Coming in Fall 2016: Lakota Grammar Handbook

Have you heard about the Lakota Grammar Handbook, due to arrive in Fall 2016?

The Grammar, in development by our sister organization Lakota Language Consortium, is a 600-page self-study and reference pedagogical guide to the language. It is based exclusively on data obtained from authentic narratives recorded by native speaking elders across Lakota country. With over 220 units, 7273 example sentences and 11613 practice sentences full of culturally relevant content, this book is the most comprehensive Lakota learning resource to date, giving its reader the power to use the language accurately and with more confidence.

Last month, Lakota elder, teacher and first language-speaker Ben Black Bear stopped by the Lakota Language Consortium to work on the BBBGrammar. Ben has been vital in providing the voice recording for this project, having already spent 50 hours in the recording studio! He has also proofread the Grammar, to ensure that the words included are those actually used in idiomatic Lakota speech and that they are correctly used and written. You can look forward to over 10,000 practice sentences taken from conversations between native speakers. In this way, not only is there grammatical accuracy, but important contextual and cultural relevancy to your Lakota-language learning.

DSC_8740_blogDuring this year’s Lakota Summer Institute, students in Jan Ullrich’s classes got a first look at the Grammar; participants in the Lakota/Dakota Inflectional Morphology II course worked with excerpts of the Grammar to explain causative verbs to their classmates.

The Lakota Grammar Handbook is scheduled for release this fall, but in the future, Lakota learners of all levels also have a multimedia version of the Grammar to look forward to! Students will be able to complete interactive computer exercises such as translating dialogues, selecting correct verb forms, and completing fill-in-the-blank sentences. Exciting new features will include the ability for users to click on a sentence and hear it read by a native Lakota speaker.

Watch this fall for its release!