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: Muniche Documentation Project

Greg Finley and Alejandrina Chanchari Icahuate, fieldwork, 2009 (Photo courtesy of Lev Michael)

Muniche is a linguistic isolate of central Peruvian Amazonia that no longer has any speakers who identify themselves as fluent. There has been very little previous documentation of this language, making even partial documentation of the language an important contribution to Amazonian linguistics. During the summer of 2009, team members worked with three of the most knowledgeable rememberers of the language to document as much of it as possible. Read more about this and other projects.