Northeastern Pomo Project

Northeastern Pomo is the most enigmatic of the seven Pomoan languages of Northern California, all of which were mutually unintelligible. It was the only Pomoan language with territory that was not contiguous with any other Pomoan language. Northeastern Pomo was not identified until the first decade of the twentieth century and was the last Pomoan language to be discovered by academia. It was also the first Pomoan language to become extinct, with the last fluent speakers passing away within 70 years of their discovery by science. WIELD’s Northeastern Pomo project seeks to do the following: (1) create a database with all known lexical items in the language from all sources; (2) determine the place of Northeastern Pomo within the Pomoan family and the degree to which its uniqueness is due to contact-induced changes and language-internal innovations versus Proto Pomo retentions.

Purisimeño Project

Purisimeño is a Chumash language of coastal California. It was spoken starting roughly halfway between modern-day Isla Vista and Point Conception (going west) and as far north as Santa Maria (Hudson & Blackburn 1982-1987). The language was also spoken inland, and speakers of Purisimeño occupied sites where the cities of Lompoc, Solvang, Los Olivos, and Orcutt currently are. Purisimeño also covered all of what is currently Vandenberg Air Force Base. It is one of the least-documented and least-studied Chumash languages. WIELD is working with the extant documentation, especially documentation of Fernando Librado recorded by J. P. Harrington, 

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