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Haruo Aoki Papers on the Nez Perce Language

Collection number: SCL 2014-12
Relations to this collection: SCL Aoki replaced by this Collection
Primary contributors:  Sam Watters (consultant), Haruo Aoki (researcher), Elisabeth P. Wilson (consultant), Harry Wheeler (consultant), Agnes Moses (consultant), Ida James Wheeler (consultant)
Additional contributors:  Edward Sapir (researcher), Haruo Aoki (author), Tom Gilbert (consultant), Steven Savage (consultant), William Elmendorf (author), Diane Gallagher (researcher), Leo Joachim Frachtenberg (researcher), Reverend L. N. St. Onge (researcher), Franz Boas (researcher), William Wheeler (consultant), Melville Jacobs (researcher), Reverend I. B. Brouillet (researcher), Albert S. Gatschet (researcher), Morris Swadesh (researcher), Ikegami Jiro (author)
Dates: 1960-2014
Extent: 11 boxes, 4.88 linear feet
Catalog history: This collection replaces SCL Aoki, "Haruo Aoki Papers on the Nez Perce Language".
Historical information: Haruo Aoki, Nez Perce scholar, was born on April 1st, 1930 in Kunsan, Japan (now South Korea). He attended Hiroshima University from 1949 – 1953, where he completed an undergraduate degree in English; then in 1953 he received a Fulbright Scholarship and moved to Lost Angeles to complete a Masters Degree in English at UCLA. In 1958, Aoki moved to Berkeley to begin a PhD in Linguistics, working with graduate advisor Murray B. Emeneau and dissertation advisor William F. Shipley. He began working on Nez Perce when Mary Haas, who was department chair at the time, came to his office and asked whether he was interested in working on the language, and he said yes. Aoki began his fieldwork on Nez Perce in the summers of 1960-1961 under the auspices of the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. He then continued to do fieldwork intermittently in 1962 to 1964 between visits to Japan to teach in a Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1965 with a dissertation entitled "Nez Perce Grammar" and continued to work on Nez Perce oral narratives up until 1972, publishing a book entitled "Nez Perce Texts" in 1979. In 1989, under a National Science Foundation grant, he co-authored "Nez Perce Oral Narratives" with Deward E. Walker, a publication containing transcriptions of Nez Perce texts with interlinear and free translations. In 1994, he published a comprehensive dictionary on the language entitled "Nez Perce Dictionary", and in 2014 published an autobiography entitled "Stories from My Life".
Scope and content: These papers document the linguistic work of Haruo Aoki on the Nez Perce language, including materials related to his original fieldwork as well as materials he derived from other researchers’ recordings of Nez Perce. Aoki conducted fieldwork on Nez Perce during the summers of 1960 through 1972 at Kooskia and Kamiah, Idaho, during which time his primary consultants were Harry Wheeler, Ida James Wheeler, and Elizabeth P. Wilson. Included in this collection are Aoki’s original field notes and notebooks from this time period, containing vocabulary and elicited sentences; also included are grammatical notes, word lists, and research articles he derived from these materials. The collection also includes Haruo Aoki’s transcriptions, with glosses, of Nez Perce texts that were originally recorded by Sven Liljeblad and Deward E. Walker in 1966-1967. The primary consultants for these texts were Agnes Moses, Sam Watters, and Elizabeth P. Wilson. In addition to original work on Nez Perce, a range of other materials related to Aoki’s professional activities, personal life, and linguistic interests are also included in the collection. Of biographical relevance, the collection includes Aoki’s autobiography, correspondence relating to some of Aoki’s professional activities, and papers Aoki wrote on non-linguistic topics, specifically English and English literature and critical writing concerning Japanese cultural heritage (in Japanese). As well, the collection includes a large amount of material that was gathered from outside sources such as museums, societies, and libraries by Aoki throughout his research on various language families. These obtained materials include: papers, photocopies of notebooks, and historical documents on Nez Perce and other Sahaptian languages; primary materials on Molalla; Edward Sapir’s Takelma note cards; and materials concerning comparative work on Na-Dene and Sino-Tibetan. Finally, the collection includes Aoki’s work on a previously undescribed Nagasaki dialect of Japanese, including a set of notebooks and a research manuscript.
Repository: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
Preferred citation: Haruo Aoki Papers on the Nez Perce Language, SCL 2014-12, Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley,
Associated materials: Audio recordings associated with the Papers can be accessed online through the California Language Archive website. In particular, audio recordings are located in "The Haruo Aoki collection of Nez Perce sound recordings" (LA 70), "The Deward Walker collection of Nez Perce sound recordings" (LA 231), and "The Sven Liljeblad collection of Nez Perce sound recordings" (LA 234).