Yurok Language Project Goals


We combine fieldwork with Yurok elders (recording texts, words, and grammatical information) and philological analysis of earlier fieldnotes and recordings. Through this work we seek to develop a Yurok documentary corpus that is as comprehensive as possible and contributes as much as possible to understanding the complexities of the Yurok language.


We bring new and older work on Yurok together into a single digital archive, incorporating material from as early as 1850 to the present day. We make such material available on this website whenever possible.


We contribute language-learning material and offer workshops for Yurok language revitalization programs. These programs include formal classes in public schools, community language classes, summer camps, and other activities sponsored by the Yurok Tribe language office and by community groups such as the Yurok Elder Wisdom Preservation Project.


Concrete short-term goals include a dictionary for use by Yurok speakers and language learners and teaching materials for use by language teachers and learners in schools. A preliminary dictionary was published in 2005, and a description of basic-level grammar in 2010. Long-term goals include a comprehensive reference grammar, a full dictionary with examples from texts, and editions of Yurok-language narrative and other prose texts. See our Publications page for a complete list of our scholarly and other publications.

Teaching, learning, and documenting Yurok

Robert Spott, the adoptive son of the learned traditionalist Captain Spott, was himself one of the most culturally knowledgeable Yurok people of his generation. Robert worked on Yurok cultural and linguistic documentation with scholars of several generations, including A. L. Kroeber, with whom he wrote Yurok narratives in 1940, and the British linguist R. H. Robins, who recorded him in 1951.
[Photo (1907): Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology.]