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William H. Jacobsen Materials on Indigenous Languages of North America

Collection number: SCL 2014-21
Relations to this collection: SCL Jacobsen replaced by this Collection
Primary contributor:  William H. Jacobsen (researcher)
Additional contributors:  Herman Holbrook (consultant), Michael Porter Nichols (researcher, depicted), Soemarmo (researcher), Vernelle Frank (consultant), Blind Mike (consultant), Jay Powell (researcher), Tommy Alto (consultant), Marianne Mithun (researcher, depicted), Thomas Talbot Waterman (researcher), William Elmendorf (researcher), William H. Jacobsen (transcriber, developer, annotator, depicted, participant, performer), Carnegie Smokey (recorder), Lee R. hfeldt (researcher), Richard B. Applegate (researcher), Frank Morgan (consultant), Anne Biggoose (participant), Michael Silverstein (researcher), Nora Barker (consultant), Brooke Mordy (researcher), Alice Harris (researcher), Florence Brown (consultant), Mable Robertson (consultant), Terrence Kaufman (depicted), Sylvia Andrews (developer, consultant), Julia Chin Kwan (researcher), Howard Wahnetah (editor), John Frank (consultant), David A. Pharies (researcher), Martin Brown (consultant), Elario Quintana (consultant, author), Elwood Wyatt (consultant), Amy Barber (consultant), Robert L. Oswalt (researcher, depicted), E. Phelps (researcher), Sebastian LaChester (consultant), Charles Keeler (researcher), Henry Moses Rupert (illustrator), Richard N. Boneno (illustrator), Mary R. Haas (researcher), Raymond Sastil (researcher), Tina Wyatt (consultant), Howard Collett Jr. (recorder, editor), Julia A. Sableski (researcher), George Snooks (consultant), William Bright (researcher), Bill Fillmore (consultant), Dr. S.L. Lee (author), Phillip Barker (recorder), Sally McLendon (researcher), Gloria Cranmer Webster (consultant), Clara Frank (consultant), Terry J. Klokeid (researcher), Eleanore Smokey (developer, consultant), Florence E. Arnett (researcher), George Okoli (consultant), Haruo Aoki (depicted), Edward Sapir (researcher), Chris Pane (consultant), Robert Ridgeway (researcher), Steven James (consultant), Connie Hunter (consultant), Stanley Starosta (annotator), Art George Jr. (consultant), Jaime de Angulo (researcher), Wayne Suttles (researcher), M.A. Baumoff (author), Harvey Jim (participant), Marvin Dressler (participant, consultant), Paul R. Turner (researcher), Warren d'Azevedo (researcher, recorder), Benny Fillmore (consultant), John Harrington (researcher), Daniel McDonald (consultant), Joanne Martinez (consultant, participant), Laurence C. Thompson (researcher), Hank Pete (consultant), Tiva Bear Wahnetah (participant), Alfred S. Hayes (developer), Mary Chipps (consultant), David Burkeuroad (researcher), John Wiger (consultant), Ishi (consultant), Margaret Langdon (depicted), Theresa Jackson (consultant), Grace Dangberg (researcher, author), M. Terry Thompson (researcher), Hunter Fillmore (participant), Agnes George (consultant), Arlington A. Flinn Jr. (author), Marie Kizer (consultant), Gordon Marsh (researcher), Dave Mora (consultant), Darla Garey-Sage (researcher), Alan Lomax (recorder, compiler), Henry W. Henshaw (researcher), Mauricio J. Mixco (researcher), Joshua Edgar (consultant), William Shipley (recorder), Lisa Wahnetah (developer, author, participant), Ralph LaChester (consultant), John Wager (consultant), Molly Higgins (consultant), Wilson Duff (author), Charlie Jones Sr. (consultant), Gloria James (developer), Charles Butler (consultant), Stephen Powers (researcher), Henry Higgins (consultant), Henry Davis (author), Werner Winter (researcher), Adele James (developer, participant, consultant), Richard Rhodes (researcher), Fred Sam (consultant), Rachel Wojdak (author), Lizzie Evans (consultant), Lyda Colfax (consultant), Bertha Holbrook (consultant), Rena J. Enjady (developer), Roy James (consultant), Lloyd B. Anderson (researcher), Viola Johnson (consultant), Victor Golla (researcher), Isabel Ides (consultant), Sam Dick (consultant), Madison Beeler (researcher), Helen Fillmore (developer), Barbara Efrat (researcher), Jim Goss (researcher), Carolyn J. Jenkins (researcher), Amy Cohn (researcher), Harold Ides (consultant), Bill Cornbread (consultant), Robert Austerlitz (researcher), Garry Arrowsmith (researcher), Ed Mara (consultant), James P. Green (researcher), Hildred Ides (consultant, annotator), Walter Dyk (researcher), Bruce E. Nevin (annotator, researcher), Ronald Langacker (researcher), Morris Swadesh (researcher), Yoeliko Tagaskira (researcher), John Walker (consultant), Darlene Ammons (researcher), Kenneth W. Whistler (researcher), Irene Ward (consultant), Haltie Charlie (consultant), Aert H. Kuipers (researcher), Laura Fillmore (recorder, developer, author, researcher, participant), G. Sloan (researcher), Shirley Frank (consultant), Barrick Van Winkle (researcher), Wally John (consultant), Dolores Encinales (consultant), Roma James (consultant)
Dates: 1952-2004
Extent: 36 boxes, 14.17 linear feet
Catalog history: The Materials replace SCL Jacobsen, the "William H. Jacobsen Papers on Indigenous Languages of North America"
