A Phonetic Analysis of Southern Ute with a Discussion of Southern Ute Language Policies and Revitalization
AuthorOberly, Stacey Inez
native language policy
native language revitalization
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAs a scientific field, phonetics systematically analyzes human speech sounds using segmental distinctions and state of the art technology. Ideally, these analyses are based on cross-linguistic data from a wide variety of language families. This dissertation provides the first phonetic analysis of Southern Ute, a severely endangered Uto-Aztecan language and presents the only published discussion of language policies and revitalization efforts on the Southern Ute reservation, located in Southwestern Colorado. This research is important because although there are 1,419 enrolled members of the Southern Ute tribe, according to a 2002 informal language survey, there are only forty remaining speakers, who are all over the age of sixty. It is important to note that the previous work on Southern Ute, three dictionaries (Goss 1961, Givon 1979, Charney 1996), one grammar (Givon 1980), one dissertation (Goss 1972) and a collection of traditional narratives (Givon 1985), does not include phonetic analysis or discussion of language policy or revitalization efforts on the Southern Ute reservation. This research benefits the Southern Ute community, the linguistic community and other indigenous communities in two ways. First, it provides a model for phonetic analysis of an endangered language utilizing fluent speaker intuition about stress. Second, the language policies and revitalization discussion adds to revitalization resources especially in the area of curriculum development. In the theoretical domain, Southern Ute offers rich data. It is imperative that Southern Ute phonetic properties are analyzed, documented and archived before the small number of fluent speakers die, leaving no digital audio recordings behind for future generations.