The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

What I did this summer: Wayne O’Neil

For the last three years, the route from Boston to Bellingham WA to Diné Bikéyah (Navajoland) to Boston has come to define Wayne O’Neil’s summers.

During the summer now ending, Wayne taught a three-week course on Navajo phonology at the summer workshop of the Navajo Language Academy (6-24 July). Nearly all of the twenty or so 2009 workshop participants were Navajo teachers of the language and fluent speakers of Navajo.

NLA’s summer workshops are held annually at various Diné Bikéyah venues — NLA 2009 being located at Diné College near the high desert, intersection of Indian Roads 12 and 64 (Tsaile AZ, pop. about 1000).

The course was based on Ken Hale and Lorraine Honie’s unpublished Introduction to the sound system of Navajo (no date [1972?]), as revised and expanded by Wayne during spring 2009. Since returning from his NLA work, Wayne has continued to revise and expand the Hale-Honie ms., with a view toward making it available through the NLA.

(Hale and Honie’s ms. can be found at http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/tfernal1/nla/halearch/halearch.htm, from which there is also a link to NLA’s home page. As for Lorraine Honie [Navajo], she was briefly a graduate student in this department in the early 1970s; she is now at Rough Rock Community School, Rough Rock AZ.)

Immediately prior to working at Diné College, Wayne participated in the third annual Western Washington University Linguistics in Education workshop (WWULiE-2009) in Bellingham WA.