Historical information: William H. Jacobsen (1931-2014) was born on November 15, 1931 in San Diego, CA to Cmdr. William H. Jacobsen, USN ret., and Julie Froatz Jacobsen. He graduated from Point Loma High School, San Diego, in 1949, and went on to graduate from Harvard University in 1953. Jacobsen then pursued graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley where he engaged in fieldwork on Salinan and Washo under the auspices of the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. While at UC Berkeley, he also worked on an early machine language translation project. He received his Doctoral Degree from UC Berkeley in 1964 with a thesis entitled “A Grammar of the Washo Language”, supervised by Mary Haas, which endures as the most complete grammar of Washo published to date. He also worked as an assistant professor of anthropology (1961-1962) and linguistics (1962-1964) at the University of Washington, spending many of his summers in Neah Bay, WA, working with Makah elders to record their language. Most of Jacobsen’s academic career was spent as a professor of linguistics at the University of Nevada, Reno where he taught for thirty years (1965-1994). Throughout his academic career Jacobsen was a prolific and versatile scholar, devising writing systems, creating materials for teaching tribal members Washo and Makah, and publishing many papers on linguistic topics. Jacobsen was an active contributor within the Americanist linguistic community not only through his research, which touched upon a diverse array of languages from Hokan to Wakashan and beyond, but also through steady correspondence and collaboration with colleagues and students. In addition to his work on indigenous languages of North America, Jacobsen was well-known for his extensive work on Basque, which he engaged in through his involvement in the Center for Basque Studies at UNR. Altogether, Jacobsen was familiar with all the main Romance languages and Sanskrit in addition to being a specialist in Washo, Makah, Salinan, Nez Perce, Nootkan, and Basque. He served as president of the Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas, received the Outstanding Researcher Award from the University of Nevada, and received the Nevada Humanities Award. Jacobsen officially retired from UNR in 1994 but continued to engage with the linguistics community as an emeritus professor. Jacobsen passed away on August 18, 2014 in Reno, NV, at age 82.
Scope and content: These materials document the linguistic work of William H. Jacobsen on various indigenous languages of North America, especially Washo, Makah, and Salinan, as well as on other languages and linguistic topics Jacobsen came into contact with throughout his academic career. The collection includes Jacobsen’s original field notebooks from work on Washo, Makah, and Salinan, as well as smaller aggregates of field notes on Diegueño, Northern Paiute, Kwak’wala, and Cowichan. In addition to original field notes, the collection includes derived research notes; many of these derived materials were organized by Jacobsen into separate folders by topic, and have been catalogued as they were found in order to reflect Jacobsen’s own organization. These research notes encompass work on Washo, Makah and other Southern Wakashan languages, Salinan, Yana and other Hokan languages, other Californian languages, and other topics related to general linguistic theory. A set of finished or near-finished manuscripts and handouts is also included, in many cases constituting completed work derived from Jacobsen’s research notes. Also included are transcriptions of texts and conversations in Washo and Makah, notes from collaborative work with Grace Dangberg on Washo texts, and materials Jacobsen developed in order to teach both Washo and Makah. Original file slips from Jacobsen’s work in organizing lexical material from Washo, Makah, Salinan, comparative Wakashan and Hokan, and Tagalog are also included. In addition to materials from Jacobsen’s original fieldwork and research, the collection includes a wealth of materials that Jacobsen obtained from other researchers. These obtained materials include an extensive collection of original Washo field notebooks originally belonging to Grace Dangberg, Gordon Marsh, Walter Dyk, Phillip Barker and William Shipley, and Brooke Mordy. In addition, the collection includes file slips and derived field notes from various sources. On Washo, these materials include Gordon Marsh’s file slips, research notes from Grace Dangberg and Walter Dyk, and photocopies of various vocabulary lists obtained from the Smithsonian Institution; on Wakashan, this includes a set of file slips from an unknown source; and on Yana, this includes a variety of research notes and a box of file slips obtained from Bruce Nevin, along with various photocopied materials on Yana obtained from museums. Other obtained materials include derived work on Washo texts by Brooke Mordy and on Yahi by T. T. Waterman, a collection of rare, unpublished, or difficult to obtain manuscripts concerning various North American indigenous languages, and published curricular materials on Washo and Makah. Various materials related to Jacobsen’s academic, scholarly, and teaching activities are catalogued as a separate series in the collection, in addition to being scattered throughout Jacobsen’s research notes. Finally, the collection includes a set of sound recordings that were discovered in Jacobsen’s possession but are not otherwise catalogued in earlier CLA collections. These recordings include recordings of Washo, Makah, Bella Coola, Ibo, Abaza, and at least one other unidentified language; some of the recordings were made by Jacobsen with various identified consultants, while others were obtained from colleagues including Brooke Mordy, Laura Fillmore, and Warren d’Azevedo, among possible others.
Repository: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
Preferred citation: William H. Jacobsen Materials on Indigenous Languages of North America, SCL 2014-21, Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley,
Associated materials: Audio recordings associated with the Materials can be accessed online through the California Language Archive. In particular, audio recordings are located in The William H. Jacobsen, Jr. collection of Antoniaño Salinan sound recordings (LA 69), The William H. Jacobsen, Jr. collection of Washo sound recordings (LA 53), and the William H. Jacobsen, Jr. collection of Makah sound recordings (LA 52).