Verdena Leona Parker (née Chase) is the last fluent speaker of the Hupa language,[1] an Athabaskan language spoken by the Hoopa Valley Tribe, indigenous to northern California. While other children of her generation were sent to boarding schools, isolating them from their families, Parker was raised by her grandmother, who spoke Hupa with her.[2][3] Through adulthood, Parker continued to speak Hupa with her mother daily, maintaining a high level of fluency despite language loss in the rest of the Hupa community.[1][4]

Verdena Parker
Verdena Leona Chase

(1936-03-01) March 1, 1936 (age 87)
Hoopa Valley, California
Known forMost fluent speaker of the Hupa language

Beginning in 2008 and continuing through the present, Parker has regularly worked with researchers at UC Berkeley and Stanford to provide recordings of spoken Hupa for the documentation of the Hupa language.[2][5] She is also active in language revitalization projects.[6]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b Evans, Nicholas (2010). Dying words: endangered languages and what they have to tell us. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-23305-3.
  2. ^ a b Newberry, Daniel. "Rescuing Languages From Extinction: The Experience of the Hoopa Valley, Karuk, and Yurok Tribes". Jefferson Public Radio. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  3. ^ Miller, Dave; Blanchard, Dave (2 July 2015). "At Home With A Language's Last Native Speaker". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  4. ^ Spence, Justin (January 2016). "Lexical Innovation and Variation in Hupa (Athabaskan)". International Journal of American Linguistics. U of Chicago P. 82 (1): 71–91. doi:10.1086/684424. S2CID 146938496.
  5. ^ "Survey projects". The Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  6. ^ Lara, Callie (2 August 2011). "Opinion". Two Rivers Tribune. Retrieved 29 November 2011.

External links Edit