Sally Anderson Portfolio


Cahto & Eel River Athabaskan Project

I have been engaged in working avocationally on the Cahto language and its closest relatives in the Eel River group of California Athabaskan for almost 20 years. All of this has been in my own time, without funding, and, consequently, without the ability to dedicate more than spare-time hours to documentation, content development, and website upkeep. The full California Athabaskan Website includes a very powerful interim dictionary database which features selection of multiple fields, many options, perl regular expressions, etc., but is not very pretty or user-friendly. The website also offers a number of varied pedagogical and language-documenting materials, many of them as samples or proofs-of-concept. A number of links and materials are now broken as various pages, images, software, and even platforms have gone obsolete or been moved, leaving the whole site in dire need of a full and time-consuming overhaul. Below are samples for a more user-friendly and typical dictionary along with some of the highlights of the website materials.

Cahto Dictionary print sample: two pages of relatively filled out entries for what would end up as a 150 to 200 page practical/learners' dictionary of around 2500 headwords with a year's funding

Cahto Calendar: a calendar with the start of each Cahto lunar month (when the thin crescent appears after New Moon) and the four-day start-of-month holiday marked, from 2004

Cahto Alphabet Book: presentation of the proposed Cahto Practical Orthography and examples of words using each letter.

Cahto Coast Trip Vocabulary: vocabulary with mouseover images for plants and animals that might be encountered during the annual ten mile walk to the coast commemorating the traditional seasonal trade and resource-gathering trips of the Cahto

Cahto Coloring Book: sample pages for a coloring book of things with Cahto names, including a bit of description (in Cahto), mouseover for definitions of the words used and switchable to an already colored version to show color suggestions

Coosan Language Project

I have a habit of working on and learning at least some of the native language of whatever place my wife and I live: Wea when we lived in southern Indiana, Upper Chinook when we lived on the Columbia River in southwestern Washington, Lushootseed when we've lived in the Seattle/Puget Sound area (including now), and Hanis and Miluk Coos when we lived most recently on Coos Bay on the southern Oregon coast. Following are some sample Coosan materials I've created. Currently the dictionary database stands at 1700 Hanis headwords (from Frachtenberg's grammar and vocabularies and gleaned from analysing less than 10% of the extant Hanis texts) and almost 400 Miluk headwords (mostly gleaned from an even smaller percentage of the available Miluk texts analyzed). These materials demonstrate how much can still be accomplished in a much shorter timeline than the long-term Cahto project. My Coosan materials are the product of late-night and weekend hours over a period of about six months, and could readily be worked into a serviceable learners'/student dictionary of 2000 or so headwords in a year of full-time work.

Hanis Coos Dictionary print sample: a few pages of somewhat filled out entries, most with text examples.

Hanis Coos Online Dictionary sample: a small sample of the Coosan dictionary database I'm developing in SIL's FieldWorks, exported via their LexiquePro to a basic online format. FieldWorks plus LexiquePro are fairly standard tools for producing minority language dictionaries, offering a familiar and easy to use interface, though with less powerful search and filtering capability than the dictionary searches I've programmed myself.

Hanis Coos Text sample: the first few pages of Frachtenberg's first text, Arrow Young Men, told by Jim Buchanan, analyzed and linked to the dictionary using FieldWorks

Other Languages

Takelma Dictionary Sample: Takelma was one of my first loves, language-wise, as I happened upon Sapir's Takelma Texts either at the downtown library or one of the local university libraries I frequented while in high school. Oddly enough, I've not yet done a major project on the language, just admired it from afar.

My Goals

Working full-time on an indigenous or heritage language project, preferably in the needed work of bringing poorly-accessible materials (for example field notes, vocabulary from text collections, and materials in older writing systems) into the realm of practical accessibility for language learners. Having extremely wide-ranging language interests, I find my feet quickly in any given language and language family I pursue. My priorities are not to produce prestigious publications to further an academic career, but to make materials available to learners and communities in a timely manner.

Sample Writings

The California Athabaskan Website paper: article for a presentation at the 2003 Athabaskan Languages Conference describing the website and how any language program could easily set up their own with minimal resources, published in:

Tuttle, Siri. 2003. Proceedings of the 2003 Athabaskan Languages Conference: Arcata, California, June 5 - 7, 2003. (Alaska Native Language Center Working Papers, 3.) Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center, Univ. of Alaska. viii+93pp.

Ethical Considerations page: informal musings on various ethical issues in language documentation and preservation work

The Jos Plateau (Nigeria) Sprachbund: a typology paper I wrote while in graduate school, on the system of mutual influences in an extremely linguistically diverse area of central Nigeria.

Binary Stress in Hocank/Winnebago?: a presentation on evidence relating to ternary stress in Hocank for Stuart Davis' class. Some years later he asked me to co-author, with himself and Karen Baertsch, a presentation in part related to this material:

Davis, Stuart, Karen Baertsch, [Sally] Anderson. Explanation in Phonetics and Phonology: Understanding Dorsey's Law in Hocank (Winnebago). Presented at The 11th Annual Midcontinental Workshop on Phonology, November 4, 2005.

email to author: Sally Anderson