Hinton Leanne. Flutes Of Fire Essays On California Indian Languages

Tiipai (Tipay) is a Native American language spoken by a number of Kumeyaay (Kumiai) tribes in northern Baja California and southern San Diego County, California. It is also known as Southern Diegueño. Hinton (1994:28) provided a "conservative estimate" of 200 Tipai speakers in the early 1990s; the number of speakers has declined steadily since that time.

Tipai belongs to the Yuman language family and to the Delta–California branch of that family. In the past, Tipai and its neighbors to the north, Kumeyaay and Ipai, have been considered dialects of a single Diegueño language, but linguists now recognize that they represent at least three distinct languages (for discussion, see Langdon 1990). Tipai itself is not a uniform speech variety, and some suggest that it might be possible to recognize multiple languages within Tipai (Laylander 1985:33; Mithun 1999:577).

Published documentation of the Tipai language includes a descriptive grammar (Miller 2001), a comparative dictionary (Miller and Langdon 2008), a word list (Meza and Meyer 2008), and texts (Hinton 1976, Hinton 1978, see also Miller 2001:331-348).


  • Hinton, Leanne. 1976. The Tar Baby Story. In Yuman Texts, edited by Langdon, Margaret. International Journal of American Linguistics Native American Texts Series 1.3:101-106.
  • Hinton, Leanne. 1978. Coyote Baptizes the Chickens. In Coyote Stories, edited by Bright, William. International Journal of American Linguistics Native American Texts Series monograph 1:117-120.
  • Hinton, Leanne. 1994. Flutes of Fire: Essays on California Indian Languages. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books.
  • Langdon, Margaret. 1990. "Diegueño: How Many Languages?" In Proceedings of the 1990 Hokan-Penutian Languages Workshop, edited by Redden, James E. pp. 184–190. University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, IL.
  • Laylander, Don. 1985. "Some Linguistic Approaches to Southern California's Prehistory" [1]. San Diego State University Cultural Resource Management Casual Papers 2(1):14-58.
  • Meza Cuero, Jon and Meyer, Paula. 2008. Tipai Language-English-Spanish Word List. San Diego, CA: San Diego Unified School District.
  • Miller, Amy. 2001. A Grammar of Jamul Tiipay. Mouton Grammar Library 23. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Miller, Amy and Langdon, Margaret. 2008. Barona Inter-Tribal Dictionary: 'Iipay Aa Tiipay Aa Uumall. Lakeside, CA: Barona Museum Press.
  • Mithun, Marianne. 1999. The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

External links[edit]

  1. ^Tiipai at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tipai". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 

People: Survey affiliates and Americanist linguists

Personnel | Affiliated Faculty | Affiliated Students | Recent Alumni


Andrew Garrett (Director) is Professor of Linguistics and Nadine M. Tang and Bruce L. Smith Professor of Cross-Cultural Social Sciences. As a Californianist he has done linguistic fieldwork, archival work, and consulting work with the Hupa, Karuk, Northern Paiute, Rumsen Ohlone, and Sierra Miwok languages, but he mainly focuses on Yurok and Karuk (in northern California). His Yurok projects include articles on descriptive and historical linguistics, contributions to the tribal language program (including a practical dictionary compiled with Juliette Blevins and Lisa Conathan), ongoing work on Yurok texts, and a digital text and lexical archive. In Yurok grammar, Garrett is especially interested in relations between lexical and morphological structures on the one hand, and between lexical and syntactic patterns on the other; his book Basic Yurok appeared in 2014. His Karuk projects, in collaboration with Line Mikkelsen and several graduate students, include a database of texts and research on the language's interesting syntactic patterns. More generally, he studies the dialectology of languages of the west coast and the emergence of the distinctive California linguistic profile. Outside California, Garrett also worked on Indo-European historical linguistics, especially Anatolian, Greek, and Latin, and general problems of language change and linguistic reconstruction.

