This website

CALangDoc is dedicated to the documentation, description, and revitalization of the Indigenous languages of California. It is the homepage of Lewis C. Lawyer.

About Lewis

Lewis Lawyer

Although named “Lawyer”, I am in fact a linguist. I completed my Ph.D. in Linguistics at UC Davis in 2015, writing a descriptive grammar of the Patwin language (Wintun Tʼewe) for my dissertation. I also have an M.Phil. in English and Applied Linguistics from the University of Cambridge, and B.A.’s in Linguistics and Music from the University of Southern California.

I work as a research linguist and in the field of language revitalization. As a linguist, I primarily study the Patwin language. I am also interested in other Indigenous languages of California and beyond, and how they may be historically related to one another. I have particular expertise in the fields of descriptive linguistics, phonetics, and linguistic typology. I am also moving in the direction of historical linguistics and lexicography.

In the field of language revitalization, I work primarily with Patwin. Currently I am working on a Hill Patwin dictionary for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, and helping to design a language program for the Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians. I am also a regular attendee of the Breath Of Life language revitalization conferences in Berkeley and Washington D.C., where I have worked with Kojongkʼawi (Konkow Maidu), Sierra Miwok, Nomlaki, and Kawaiisu teams. You can listen to my thoughts on language revitalization (as of 2014) in a radio interview with Kenny Dulock here.

In my “spare time” I successfully petitioned the ISO (via SIL) to recognize Nomlaki and Patwin as languages distinct from Wintu (a recognition that was long overdue). With the help of Ken Whistler, Deborah Anderson, and Luanne von Schneidemesser, I also successfully petitioned the Unicode Technical Committee to introduce the small-capital omega into Unicode: AB65 "ꭥ", published 2014. I also like to make noise with trombones, guitars, and keyboards.

My current CV can be found here.