Vajda, Edward (J.) 1958-

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VAJDA, Edward (J.) 1958-


Born Edward M. Johnson, September 10, 1958, in Camp Le Jeune, NC; changed name, 1981; son of Richard (a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant) and Elizabeth (a typist; maiden name, Vajda) Johnson; married Amy Logan, June 15, 1991; children: Michael, Derek, Kathryn. Ethnicity: "Carpatho-Rusyn, Hungarian." Education: Indiana University, B.A. (Russian language), 1980; University of Washington, M.A. (Slavic linguistics), 1984, Ph.D. (Slavic linguistics), 1987. Politics: Independent. Religion: Christian.


Home—2481 Pheasant Way, Ferndale, WA 98248. Office—Western Washington University, Modern Languages—9057, Bellingham, WA 98225. E-mail—[email protected].


Western Washington University, Bellingham, professor of Russian, East Asian studies, and linguistics, 1987—.


Linguistic Society of America, Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, International Linguistics Association.


Excellence in Teaching Award, Western Washington University, 1992.


(With Valentina Umanets) Russian Punctuation and Related Symbols: A Guide for English Speakers, Slavica (Bloomington, IN), 1999.

Yeniseian Peoples and Languages, Curzon (Surrey, England), 2000.

Ket ("Languages of the World" series), Lincom Europa (Munich, Germany), in press.


Tomam's Feathers: A History of Siberia's Kets; editor, "Current Issues in Siberian Studies" series.


Edward Vajda told CA: "Many indigenous languages and ethnic groups around the world today are under threat of extinction. For the past decade I have studied the native minority peoples of Siberia in an attempt to trace their ancient connections with native Americans. In many cases, my scholarly publications on the peoples and languages of North Asia represent the first substantial descriptions available in English. In 1998 I became the first American to travel to Central Siberia and study the Ket people of the Yenisei River region. The Kets number about 1,200 and speak a unique language unrelated to the other tongues of North Asia. I plan to continue to write scholarly articles and monographs on the Kets and their language to help acquaint the rest of the world with this fascinating group of people. My writing involves a great deal of preliminary research. My inspiration derives from the conviction that every ethnic group contributes an important piece of the story of human history."