why didn't you ever learn from your grandma this language?" The Applied Linguistics Journal as an excellent work on understanding the Auto-biographical Narrative.

In terms of placing this documentation grant in focus-we cannot rely merely on texual interpretation of previous linguists, nor wait for the action of external consultants. That helps understand the raw phonetics but excludes the most important element: the people.

It's perfectly sensible to want to fill the ambiguities,and gaps in knowledge (and manpower) with any helping support available, from Chico or elsewhere. I think it's worth mentioning that we are serving a role to the community. And we need to hear their voice.

Principal Investigators

Yes, Dr. Sara Trechter. She is also a North American indigenous languages expert, but her specific area is the midwest. She expressed an interest in working on Concow. She's read Ultan's disertation and knows what I'm doing at the Rancheria. Her email is and her phone number is 898-5447. Her office hours are MW 12 to 1:40 and her office is #135 in Siskyou Hall (the stubby little building with the giant satelitte dish behind the Library). She may no respond immediately as our next classes will be next Wednesday due to the holiday Monday, but they often answer email quickly. I'd already mentioned you might want to contact her. I'm in her Phonology class.

I will copy the video shortly, I've had an interesting last cuple of days, so am a bit behind.

I went to the Senior Nutrition Center today but missed Vergil Logan. Apparently he's been ill for the last week, so I'm trying to catch him at home by phone first.

The Language question as to whether Concow and Mountain Maidu are in fact separate languages got an interesting responce from Dr Trechter after class today. She noted that the perception of them as separate languages is enough to make one see them that way. After all, just as we still call an Irish Brouge English although it isn't by "linguistic rules" doesn't make it still English to the speaker -- and the reverse applies as well. Besides, as I noted too, -- maybe seeing them as two languages rather than two dialects of one will encourage interest and people will save both. Southern Maidu is CLEARLY separate tho.

About the Nisean published work, it was by Andrew Eatough and published through the University of California Publications in Linguistics, Volume 132, published in 1967 and titled: Central Hill Nisenan Texts with Grammatical Sketch. It was dedicated to Lizzie Enos, and important Niseenan speaking consultant and to RIchard Alan Smith -- one of Bill Shipley's students who did the original study and the disertation on Nisenan, but died before publishing his work. So apparently Eatough did it.

My supervising professor, Dr David Eaton, is very excited that I can be of assistance in your work on the grant and wants me to keep him informed. He also mentioned that if I thought the work was going a little slow on organizing materials we might bring in another intern who was a faster typist than me (I'm far too well known for my slow typing but excellent analysis) so I can concentrate on the actual material organization an assimilation into a usable unit. There are few intership opportunities for cultural anthropology, and several students sometimes need intership units for professional certificates. Good for them, good for the work. If you think this is a good idea, that is. No one is asking yet, but a lot of students are interested in what I'm working on. He also wanted us to work up a list of expectations for this semesters work, as we considered on Tuesday. Something short, he said. BTW, you'll really like him, he's a soft spoken, but incredibly sweet man with one of the sharpest minds I've ever seen, and he's in the company of many other sharp minds who say the same about him. Sara is also terrific, and funny to boot. I have found them both approachable and very easy to work with, as they are helpful whenever possible and just plain nice. Eaton's specialty is Sub-Saharan Africa, and he is fluent in Swahili.

If you can't tell, I'm happy to be back in class! :D The summer was long and difficult.

See you this morning!



Ella Thurgood is also very good, I had a class from her and two from her husband. She is someone with a tremendous amount of insight as well. If she is willing to help, this will be a happenin' thing! Her husband, Graham is actually on the International Endangered Languages Board, and is good at giving practical advice on how to get these grants. We had a very productive discussion last semester about the process. You can mention me to both of them, they know me (and even still like me:D).

Are you referring to Coco? Regardless of whether I'm right on this, this is a VERY good thing, and Coco is a great person. This all seems to be good news!

Who is Joel's relative? The more teachers the better...


1 I suggest you include video recording in your discription of formats, as I know most of my direct consultant fieldwork, of which copies will be made immediately for archive at the Rancheria, will be done with my own digital video camera. It is a 3ccd chip camera with separate audio in for enhanced audio quality -- this way we can get metalanguage (non-verbal) as well as spoken language cues and understanding. It should really help the cause and it is the format I'm most used to working in. It is transcribable, too, just like any other digital audio recording!

2. Clarify the Northeatern Maidu material is also being digitized by stateing that it is to be used in particular to bolster the understanding of the similaities and differences these two possess as NE Maidu is the language most simlar to Concow in every way, and possesses much more scholarly attention that is transferrable to learners of Concow as well.

