Yurok Language Project Goals


We combine fieldwork with Yurok elders (recording texts, words, and grammatical information) and philological analysis of earlier fieldnotes and recordings. Through this work 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.


We bring new and older work on Yurok together into a single digital archive, incorporating material from as early as 1850 to the present day. We make such material available on this website whenever possible.


We contribute language-learning material and offer workshops for Yurok language revitalization programs. These programs include formal classes in public schools, community language classes, summer camps, and other activities sponsored by the Yurok Tribe language office and by community groups such as the Yurok Elder Wisdom Preservation Project.


Concrete short-term goals include a dictionary for use by Yurok speakers and language learners and teaching materials for use by language teachers and learners in schools. A preliminary dictionary was published in 2005, and a description of basic-level grammar in 2010. Long-term goals include a comprehensive reference grammar, a full dictionary with examples from texts, and editions of Yurok-language narrative and other prose texts. See our Publications page for a complete list of our scholarly and other publications.

Teaching, learning, and documenting Yurok

Florence Shaughnessy may have contributed more to Yurok language documentation than any other person. Not only was she a generous host to linguists from R. H. Robins in 1951, through William Bright, Howard Berman, and Paul Proulx, to Jean Perry in 1986, teaching her language and recording many texts over four decades, but she was a recognized leader and knowledgeable elder within her community.
[Photo: Diana Heberger.]