A Dictionary and Text Corpus of the Karuk Language

Sonny Davis

Master Speaker and Documenter

Sonny Davis grew up at Ti Bar. He is a full blooded Karuk Indian who is the child of Shan and Madeline Davis. He grew up speaking the Karuk language, and has been working as a Karuk Master Speaker since 2008. He has devoted years to teaching and documenting the Karuk language.

The programs Mr. Davis has worked with include the Karuk Tribe's Master/Apprentice Language Documentation Project and the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (work funded by an ANA grant, 2008-2011); he has also worked under Crystal Richardson’s DEL project "Karuk elicitation thorough conversation" (2012-2014); and currently Mr. Davis is funded by UC Berkeley to do Master/Apprentice work with Florrine Super, as well as teach language pod sessions in Yreka, CA once a month while documenting valuable language resources with the members of his speech community and linguists from Berkeley.

Sonny Davis is a religious leader, a cultural practitioner, a fluent native speaker of the Karuk language, and a tribal council member.

"Sonny's Journey" (video and photos by Crystal Richardson)

Short recordings

Click here to see a list of words and short phrases recorded by Sonny Davis.

Texts associated with Sonny Davis

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Year Title Text ID
audio icon 2010   Sentences about body parts, etc. SD-01
audio icon 2010   Sentences about speaking Karuk SD-02
audio icon 2016   Sentences about cooking SD-03
audio icon 2010   Sentences about perception, animals, verb tenses SD-VS-01
audio icon 2010   Sentences about driving and directions SD-VS-02