Historical information: Jesse O. Sawyer (1918-1986) received his Ph.D. in English and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1955. From 1957-1962 he was the director of the English Program for Foreign Students in the Department of Speech at UC Berkeley, then a Senior Lecturer in linguistics from 1962 until his death in 1986. From 1961 onwards he was also the Director of UC Berkeley's Language Lab, now the Berkeley Language Center. Over the course of his career he worked on a variety of topics related to the indigenous languages of California, especially the documentation of Wappo in close cooperation with speaker Laura Fish Somersal.
Scope and content: The Papers document Sawyer's nearly three decades of research on indigenous languages of California, especially members of the Yukian family. The collection includes Wappo field notes collected from the late 1950s to the 1980s and derived materials such as vocabulary files and descriptive and comparative articles. His principal Wappo consultant was Laura Fish Somersal, with additional data provided by Jack Wobo. Sawyer's Yuki consultants were Minnie Fulwider, Arthur Anderson, and Leland Fulwider. The collection also includes Sawyer's notes and linguistic data from other languages of California taken from various published and unpublished sources.
Repository: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
Preferred citation: Jesse O. Sawyer Papers on Yukian Languages, SCL Sawyer, Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley, http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7297/X2PC309Q
Description: Twelve pamphlets on topics related to the history, ethnography, and biography of California Indians. Issued by the Book Club of California. Includes undated letter to Sawyer from Jack Werner Stauffacher of Greenwood Press.