This project was initiated by Dr. Richard Dauenhauer and Nora Marks Dauenhauer in the 1990s as a necessary step toward completing the Intermediate Tlingit text book. Calling the project Principal Parts, they documented 30 complete Tlingit verb paradigms which would serve as the basis for the grammar lessons in Intermediate Tlingit. In time, Principal Parts took the back burner as they completed several other important Tlingit language publications. When I arrived on the scene in search of a project and a mentor, Richard and Nora generously passed this project on to me, sharing all of their project files and data, and orienting me to their process. I am forever grateful to them for the opportunity to do this work and for their kind mentorship.
To continue this project, a grant was secured from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities through their Endangered Language Program from 2005-2008. This phase of the project involved documenting 230 more verb paradigms and was conducted through the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Funding for the next phase of the project, which resulted in the collection of another 300+ verb paradigms and the creation of this website, came from the Administration for Native Americans and was conducted through the Goldbelt Heritage Foundation in 2008-2009.
In order to document the verb
forms contained in this resource, regular meetings were held with a core group
of fluent elders in
I am in awe of these individuals for their intimate knowledge of their Tlingit language despite a history that would have it otherwise. Each of these elders brought a unique and valuable skill to the project. Words cannot express the honor and gratitude I feel for having had the opportunity to work with each of them.
Other fluent speakers have
contributed on occasion in a variety of contexts including the following:
during immersion retreats and Summer Kusteeyí Programs held by Sealaska
Heritage Institute; during my visits to
Theodore Valle Sr.
I am extremely grateful to Dr. Jeff Leer of the
It is important to note that any errors contained within this resource are my own and should not reflect on any of the individuals named above.
Support during elicitation
sessions with elders was provided by Dionne
Cadiente-Laiti and Edward Hotch of Goldbelt
Heritage Foundation and Donald Gregory of
Sealaska Heritage Institute. They provided transportation for elders,
traditionally prepared foods, and general support for every meeting. I thank
them for their important contributions and for their kind attention to elders’
needs throughout the project.
The Goldbelt Hotel provided in-kind meeting space during the 2008-2009 project year. Thanks to John Archambeau and David Hays for preparing the meeting space and for providing coffee to elders.
Dr. Alice Taff took the lead role in producing audio recordings of
fluent speakers pronouncing verb forms for a sample five verbs contained in the
resource as well as short video clips of speakers using the verbs in context. These audio and video files are uploaded to the corresponding verb entries and
serve to illustrate the vision for a resource complete with audio samples for
every verb. Hans Chester and Frederick Olsen assisted Dr. Taff in
this effort and I thank them all for their contributions. Dr. Taff
additionally provided valuable input at critical times during the project and
her support has been much appreciated.
Dr. Jordan Lachler and Sean Burke developed the font used for the Tlingit text in this resource which contains a specially designed underlined small capital letter G, making the underline much easier to read than is the case in standard fonts. I thank them for giving us permission to use this font for this project.
Jeremy Andrews of Tag1 Consulting
designed the database in which this project now resides. I am most grateful to
him for his creativity, persistence, and responsiveness in tailoring the
database to the needs of the project.
Kúnáx gunalchéesh ldakát yeewháan!