Leanne Hinton (Director Emerita) specializes in endangered languages and language revitalization, especially for American Indian languages. She consults for tribes and organizations doing language revitalization around the world. She is an advisory board member for the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, and a founding organizer of their two main programs, the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program (MAP), and the Breath of Life language recovery workshops and institutes in Berkeley and Washington D.C. (BOL). Her books include Flutes of Fire: Essays on California Indian Languages (Heyday Books, 1994), The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice (ed. with Ken Hale, Academic Press, 2001), How to Keep Your Language Alive: A commonsense approach to one-on-one language learning (Heyday Books, 2002), and Bringing Our Languages Home: Language revitalization for Families (Heyday Books, 2013).

Ronald Sprouse (Programmer) has worked as a linguist and programmer on a number of language documentation projects in addition to his work with the Survey. He served as Technical Director of the Ingush and Chechen projects that resulted in the publication of two dictionaries; in support of these projects he conducted fieldwork with Ingush and Chechen consultants, worked on lexical databases, and created a web-based system for collecting and annotating interlinear text. He was also a significant contributor to the Turkish Electronic Living Lexicon project, a lexical database of transcribed audio recordings for studying Turkish morphophonemics, for which he created a web-based search interface and tools for investigating the statistical properties of morphophonemic alternations in the data.

Julia Nee's (Graduate Student, Linguistics) interests are in Meso-American languages, especially Valley Zapotec. As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, she investigated syntactic elements of Spanish/Zapotec code-switching through fieldwork in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca. She is interested in continuing that work, documenting and analyzing Zapotec and related languages, as well as developing community resources for language teaching and preservation.

Affiliated Faculty

Christine Beier (Assistant Adjunct Professor of Linguistics) dedicates her research and field activities to the documentation, description, revitalization, and revalorization of small and endangered languages, primarily in Peruvian Amazonia. She is particularly interested in the social life of language, text-driven research, and the value of diversified collaboration in addressing language vitality and endangerment. Thus far, she has worked with inheritors and speakers of Andoa (also: Katsakáti; Zaparoan), Aʔiwa (isolate), Iquito (also: Ikíitu; Zaparoan), Matsigenka (Arawak), Máíhĩki (also: Orejón, Tukanoan), Nanti (Arawak), Muniche (isolate), Omagua (Tupí-Guaraní), and Záparo (also: Sápara; Zaparoan). She is also co-founder, with Lev Michael, and secretary/treasurer of Cabeceras Aid Project, a 501(c)(3) organization whose humanitarian work supports the social and physical well-being of communities whose languages, cultures, and ways of life are endangered.

Amy Rose Deal (Assistant Professor of Linguistics) has carried out field research for the last ten years on Nez Perce, a Sahaptian language of the Columbia River Plateau. As a formal syntactician and semanticist, she is particularly interested in consequences for universals and variation in grammar, meaning, and their connection. Particular interests include everything to do with ergativity and/or morphological case, modality, shifty indexicals, countability (mass/count distinction), external possession and possessor raising, relative clauses and agreement.

Lev Michael (Associate Professor of Linguistics) carries out ethnographically-informed linguistic research in several communities in Peruvian and Ecuadorean Amazonia, and has worked with speakers of with speakers of Andoa (Zaparoan), Aʔɨwa (isolate), Iquito (Zaparoan), Kashibo-Kakataibo (Panoan), Máíhɨki (Tukanoan), Matsigenka (Arawak), Muniche (isolate), Nanti (Arawak), Omagua (Tupí-Guaraní based contact language), and Záparo (Zaparoan). As an anthropological linguist, his interests include the social instrumentality of deictic evidential categories (especially evidentiality), the formal structure and social function of verbal art, language contact and historical linguistics in Amazonia, language typology, language documentation and grammatical description, and the practice and politics of language revitalization. His blog on Amazonian languages and societies can be found here.

Line Mikkelsen (Associate Professor of Linguistics) works with Andrew Garrett and a team of graduate and undergraduate students on the Karuk language of Northern California. Project goals include linguistic documentation and analysis and the creation of resources for community language programs. Since 2010, we have been creating a substantial online archive of Karuk texts and audio recordings and integrating these with the Karuk dictionary created by William Bright and Susan Gehr. In 2011, Garrett and Mikkelsen received an NSF-DEL grant to create a treebank (a syntactically parsed corpus) of Karuk. The treebank will be overlaid on the existing morphological and lexical parsing and integrated with the dictionary, creating an integrated research and language learning resource. As a syntactician, Mikkelsen is particularly interested in Karuk word order, about which very little is known, verbal and nonverbal predication, the internal organization of noun phrases, and subordination. Mikkelsen also holds a Mellon Project Grant (2014-15) to investigate the linguistic texture of Karuk narratives.