3. Overall, I think this is excellent as it sits, but I hope my suggestions are a help.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Langauge Revitalization: An Overview, L. Hinton

Step 1: Which resources are available on the language? What are the attitudes of speakers and non-speakers toward language revitalization? What are realistic goals for language revitalization in this community?

Step 2: If the language has no speakers: Use available materials to reconstruct the language and develop language pedagogy.

Step 3. If the language has only elderly speakers: Document the language of the elderly speakers. (This may also take place at the same time as other steps.)

Step 4: Develop a second-language learning program for adults. These professional-age and parent-age adult second-language learners will be important leaders in later steps.

Step 5. Redevelop or enhance cultural practices that support and encourage use of the endangered language at home and in public by first-and second-language speakers.

Step 6. Develop intensive second-langage programs for children, preferaby with a component in the schools. When possible, use the endangered langauge as the langauge of instruction.

Step 7. Use the language at home as the primary language of communication, so that it becomes the first language of young children. Develop classes and support groups for parents to assist them in the transition.

Step 8. Expand the use of the indigenous language into broader local domains, including community government, media, local commerce, and so on.

Step 9. Where possible, expand the language domains outside of the local community and into the broader population to promote the language as one of the wider communication, regional or national government, and so on.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Notice about Intellectual Merit

Subject: Merit Review Criteria

Merit review is a critical component of the National Science Foundation’s decision-making process for funding research and education projects. Two years ago, NSF announced changes in its merit review criteria (Important Notice No. 121, New Criteria for NSF Proposals, July 10, 1997). The changes reflected extensive analysis and discussion, with community input. Recommendations were considered to simplify the merit review criteria and harmonize them with the NSF strategic plan, in order to weigh a proposal’s technical merit, creativity, educational impact and its potential benefits to society. This process resulted in the two criteria now in effect, which address the intellectual merit of the proposed activity and its broader impacts.

We want to ensure that the criterion relating to broader impacts is considered and addressed in the preparation and review of proposals submitted to NSF. We encourage you to emphasize within your organization the importance of both criteria -- to principal investigators who are developing and submitting proposals as well as to those who may serve as proposal reviewers. At the same time, we will continue to strengthen NSF’s internal processes to ensure that both criteria are appropriately addressed when making funding decisions.

Through use of rigorous, competitive merit review, NSF maintains high standards of excellence and accountability. It enables investments in projects that couple the best ideas from the most capable researchers and educators, with the advancement of discovery and learning and the enrichment of science and engineering resources. The full text of the two merit review criteria and supporting explanations, from the upcoming revision to the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (NSF 00-2), are provided in the attachment. We appreciate your assistance in conveying the importance of both intellectual merit and broader impacts of research and education activities.

Rita R. Colwell

Intellectual Merit Focus

Intellectual Merit:

i. How good and important is the idea? Dialect differences between original field work was

ii. Advance knowledge and understanding in own field and across fields?

iii. Creative and original?

iv. Significant?

v. How likely is project to succeed?

vi. Qualification of proposers to conduct project?

vii. How well-conceived and well-organized is the proposed activity?

viii. Access to sufficient resources?

This section should describe:
i.the scientific significance of the work:
ii. relationship including its relationship to other current research, and the design of the project in sufficient detail
to permit evaluation.

iii. It should also present and interpret progress to date if the research is already underway.

Essential Books, Self-Directed Websites

Hey Julie,

I hope the best health to everyone at Mooretown. I am writing down all my actions on this website. Prior to our phone call last week, I  had contacted linguist-activist "Wayne" from the M.I.T. graduate program in advanced linguistics. As you may or may not recall, I have never held the highest esteem for using cell phones, but this personal choice has greatly limited my options in regard to this project. In any case, I ended up calling this soft-spoken professor from a pay phone. We both laughed at the situation , but he's incredibly light-hearted, and carries himself over the phone as good-natured.(Contrast him to the pretentious DEL Reps from Washington) He's currently working as an adviser to a member from a tribe in Southern CA. I really want to learn the revitalization process from someone who's an expert, but also someone who's sympathetic to the historical context in California. Over the course of our 15-minute conversation, he had asked questions mostly practical in nature, about our current grant; leaving most of the talking to me. I explained our approach as: 1) first shoot for documentation, before moving forward to our final goal of complete revitalization. He "would like to help us out." In any case, in about a month or so, I'd like to send any work produced on this subject. I'll also submit our background experience in linguistics/research to give him an understanding of our level of development. I am seriously considering applying under his leadership as a graduate student.

His two recommendations:
Find this book, study this book, understand this book.

The green book of language revitalization in practice / edited by Leanne Hinton and Ken Hale
San Diego : Academic Press, c2001
xvi, 450 p. : ill. ; 29 cm

Mooretown Rancheria should add a copy to their library, it could be the first starting place for for any tribal council members interested in knowing our influences/ process. Amazon has 1 used copy for $40. I'm checking a copy from the library at Brown. I tried locating you a copy within a 60mile radius, unfortunately Chico State lacks this resource.

