For more than 20 years, Professor of Linguistics Margaret “Peggy” Speas has worked
alongside native speakers and community members to preserve the Navajo language, one of
several hundred endangered Native American languages dubbed “national treasures” by The
National Alliance to Save Native Languages, an intertribal leadership coalition. 

Peggy has co-taught classes with Navajo scholars at the Navajo Language Academy and also
has collaborated on projects analyzing Navajo syntax. Additionally, she worked with
Evangeline Parsons-Yazzie, a native speaker and professor of Navajo at Northern Arizona
University, on an introductory Navajo language textbook. Published in 2008, the book was
the first such text by a native speaker, and is used in high schools on and around the
Navajo reservation. 


Evidentials in Tibetan: Acquisition, Semantics and Cognitive Development, New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (2009)

We describe the nature of the evidential system in Tibetan and consider the challenges that...


On the Syntax and Semantics of Evidentials, Language and Linguistics Compass (2008)

In some languages, every declarative sentence includes a morpheme specifying the speaker's evidence or source...


The Pragmatic Values of Evidential Sentences (with Chris Davis and Chris Potts), Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) (2008)


Evidentiality, Logophoricity and tha Syntactic Representation of Pragmatic Features, Lingua (2004)

Some languages have evidential morphemes, which mark the Speaker's source for the information being reported...



Din¢ Bizaad B¶nahoo’aah (Rediscovering the Navajo Language) (with Evangeline Parsons-Yazzie) (2008)

Book Chapters

Someone Else's Language: Linguists and Language Revitalization, Indigenous Language revitalization: Encouragement, Guidance and Lessons Learned (2008)

Economy, Agreement and the Representation of Null Arguments, Agreement and Argument Structure (2006)

Constraints on Null Pronouns, Optimality-Theoretic Syntax (2001)

From Rules to Principles in the Study of Navajo Syntax, Studies in Navajo Syntax and Symantics (2001)

Person and Point of View in Navajo, WCCFL Papers in Honor of Ken Hale (2000)

Unpublished Papers

Presentations and Conference Papers

Evidentials as Generalized Functional Heads, Interface Legibility at the Edge (2010)

This paper proposes that grammaticized evidential morphemes do not simply encode evidence type (as it...