Beth H. Piatote (Associate Professor of Native American Studies) is affiliated faculty in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include Native American/Aboriginal literature and federal Indian law in the United States and Canada; American literature; and Nez Perce language and literature, including traditional stories, historical narratives, and religious texts. Her publications include her award-winning monograph, Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature (Yale 2013) and the co-edited volume, The Society of American Indians and Its Legacies (2013), as well as articles and short stories in American Quarterly, Kenyon Review, American Literary History, and other journals and anthologies. She is Nez Perce enrolled at Colville, and has studied and translated Nez Perce texts with Haruo Aoki since 2002, and engaged in various language retention and revitalization efforts at Nespelem, Wa.; Lapwai, Idaho; and Pendleton, Oregon.

Richard Rhodes (Associate Professor of Linguistics) conducts research on topics relating to American Indian languages, particularly those of the Algonquian family, including bringing insights gained in fieldwork to bear on typology and on analytic issues in better studied languages. He has done extensive fieldwork on the Ottawa dialect of Ojibwe which is spoken in Michigan and southern Ontario, and on Métchif, a language of the northern plains consisting of French and Cree elements. He has also done fieldwork on Sayula Popoluca, a Mixe-Zoquean language of southern Mexico. His most important work is the Eastern Ojibwe-Chippewa-Ottawa Dictionary which incorporates two dialects of Ojibwe. He has written extensively on the syntax of Ojibwe, on topics of Ojibwe ethnohistory, and on the lexicography of American Indian languages.

Affiliated Students

Erin Donnelly (Graduate Student, Linguistics) works on Choapan Zapotec and Cajonos Zapotec (Eastern Oto-Manguean), two closely related languages spoken primarily in the Northern Sierra of Oaxaca, Mexico. Her current project focuses on documenting and analyzing intra- and inter-dialectal variation in Choapan Zapotec. Erin is also working on a dictionary of Choapan Zapotec and a description of its grammar. Donnelly has also described and analyzed phonetic variation in Nigromante Zapotec, a variety of Cajonos Zapotec, and is working with community members on a grammatical description of this particular dialect. She participates in community-oriented language revitalization efforts of Choapan and Nigromante Zapotecs. Erin has also worked on Lalana Chinantec (Western Oto-Manguean). Donnelly is interested in variationist sociolinguistics, language and gender, historical linguistics, dialectology, language documentation, language revitalization, and anthropological linguistics.

Edwin Ko's (Graduate Student, Linguistics) interests focus on the indigenous languages of North America, especially Crow (Siouan), Hidatsa (Siouan), Northern Pomo (Pomoan), and Unangam Tunuu (Aleut). Since 2014, he has been engaged in the revitalization efforts of Northern Pomo, a dormant language of Northern California. In these efforts, he has been involved in the development of numerous educational technologies such as online learning materials and mobile apps, and templates of these digital tools have been adapted for other languages including Kashaya and Lachixío Zapotec. He has also been part of community-oriented revitalization efforts of Crow, a language of southeastern Montana, working primarily with Crow educators and Crow language teachers. His research interests are broadly in syntax, semantics, morphosyntax, historical and comparative linguistics, and language documentation and revitalization. His ongoing work involves a comparative study of the Alaskan and neighboring languages, and methods for re-purposing and re-contextualizing archived language learning/teaching materials.

Myriam Lapierre (Graduate Student, Linguistics) is interested in the phonetics and phonology of South American languages, with a particular focus on nasality-related phenomena in the Amazon. She began conducting fieldwork in the Eastern Amazon in 2014 with the Mebêngôkre (Jê) and her current research focuses on Panará (Jê). Her recent and ongoing work includes a descriptive analysis of the phonology of Panará, an analysis of nasal coarticulation in Panará using oral and nasal airflow data, and a typological and theoretical analysis of the vowel systems of Mebêngôkre and Panará.