And here's the second recommendation, a website publication list:

I'll be reading over the Green Book over the next few days.

Video reference


Can you “rip off a copy” of the video you referred to in your email. The grant requires that works be cited with references both in the body of the narrative and as part of a references page. Since that one is houses at a University library I can review it and find a good reference to use for the DEL grant. Also, I took the liberty of forwarding your email to Joel Parker, a member of Mooretown Rancheria. He posted it to his blog. You can access the blog and post things, if you’d like.

I really need your help, whenever you can get here. I am doing a LOT of research just to find years, dates, etc. You might have access or personal knowledge for things I do not.

Julie McIntosh, Tribal Administrator
Mooretown Rancheria

Friday, August 24, 2007

Updated version of grant


Please locate the SRO information to make yourself and SRO. If you want to add something to the grant, post it here, or email an attached word document that I can cut and paste into the grant application.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Program Contacts

Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL)


Name Email Phone Room
Douglas Whalen (703) 292-7321
Joan Maling (703) 292-8046 995 N
Anna Kerttula (703) 292-7432 755 S

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Contact List

*DEL Program Representative in Washington
James Herbert, NSF
(703) 292-8600

"For applicants to all programs Request reviewers' critiques in writing if rejected. Reapply if rejected. Humanists are too easily discouraged. Work with the project rep in developing the project (for programs other than individual fellowships). The reps will assist in the revision and resubmission process for projects that are not successful the first time. Often the exchange can be accomplished via e-mail. "Keep coming back." "

Andrew Garrett
UC Berkeley Linguistics Director

Phone: 510-643-7524
Fax: 510-643-5688

Held conversation w/ Joel Parker on August 22n'd at 2:00 PM.
Conversation Highlighted:
*Explained retrieval process at UC Berkeley
*Described UC Library Infrastructure
*Recommended listing materials before we arrive
*Supplied Native American Bibliography Website
*Explained Dissertation Retrieval Process

Bill Beeman,
World-Famous Linguist
Anthropologist/Linguist @ Brown University
Tel: (612) 624-8990
Office: (612) 625-3400
Fax: (401) 633-6398

*Offered Joel, while at Brown, his helping hand on a future Endangered Language Program.

Smithsonian Global Sound
600 Maryland Ave. S.W. Suite 2001
Washington, DC 20560-0520
Office: 202-633-6460
Fax: 202-633-6474

Dear Joel,
Thank you for your interest in Smithsonian Global Sound. We are a small office and rely on intern support in web design, ethnomusicology research and cataloguing, and marketing. If you are interested in these areas and can think of a way your studies may intersect with our needs, please send a resume and cover letter to me at We require interns to work in the Washignton, D.C., office for a minimum of 20 hours a week for three months. Also, there may be people at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian working on similar projects with more direct research and outreach into the communities with which you wish to work. Perhaps there is opportunity for internship there that could collaborate with Smithsonian Global Sound.

Amy Schriefer
Production Manager
Smithsonian Global Sound

Farrell Cunningham

Maidu Teacher for Susanville

Friend of the family, helpful.
530- 394-7868
(Availability after 7:00 PM PST)

Conversation Highlights
*Member of Mooretown
*Susanville supports a Maidu Language Commission, Unified Language between Tribes
*Recommends Children-mentor program
*Passion for plant protection, emphasis on Exploration of the Woods
*Briefly described efforts to overcome his students jaded attitude
*Interested in future Collaboration w/ Mooretown

Andrew Ross
Director of Language Resource Center, Brown University
Tel. (401) 863-7010

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Concow Language, Annette De Brotherton

The short answer to your question is that to the best of my knowledge, there has never been a Concow speakers language survey undertaken, although there really needs to be one. This would be a valuable thing to include in your grant proposal, and if you would like, I can put a survey form together and see if we can get cooperation from the other tribes to have their members complete it as well, the education coordinators would be the best entry for this. Concow has never had any real and comprehensive resource mapping done, and it is a necessary step before any real recovery efforts can succeed. Lori Frazier got some ANA grants in the past for this, but there were some "difficulties" from what I heard. The other tribes haven't undertaken anything comprehensive, and most have done nothing at all. There have been no additional studies on Concow since Ultan in the 60's, and so there is nothing available from the academic community at this time either.

I could do this, as another component of my internship time, if you like. There may be some costs/expenses inherent from the survey process itself which would be reasonable to look for funding for in the grant you are currently working on. The forms are relatively simple, and the tribes each have their own processes for motivating their members to provide the information. It might even lead to some pleasant surprises. It would be nice to be able to identify some additional resources that are as yet unknown.

