A History of Eyak Language Documentation and Study: Fredericæ de Laguna in Memoriam

Michael E. Krauss


Frederica de Laguna is generally considered the person who “discovered” Eyak. This paper chronicles a parade of characters who recorded Eyak in (over 9) vocabularies (1778–1862) and even phonographically (1899); more who defined or mapped it, even (1863) in color. Freddy’s fieldwork of the 1930s is then discussed, and finally that of linguists after her (1940–2006). This is a history full of ironies that should entertain the reader appreciative of humanistics, human foibles, and the history of science.

  • Michael E. Krauss, Alaska Native Language Center University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7680

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