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Koniag Alutiiq (EMS) Orthography Project


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Society, economy and culture
Project topic
Culture & history

Project details

Science / project summary

The Koniag Alutiiq Orthography project will compile and complete existing, unpublished research to develop a stable, standardized orthography system for Kodiak Alutiiq. The PI, Dr. April Counceller of the Alutiiq Museum and University of Alaska - Kodiak College, will work with renowned Alutiiq Linguist Jeff Leer, who is recently retired from the Alaska Native Language Center at UAF. Counceller will compile Leer's previous research notes and articles on the Alutiiq writing system, collect new data from the few remaining fluent speakers (less than 50, all elderly and scattered throughout Alaska), and create a writing system book that will be accessible to heritage speakers. This data will be of great interest to language scholars developing orthographies for endangered languages and for comparative linguistics. In addition the project will create materials that this will assist in the preservation of the Alutiiq language for future heritage speakers. The project PI correctly states that this project is appropriate for RAPID funding because many factors have converged to make this project successful and timely: 1) the availability and willingness of Dr. Leer to participate; 2) the waning availability of a few fluent first-language speakers; 3) The Alaska Native Corporation, Chugachmiut's willingness to support Dr. Counceller through sharing of similar-dialect materials, and 4) the urgent need in the community for the orthography in order to produce language revitalization texts.