Communicating Clearly: Native Languages in The Early American, 1967-1977
James Sarmento (Shasta) and Kristina Casper-Denman
In the late 1960s many grassroots movements sprung up in the United States in order to help re-establish cultural sovereignty and identity. One of those organizations was the California Indian Education Association (CIEA). In 1967 educators, parents and other concerned citizens banded together to introduce justice into the educational system by revamping the curriculum and including more Indigenous knowledge bases. In order to maintain communication among members, the CIEA created a newsletter known as The Early American. One of the topics discussed for many years dealt with the revitalization of Native California languages. This presentation will highlight some of the most important early language programs discussed by the CIEA in their newsletter to see how Native California Nations sought to protect their heritage languages.
Prospective Aspect in Karuk
Previous analysis of Karuk, an endangered language of Northwestern California, has treated the suffix –avish as marking future tense, along with predictable allomorphs –heesh and –eesh; however, description of –avish by Bright (1957) as a future tense is inconsistent with parameters for tense and aspect as advanced by Klein (1994) and Reed (2012). In this talk, I will demonstrate that –avish marks time relations that are typical to grammatical aspect rather than tense. I reanalyze Karuk data and show that –avish marks an aspectual time relation between time of situation and topic time, irrespective of time of utterance; furthermore, as with Klein’s (1994) definition of prospective aspect, –avish marks a topic time that precedes time of situation. Further evidence for a prospective aspect analysis includes the distribution of –avish with other tense and aspect morphemes, time adverbials, and bi-clausal constructions. An understanding of –avish as prospective aspect makes clearer its use with apparent past time references, as well as the status of other aspectual markers with strong discourse structuring functions in narratives, the primary data of Karuk linguistic documentation.