Creating a Digital Archive of Southwest Oregon Dene Language Materials With support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) Grant (BCS-1562859), a group of researchers at NILI including Jaeci Hall, Jerome, Carson Viles, and Janne Underriner are undertaking a project to create a digital archive of Oregon Dene language materials. The project team is lucky to be working with the Myaamia Center, a tribal-university partnership dedicated to the revitalization of Miami language and culture, to develop software solutions for challenges in archival language revitalization. By bringing together linguistic analysis and digital archiving, we can provide high-quality language resources to those working in revitalization to promote language use, deepen our understanding of Oregon Dene, and re-connect descendants to their ancestors’ knowledge and words.
Nuu-da’ Mv-ne’ (Our language’s house) is a digital archive which aims to assemble publicly available Nuu-da’, or Nuu-wee-ya’ (our words), primary language resources into one location in order to facilitate further research and support ongoing language revitalization efforts. These resources cover a broad area of mutually intelligible dialects including Chetco, Upper Coquille, Tututni, Chasta Costa, Galice, Applegate, Tolowa, and others; descendants of these people are enrolled in several tribes across Oregon and northern California. The archive includes both written and audio material, and features digital surrogates of the original source material.
The team is working to further linguistic analysis of Southwest Oregon Dene to deepen understanding of dialect and mutual intelligibility, aid in deciphering non-standard orthographies, improve understanding of grammar of SW Oregon Dene, facilitate language learning in the heritage community, support community language workers by providing access to archival materials, and make materials more easily accessible to the field of Dene linguistics. Check out Nuu-da’ Mv-ne’ by going to: ildarchive.org/nuuda, and take a look at some of our in-house research on Oregon Dene by pressing the “Resources” tab above.