Erik Maier (Graduate Student, Linguistics) is part of the Karuk Research Unit, a group which conducts regular fieldwork with remaining Karuk speakers, manages an online dictionary and text corpus of the language, works with the Karuk community to support their language revitalization efforts, and is currently building a dependency grammar syntactic treebank of Karuk. His research interests include language documentation and revitalization, morphology, syntax, semantics, and verbal art.

Kelsey Neely (Graduate Student, Linguistics) works on Yaminawa and Nahua (Yora), two closely related Panoan language varieties spoken in Peruvian Amazonia. She is currently interlinearizing and editing a book of traditional narratives and oral histories for the Yaminawa and Nahua communities. Her research interests include anthropological linguistics, sociolinguistics, prosody, morphosyntax, and the history of Amazonian languages and peoples. Kelsey is currently writing her dissertation on linguistic affect in Yaminawa and Nahua as she concurrently produces a grammatical description and lexical database for the language.

Zachary O'Hagan's (Graduate Student, Linguistics) research centers on the languages, people, and history of Amazonia, and he is particularly concerned with the morphosyntax, semantics, and information structure of these languages, as well as in how employing a variety of approaches to the study of their relatedness can shed light on population distributions and language contact in the pre-Columbian period. Since 2010 he has carried out fieldwork in Peru on Omagua (Tupí-Guaraní), Omurano (isolate), Caquinte (Arawak), and Taushiro (isolate). At Berkeley he is part of a team-based project utilizing phylogenetic methods to study the diachrony of Tupí-Guaraní languages and the historical migrations of their speakers. He has also collaborated on the writing of a grammar of Omagua, a reconstruction of Proto-Omagua-Kokama, the study of colonial-era Jesuit interactions with indigenous peoples of Peru, and the development of a Matsigenka (Arawak) text corpus.

Katie Sardinha (Graduate Student, Linguistics) has been working on Kwak'wala, a Northern Wakashan language spoken on the central coast of British Columbia, since 2009. Her ongoing dissertation work is concerned with accounting for object case patterns in the language, and for the relationship between object case and event structure in this language. More generally, her Kwak'wala research has focused mainly on phenomena at the syntax-semantic interface and syntactic change within the Wakashan language family. Katie is interested in fieldwork methodology and creative language teaching tools, and has developed Story-builder, a visual story-telling card set which can be downloaded from her website, www.story-builder.ca.

Amalia Horan Skilton (Graduate Student, Linguistics) is a fieldworker with an areal commitment to the northwestern Amazon Basin. Her research centers on pragmatics, semantics, and the social and cultural dimensions of language. She has conducted 21 months of in situ fieldwork on Ticuna (isolate; Brazil, Peru, Colombia) and Máíhĩki (Tukanoan; Peru). Her dissertation project examines the meaning of spatial and temporal deictics in Ticuna using perspectives from logical semantics, Neo-Gricean pragmatics, and linguistic anthropology.

Recent Alumni

Kayla Carpenter (Graduate Student, Linguistics) is a boardmember of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS). Her research focuses broadly on endangered languages of Northern California and language revitalization. She has been involved in fieldwork with Hupa language since 2008, with fieldwork experience in Karuk, Sereer of Senegal and Yucatec Mayan of Mexico. Her studies also include Yurok, and Wailaki of Northern California. She is currently working on a description of Wailaki for her dissertation.

Ramon Escamilla (PhD 2012) is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Central Arkansas. He has been involved in fieldwork on Hupa since September 2007. His ongoing descriptive work focuses broadly on narrative structure and the syntax-semantics interface, with specific subprojects on (1) the use of evidential clitics to manage character viewpoint and construal in narrative, and interactions with fictive speech; (2) the distribution and semantic typology of Hupa indefinite proforms; and (3) semantic factors affecting the encoding of subtypes of causative events – specifically, the theoretical question of why certain direct causation events are not compatible with causative constructions proper. Other interests include the Naga languages of India, and Critical Discourse Analysis.

