Madison S. Beeler; Linguistics Scholar, Chumash Expert
Madison S. Beeler, 78, a linguistics scholar who spent much of his off-campus life trying to preserve the Chumash language, an Indian tongue once spoken in the Santa Barbara area. Beeler was a professor emeritus of linguistics and past chairman of both the German and Near Eastern languages departments at UC Berkeley. He also was the author of several articles based on his work with the late Mary Yee of Santa Barbara, the last native speaker of Chumash, and he was at work on a Chumash dictionary when his health failed. In Berkeley on Wednesday.