FEL 2020 grant: Development of Northern Pomo language revitalization camps

This post is the first in a series on the grants awarded by FEL for 2020.

Overview. This project focuses on the development of Northern Pomo language revitalization camps in order to expand efforts to revitalize what is now a dormant language that was traditionally spoken north of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding Clear Lake in northern California . Although the last speaker passed away in 2005, there is still a community who identifies with the language and wishes to learn and revitalize it. However, given the lack of speakers, documentation records, such as audio recordings, play an even more central role in the process of language revitalization. There are four main foci of this project, which are informed by our past endeavors: (1) developing activities and games for all ages, ranging from younger children to Elders, (2) integrating digital technology in effective and appropriate ways, (3) incorporating traditional stories and texts into language revitalization, and (4) exploring the effects of the language revitalization camps.

Grantee: The project is led by Edwin Ko.

Edwin is a Linguistics Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley with a Designated Emphasis (equivalent to a minor) in Language Revitalization. His research focuses on Northern Pomo and Crow, which are indigenous languages of California and Montana. He also serves as a co-organizer of Berkeley’s Fieldwork Forum and the 40th Siouan and Caddoan Languages Conference, and as a Graduate Research Associate at Berkeley’s Social Science Matrix.