Stephanie Farmer (PhD 2015) is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Macalester College. Her experience with languages of the Americas includes summer fieldwork on Muniche, a recently extinct isolate formerly spoken in the Loreto province of Peru. With data from three elderly semispeakers, she helped to produce a thematic dictionary and a pedagogical grammar for the community of Munichis. Stephanie has also been working since 2010 on Máíhɨ̱̀kì, an endangered Western Tukanoan language spoken in the Peruvian Amazon basin. Her research there focuses on noun classification, pluractionality, and the interaction of nominal and verbal number.

Hannah Haynie (PhD 2012) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Michael Gavin's Research Group in Biocultural Diversity and Conservation at Colorado State University. She is interested in language ecology and linguistic geography. She has worked on Southeastern Pomo and is currently engaged in research on the Eastern Miwok languages. Her general interests include historical linguistics and syntactic theory, and she takes a special interest in the application of quantitative and technological tools to linguistic questions. Recent projects include a computational assessment of California language phylogenetics, a GIS study of spatial patterns in languages of the Amazon and the Caucasus, and ongoing dissertation work on the linguistic geography of California's Sierra Nevada.

Daisy Rosenblum (PhD University of California, Santa Barbara) is an Assistant Professor in the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program and the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. She focuses on the multi-modal documentation and description of indigenous languages of North America, with an emphasis on methods, partnerships, and products that contribute to community-based language revitalization. She currently works with speakers of Kʷak'ʷala, a Wakashan language of British Columbia, to record narrative, conversation, and other types of spontaneous speech for today's and tomorrow's learners and teachers of the language. These recordings form an annotated corpus of spontaneous speech in two dialects, archived locally and at the Endangered Language Archive at SOAS. Practical research interests include documentation workflows, data management, archival best practices, digital repatriation, and the decolonization of linguistic research. Academic research interests include the grammar of space, argument structure, alignment, deixis, voice and valence, as well as mechanisms of contact, diffusion and change in the Pacific Northwest and Mesoamerican linguistic areas. Before becoming a linguist, Daisy taught art and designed curriculum in public elementary schools, museums and libraries in Brooklyn and Queens, was coordinator of Immigrant Artist Services at New York Foundation for the Arts, and worked as a shadow puppeteer.

Clare Sandy (PhD 2017) is part of the Karuk Research Unit, a group that conducts fieldwork on Karuk, manages an online dictionary and text corpus of the language, and works with the Karuk community to support their language revitalization efforts. She has also carried out team based linguistic fieldwork on Omagua, a highly endangered language of the Peruvian Amazon, and has worked with Sierra Miwok, Mono, and Eastern Pomo speakers and language learners at the Breath of Life Workshop. Her research interests include phonology, morphology, and language change, and her dissertation work focuses on the accentual system of Karuk. She is also interested in database development and in making archival linguistic materials accessible.

Justin Spence (PhD 2013) is an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, where he is continuing his research on California's indigenous languages (especially Hupa). He is affiliated with the Native American Language Center at UC Davis, where he is developing projects in collaboration with indigenous communities that focus on language reclamation and revitalization efforts. Spence is especially interested in issues surrounding access to archival language documentation for both academic and heritage audiences, and he relies heavily on archival materials in his own research on language and dialect contact phenomena in Pacific Coast Athabaskan.

Tammy Stark's (Graduate Student, Linguistics) dissertation work investigates agreement in Northern Caribbean Arawak. She has carried out team based linguistic fieldwork on the Tupí-Guaraní language, Omagua. She has also studied the Arawak languages Yanesha and Garifuna. Her research broadly focuses on the theoretical linguistic issues presented by indigenous languages of South America.

John Sylak-Glassman (PhD 2014) is a recent graduate of the linguistics department at Berkeley and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Language and Speech Processing at the Johns Hopkins University. His experience with languages of the Americas began with studying Imbabura Quichua (spoken in Ecuador) in the 2009-2010 Field Methods course. John developed an interest in California's native languages through participating in the 2010 Breath of Life workshop. In the summer of 2011, he participated in fieldwork on the Maijiki language (Orejón; Western Tukanoan) spoken in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon, and in 2012 and 2013, John worked with speakers of Ditidaht (Wakashan) on Vancouver Island. His dissertation focused on the phonology of the post-velar consonants, specifically their featural representation and behavior as a natural class, as well as their distribution among the world's languages.


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