1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Josh Wayt

Pre-Fieldwork

B.S. University of South Florida, 2012

M.A. University of Virginia, 2015

My research centers on efforts to document and revitalize the Dakota language at Lake Traverse Reservation in northeastern South Dakota. Like most Native American languages, Dakota is highly endangered, with approximately 500 remaining speakers in a population of more than 20,000 people. I have the privilege of participating in efforts to revitalize Dakota in two primary ways. On the one hand, I document playful and poetic genres of speech, which are often neglected in documentary research. On the other hand, I teach linguistic theory and methodology to language activists looking to add new knowledge and skill-sets to their repertoire. My participation in these initiatives provides an avenue for asking questions that are centrally relevant for linguistic theory, generally, and collaborative language activism in Native American communities, specifically.

I'm particularly interested in how ideas about language (as linguistic code), culture, and the relationship between them inform the contributions of differently positioned stakeholders who participate in language revitalization. Linguists, and other language experts who derive their authority from Western institutions, often take language to be an autonomous grammatical system, isolable from social and cultural lives of its users. Dakota people, however, do not share this disciplinary (and culturally particular) perspective. My work asks how Dakota people understand the relationship between (linguistic) code and culture. In other words, I attend to how Dakota people understand language and therefore the stakes in language loss and revitalization. Attending to this question is a crucial step for linguists who endeavor to contribute to revitalization efforts in ways that advance, rather than frustrate, the goals of American Indian people. 
 

Specializations

Language preservation & revitalization, Siouan languages, language ideology, verbal art

Graduate Students

Haytham Althubaiti
Pre-Fieldwork
Cory-Alice Andre-Johnson
Conducting Field Research
Jeffrey Attridge
Pre-Fieldwork
Julia Barnes
Pre-Fieldwork
Irtefa Binte-Farid
Fieldwork Completed
Lee Bloch
Fieldwork Completed
Erika Brant
Fieldwork Completed
Alison Broach
Fieldwork Completed
Tracie Canada
Conducting Field Research
Jacqueline Cieslak
Fieldwork Completed
Dannah Dennis
Fieldwork Completed
Brandon Dillard
Pre-Fieldwork
Bremen Donovan
Conducting Field Research
Grace East
Pre-Fieldwork
Kyle Edwards
Conducting Field Research
Anna Eisenstein
Fieldwork Completed
Johnathan Favini
Pre-fieldwork
Macario Garcia
Fieldwork Completed
Ann Githinji
Fieldwork Completed
Julia Jong Haines
Completed Fieldwork
Ida Hoequist
Pre-Fieldwork
Carolyn Howarter
Fieldwork Completed
Erin Jordan
Pre-Fieldwork
Jiyeon Kang
Conducting Field Research
Dionisios Kavadias
Fieldwork Completed
Kristin LaHatte
Fieldwork Completed
Sue Ann McCarty
Fieldwork Completed
Zachary McKeeby
Pre-Fieldwork
Michelle Morgenstern
Conducting Field Research
Nathalie Nahas
Fieldwork Completed
Jeffrey Nicola
Fieldwork Completed
Susan Palazzo
Fieldwork Completed
Mary Pancoast
Fieldwork Completed
Xinyan Peng
Pre-Fieldwork
Natalie Pope
Pre-Fieldwork
Xiaolei Qu
Pre-Fieldwork
Saad Quasem
Pre-Fieldwork
Alessandro Questa
Fieldwork Completed
Grace Reynolds
Fieldwork Completed
Jessica Rigney
Pre-Fieldwork
Giancarlo Rolando
Fieldwork Completed
Ekaterina Sevastakis
Pre-Fieldwork
Harri Siikala
Fieldwork Completed
Sheena Singh
Fieldwork Completed
Gregory Sollish
Pre-Fieldwork
Josh Wayt
Pre-Fieldwork
Michael Wenzel
Conducting Field Research
LuAnn Williams
Fieldwork Completed
Uzma Zafar
Pre-Fieldwork
Mingyun Zhang
Pre-Fieldwork