Dr. David J. Costa is the Program Director for the Language Research Office at the Myaamia Center. A third-generation northern Californian, he grew up in San Jose, California, completed his B.A. in linguistics at UCLA in 1985, and his Ph.D. in linguistics at U.C. Berkeley in 1994, with his dissertation on the Miami-Illinois Language. A revised version of his dissertation was published through the University of Nebraska Press in 2003. He has been studying the Miami-Illinois language since 1988, and has worked extensively with the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma on language revitalization since 1995.
In his capacity as Program Director for the Language Research Office, Costa conducts continuing research on the Miami-Illinois language, as well as helping to design language curricula for the Myaamia Center, and answering language inquiries from members of the Center and the Miami Tribe. Costa is also now involved in a long-term project to analyze and annotate the data from the Miami-Illinois language manuscripts that have been uploaded into MIDA (the Miami-Illinois Digital Archive), a process that will continue for many years to come.
As part of his continuing linguistic research into the Miami-Illinois language, Costa is also working on a fully annotated collection of interlinearized Miami-Illinois texts, as well as completing papers documenting his research on the syntax and word order of Miami-Illinois. His goal is to publish the results of both of these projects within the next few years. In addition to his work on Miami-Illinois, Costa has also done extensive research on the Shawnee language, the Algonquian languages of southern New England, and comparative Algonquian. After having lived in El Cerrito, California, for 22 years, Dr. Costa and his wife Mary now live in Oxford, Ohio.