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Volume 23

Submitted December 14, 1959
Issued August 25, 1960
Price, $1.75

University of California Press
Berkeley and Los Angeles

Cambridge University Press
London, England

Manufactured in the United States of America


No dictionary of any Miwok language has ever been published. The present work is intended to fill this gap, which is a serious one from the point of view of comparative studies. The Central Sierra Miwok materials presented here were collected by L. S. Freeland between 1921 and 1932, with the assistance of a University of California research fellowship. I first became aware of their unique importance in connection with my own field research on Southern Sierra Miwok, during the summers of 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1958, under the auspices of the Survey of California Indian Languages, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley. Working as a Research Assistant under the Survey in 1958-1959, I have put Freeland’s materials into dictionary form. In accordance with policies established by the Department of Linguistics, this dictionary is in two parts, Central Sierra Miwok-English and English-Central Sierra Miwok, in order that it might have maximum utility for comparative studies. It is based partly on Freeland’s published grammar1 and partly on a series of holograph vocabulary cards which Freeland was kind enough to make available to me. The latter have been deposited with the Survey.

Freeland’s orthography has been changed slightly to bring it into accordance with my own for Southern Sierra Miwok and that of other recent students of California Penutian languages. The following substitutions have been made:

Freeland’s orthographyBroadbent’s orthography
thas been replaced byt.
has been replaced byt
has been replaced byy
yhas been replaced byj

Otherwise, Freeland’s phonemic and morphophonemic analyses are presented unchanged.

Hyphens are used to indicate morphemic divisions in the Miwok forms. A hyphen following a form indicates that it must be followed by another morpheme. When the hyphen precedes, it means that another morpheme must precede the form given. Morphemic divisions are Freeland’s or are based on her statements.

The order of items in each entry in the Miwok-English section is as follows: (1) Miwok; (2) noun, verb, or adverb; (3) numerical page reference; (4) English gloss; (5) identification of dialect. If no dialect identification is given, the form is West Central or pan-Central. In the English-Miwok part the order is: (1) English; (2) dialect; (3) numerical page reference; (4) Miwok; (5) noun, verb, or adverb. Freeland refers to Central, Southern, and Northern Sierra Miwok as “dialects,” and East Central and West Central as “subdialects.” My own investigations lead me to believe that the differences between Central, Southern, and Northern are sufficient to merit calling them distinct languages. Accordingly, I use the term "dialect" to refer to East and West Central, which are subdivisions of the Central Sierra language.

Identifications of Miwok forms as nouns, verbs, or adverbs are Freeland’s or follow her principles. Page references preceded by a lowercase c (e.g., c14) refer to the vocabulary cards; other page references are to the published grammar. Only one page reference has been given for each Miwok item, although some items appear many times in the sources. The one chosen was the most basic form, or its first or only appearance, or its published appearance in preference to that of the holograph cards.

I have followed the normal order of the English alphabet in the Miwok-English section, except that /č/ replaces c, /ŋ/ follows /n/, /š/ follows /s/, /t./ follows /t/, and /?/ is put at the end of the alphabet. Long phonemes, marked by a raised dot (e.g., /a•/, follow their short equivalents Numbers in parentheses following the English gloss indicate that Miwok makes more distinctions than English does for that item. The English-Miwok section should be consulted for a full listing of forms of that English gloss. In the English-Miwok section, items are entered under the meaning of the first Miwok morpheme. Where the Miwok has two or more English equivalents, entries have been made under all the English forms in so far as possible.

The texts given here were collected by L. S. Freeland, but have not previously been published. Sections in square brackets in the free translations are not represented in the Miwok text. Most of these were sc marked by Freeland, but a few are my own interpretations. Apart from this, and the aforementioned orthographic changes, Freeland’s MS has been followed exactly. All translations are hers. Texts 1 through 4 are in the West Central dialect; texts 5 and 6 are in East Central.

Grateful thanks are due to Mary R. Haas, whose encouragement and assistance have made this contribution possible, and to Mrs. Eileen Odegaard, who typed the manuscript.

September, 1959         Sylvia M. Broadbent
University of California, Berkeley


1 L. S. Freeland, “Language of the Sierra Miwok,” Indiana University Publications in Anthropology and Linguistics, Memoir 6 of the International Journal of American Linguistics (1951). This work, which was written in 1936, is primarily a grammar of Central Sierra Miwok, with notes on the differences between Central, Northern, and Southern Sierra. It also contains seven analyzed texts in these languages. It does not include a dictionary.

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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management