Stephanie Fielding

Stephanie "Morning Fire" Fielding (Mohegan: Yôpôwi Yoht) is an American linguist. Her work focuses on the resurrection and revitalization of the Mohegan language.[4] She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at Yale University.[5]

Stephanie Fielding
Stephanie Mugford Fielding
Other names
  • Morning Fire
  • Yôpôwi Yoht
Alma mater
OccupationLinguist, teacher, writer, editor, graphic artist, radio announcer
Known forReconstruction of the Mohegan language
Notable work
  • A Modern Mohegan Dictionary (2006)
Board member of
RelativesFidelia Fielding (Great-great-great-aunt)

Biography and career

A member of the Tribal Council of Elders, Fielding lives on the Mohegan reservation in southeastern Connecticut, in Uncasville.[3] Fielding holds a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and anthropology from the University of Connecticut, as well as a Master of Science in linguistics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[6] She often translates English into Mohegan for speakers at Mohegan traditional ceremonies.[7] She was the first student to graduate from a two-year Masters program at MIT "for members of indigenous communities whose languages are dead or dying."[8] Her Master's thesis, The Phonology of Mohegan-Pequot,[9] includes diary excerpts written in Mohegan from her relative Fidelia Fielding, the last fluent speaker of the Mohegan language.[10] Much of Fielding's graduate work focused on linguistic algorithms that allow her to take accepted proto-Algonquian words in order to recreate an authentic Mohegan vocabulary.[11] In 2006, Fielding published A Modern Mohegan Dictionary.[12] She also created the online Mohegan Language Project,[13] a central part of her efforts to keep her ancestral language alive. Of this project, Fielding states that "the goal is fluency," and offers links to a Mohegan-English dictionary, phrase book, pronunciation guide, exercises, and an audio option.[14] In an interview with the New York Times, Fielding said "In order for a language to survive and resurrect, it needs people talking it, and for people to talk it, there has to be a society that works on it."[15]

She has worked "as a teacher, writer, editor, graphic artist and radio announcer. She has also served on the board of directors of educational institutions, media outlets, non-profit organizations, and religious organizations."[6]


  1. "Norwich Magazine becomes reality". The Bulletin. Norwich, CT. 2012-09-26. Archived from the original on 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  2. "About Us". Norwich Community Development Corporation, Norwich, Connecticut. Archived from the original on 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  3. "Endangered Language Fund Board of Directors". Endangered Language Fund. Archived from the original on 2015-01-23. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  4. Zobel, Melissa. "Mohegan Language, dormant for 100 years, is now restored" (PDF). Ni Ya Yo. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  5. "Stephanie Fielding". Yale University Department of Linguistics. Yale University. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  6. "Government - The Mohegan Tribal Council of Elders". The Mohegan Tribe. 2009. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  7. "Pressroom". The Mohegan Tribe. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  8. Dunn, Katherine (2005-07-01). "Saving Voices: Indigenous Language Initiative helps revive ailing language". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  9. Fielding, Stephanie (2005). The Phonology of Mohegan-Pequot. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT.
  10. Villacorta, Patti. "Mohegans Revive Heritage Through Language". Canku Ota. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  11. Hitt, Jack (2005-08-21). "The Newest Indians". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  12. Fielding, Stephanie (2006). A Modern Mohegan Dictionary. Uncasville, CT: Mohegan Tribe.
  13. Fielding, Stephanie. "Mohegan Language Project". Mohegan Tribe. Archived from the original on 24 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  14. Fielding, Stephanie (October 2007). "The Mohegan Language Project: Mounting the Web" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  15. Cohen, Patricia (2010-04-05). "Indian Tribes Go in Search of Their Lost Languages -". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
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