Survey projects

A variety of language programs and projects are sponsored by the Survey itself and by Berkeley faculty and students affiliated with the Survey. Some of these activities are listed here.

Breath of Life

2004 Breath of Life Workshop
2004 Breath of Life Workshop (photo: Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival)

June 12-18, 2016

The Breath of Life Workshop is a biennial workshop sponsored by the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival and the University of California, Berkeley, for California Indians whose languages have no fluent speakers. The goal is for the participants to access, understand, and do research on materials on their languages, and to use them for language revitalization. The participants create language projects based on those materials that they report on publicly at the end of the week. Each language group is assisted by a faculty or graduate student linguistic mentor.

The aims of the Breath of Life workshop are:

  • to guide participants to the university resources available for their use;
  • to help the participants identify and locate the published and unpublished notes and audio recordings made by linguists and anthropologists on their languages;
  • for participants to learn the fundamentals of linguistic analysis, including how to read phonetic writing; and
  • for participants to learn how to use linguistic resources to create language restoration materials.

For more details about Breath of Life, visit the website of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival:

Karuk Dictionary and Text Corpus

Clare Sandy, Charlie Thom, Erik Maier, Florrine Super (photo: A. Garrett)


Karuk is an isolate within the Hokan language phylum, traditionally spoken along the middle Klamath River in northern California. Together with many students over the years, currently including Erik Maier, Karie Moorman, and Clare Sandy, and in collaboration with the Karuk Tribe and members of the Karuk community, Ararahih'urípih was created and is maintained by Andrew Garrett and Line Mikkelsen. This is a database and website that presents an integrated lexicon (with over 7,000 entries) and morphologically tagged text corpus (with over 24,000 words in over 6,000 clauses). Associated project activities include language documentation with first-language speakers of Karuk, linguistic analysis, preparation of pedagogical materials, and support of community language activities and language teaching.


Yurok Language Project

2006 Yurok Language Camp, Tuley Creek
Yurok Language Camp, Tuley Creek, CA 2006 (photo: A. Garrett)


Yurok Yurok is a language of northwestern California spoken by young language learners and still known by one or two elder first-language speakers. The Yurok Language Project has engaged in fieldwork with Yurok elders, philological analysis of earlier fieldnotes and recordings, and active participation in language revitalization programs (in the community and area schools). We seek to develop a Yurok documentary corpus that is as comprehensive as possible and contributes as much as possible to understanding the complexities of the Yurok language. In 2005, we published a Preliminary Yurok Dictionary, compiled from published sources, legacy field data, and our new field data; its contents are continuously revised and updated in our online lexicon. We also continue to develop a text corpus (with over 5000 sentences), electronically linked with the online lexicon, in which recordings of most sentences or texts can be heard online. In 2014 a book Basic Yurok was published, aimed at teachers and advanced learners; we participate in regular Yurok grammar workshops during the academic year and in the annual summer Yurok Language Institute sponsored by the Yurok Tribe.