The Survey of California and Other Indian Languages is a research center in the Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, supporting the documentation, study, and revitalization of the indigenous languages of California and the Americas. We maintain a major archive of field notes and other documentary materials, accessible in 1311 Dwinelle Hall and catalogued in the California Language Archive; some material is digitized and available online. We also curate the collection of linguistic field recordings from the Berkeley Language Center, many of which can be listened to on the CLA website.

We provide financial and logistical support for students and scholars to conduct field work on American languages, including work space, field equipment, and computing facilities. We publish an occasional series of monographs, Survey Reports. We also sponsor a variety of events, including regular gatherings of the Group in American Indian Languages, the biennial Breath of Life Workshop for California Indian Languages, and occasional workshops on language documentation and revitalization for California Indian communities. Please let us know how we can help you!

Featured: Omagua Documentation Project

Amazon River near Omagua village (Photo courtesy of Lev Michael)

Lev Michael is working with a group of graduate and undergraduate students to develop a grammatical description of Omagua, and to understand the social and historical circumstances under which this remarkable language arose. Once one of the largest languages of the Amazon Basin, recent work suggests that Omagua is a creole language that emerged from intense interaction between speakers of a Tupí-Guaraní language and other undetermined Amazonian indigenous languages. Read more about this and other projects.