Now for the long answer:
There was a video of the first Concow Language Conference that had all but one of the speakers still alive at the time up on a panel with Bill Shipley. The only other one (full language) was Jack Johnson, and there are some other partial language speakers which help on some language development as well, and these include Adrian Smith, Paul Cason and (unfortunately :D) Wayne Nine, the three who organized the conference. Most of the the full speakers at that conference are no longer alive, but the still living ones included Virgil Logan, Franklin Martin, and Jack Johnson (of course). Paul was very marginal as a language speaker. Adrian is inflexible at times to work with although he is at least educated (he has a BA in Sociology and was a grad studnet when he quit, but that was back in the late 60's), and you know what Wayne is like.

Franlin Martin is deaf, and so it is difficult for him to be helpful, Virgil is good and has experience in language classes, and Jack has the best command of the language but has the fewest tools as an educator (not that he wouldn't be a good one with some support services). There are also a small number of Concow speakers in Round Valley who might be helpful, but there is a history of problems between people here and in Round Valley. A few years back Lori Frazier brought some of the Lincoln family over to help with Mooretown's very active language program at the time and evidentally they stole language materials and tapes generated by the project and took them back home for their own program - or so Lori told me at the time (this was one of the ANA "difficulties" I mentioned earlier). Regardless there is some serious bad blood there.

Even so, there might be some documentation generated by them in relation to language survey information as a result of their own programs. Another person making an inquiry might garner results (any one but Lori, specifically). Although Adrian has, in fact, asked repeatedly that a language survey be undertaken, one has not occured by any of the Concow language speaking tribes in Butte County to the best of my knowledge at this time. It would be a good thing to do, as it would provide the documentation you need now, and is a reasonable thing to ask for in your current grant request to clarify the language's current resource map. The video itself can be accessed and I could submit an affidavit to it's content if that will help. It is currently housed at the CSUC Merrium Library Special Collections, and I have copies. I have been slowly working on enhancing it for more usability as a language tool, but would rip off a quick copy if it would benefit you.

Additionally, there have been some individuals building language skills for their own edification that I know of. None of them are at any level of fluency, but some do have enough skills to expect they could help in a developing language program with young people. One example here is Eric Josephson's wife Kate. She isn't Concow in any way, but is very interested in the language and attended the Berkeley Summer seminar native languages program on behalf of the Konkow Valley Band of Maidu along with their chair, Patsy Seek. Patsy can't keep any of the language material in her head, no matter how she tries (and she does) but Kate shows a real talent. She also works well with kids. There are also people who have worked on the language classes over the years as part language speakers. These are also resources for a language program depending on their ability to work with other (younger) learners. One of my own suggestions for the future would have been to look into developing teen learners as coaches for the little ones. They are not only effective assistants in the learning processes of the pre-schoolers, but it helps develop their skills as well.

So, to summerize: as it stands we have 2 full speakers, one severely disabled full speaker, 3-4 nominal part to nearly fluent speakers, and an unknown number of very low level part speakers. This needs verification, however, and I'm hoping the verification process gives us a few surprises. There are also always the Round Valley Concow, as well. They are unknown to us, but they may have done their own documentation process. We won't know till we ask them.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Concow Survey

  1. Member Support

List of Alternative Grants

The guidance and application and referee forms for the FTG grants should be used for either a deadline of 2nd January 2008 for projects starting between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2009 or a deadline of 12th May 2008 for projects starting between 1st August 2008 and 31st July 2009. Indicate on the forms which round you are applying for.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

NSF Outline

In general, the Project Description should indicate:
i. work to be undertaken
ii. methodologies to be employed
iii. schedule according to which the work will be carried out
vi. roles and qualifications of the project participants

In addressing the intellectual merit criterion:
i. discuss the degree of endangerment of the language(s) to be documented:
ii. the urgency of the need for documentation:

Describe the
level, quality, and accessibility of any existing documentation of the language(s).

Discuss any special linguistic, historical,

cognitive, cultural, or social significance of the language(s).

Discuss plans for archiving recordings, field notes, and processed documentary materials in a stable environment.

In discussing methods to be employed in recording, documenting, and archiving the endangered language(s), include reference to current statements of
best practices (e.g. Bird and Simons, 2003; E-MELD; "Methodology and Standards" statements of the NEH Preservation and
Access Division).

a. Discuss aspects of the project that will ensure interoperability with related materials.

In addressing the broader impacts criterion, including the relevant considerations in Section VI. A. (below), discuss also collaboration and other arrangements made with the speaker community.

i. Berry Creek
ii. Susanville
iii. Round Valley
Iv. Enterprise
v. Machoopa
vi. Enterprise

Discussion may include reference to the training of native speakers in the practice of linguistics and to the production of resources useful to the community of native speakers.

Joel Parker

Brown Univeristy

Language Bibliography