August 23, 2014

Abstract deadlines | Classes | Conferences and workshops | Congratulations | Festivities | Talks


Welcome back! This is the first weekly issue of Calques for the 2014-15 academic year. Please send contributions (information and news of departmental interest) to Andrew Garrett.

Abstract deadlines

Two advertised conferences with upcoming deadlines may be of special interest:

Classes

Here are short descriptions of Fall 2014 Linguistics graduate electives:

  • 205: Advanced Cognitive Linguistics (Sweetser, M 12-2 and W 12-1). A graduate course in cognitive linguistics. Covers category theory and cognitive bases for lexical categories, polysemy, frame semantics, and metaphor, crosslinguistic and crosscultural differences, mental spaces theory, the relation of semantics to grammatical structure, and recent construction-based theories of grammar.
  • 208: Psycholinguistics (Gahl & Johnson, MW 1:30-3)
  • 211B: Topics in Phonological Theory (Kavitskaya, TuTh 2-3:30). This course is an in-depth introduction to recent developments in theoretical phonology. We will read and discuss the most current literature on such topics as syllable structure and stress, unnatural phonology, contrast, opacity, and possibly other issues, to be chosen taking into consideration the interests of the students participating in the course. Course requirements include readings, regular participation in the discussion, presentations, and a final term paper.
  • 290B: Tense and Temporal Reference (Bochnak, W 3-6). This course explores the semantics of tense and temporal reference, broadly construed, from both formal and typological perspectives. We examine how tense morphemes are interpreted across a range of constructions and languages. After examining a range of phenomena related to temporal reference in English, we turn to languages that have been described as "tenseless". We then explore languages that make more temporal distinctions than English, so-called "graded tense" languages. Finally, we study the temporal interpretation of noun phrases. Two major themes weave a common thread throughout the course: (a) the division of labor between the conventional meanings of morphemes and contextual factors in determining temporal reference; (b) the utility of cross-linguistic categories such as "tense" in the face of wide-ranging morphological and semantic variation. Note: There is no semantics prerequisite for this class (although some previous coursework, such as Ling 121 or equivalent will be helpful). The important analytical concepts and tools will be introduced in class so that students are familiar with them before tackling the readings.
  • 290F: The Language Ecology of Ancient Italy (Weiss, TuTh 12:30-2). In this class we will examine the linguistic situation of Ancient Italy before and during the Roman expansion. There are eight primary goals. (1) To understand how historical linguistics works and how it can contribute to the interpretation of texts. (2) To examine the place of Latin and the Italic languages within the Proto-Indo-European family. (3) To examine the language map of Ancient Italy before the Roman expansion and to study some key remains from most of the non-Latin languages of Italy. (4) To examine language contact phenomena between Latin and other languages. (5) To learn the basic facts about the historical grammar of Latin, especially those relevant to Latin prosody and metrics. (6) To study the formation of the literary language(s). (7) To examine the dissolution of the Classical standard and the major changes leading to the birth of the Romance languages. (8) To practice and refine the use of historical-linguistic methodology on the linguistic data of Ancient Italy.
  • 290L: The Interplay of Phonology and Morphology (Inkelas, TuTh 11-12:30). This course is a graduate-level overview of the major phenomena in the phonology-morphology interface, and their theoretical implications: Morphologically conditioned phonology; Realizational (process) morphology; (Prosodic) Templatic morphology; Reduplication; Infixation; Layering (cyclicity, level ordering, etc.); Nonderived environment blocking; Interference (phonology interfering with the operations of morphology); Effects of morphological paradigmatic relations (leveling, anti-homophony) on phonological form. Students will be invited to explore some or all of these phenomena (as appropriate) in a language of their choosing. Course requirements include readings, presentations, occasional short data analysis assignments, and a final term paper. The seminar will be suitable for those with typological interests, theoretical interests, and/or commitments to languages with complex morphophonology. Past experience in phonology is assumed. Previous coursework in morphology is recommended but not essential.

Congratulations

Congratulations to two members of the Berkeley Department of Linguistics:

  • David Kamholz has filed his Ph.D. dissertation, Austronesians in Papua: Diversification and change in South Halmahera–West New Guinea.
  • Prof. Lev Michael will receive the 2015 Early Career Award from the Linguistic Society of America. According to the LSA, "Prof. Michael is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to language documentation and South American linguistics, including his work in creating the South American Phonological Inventory Database, which houses data from over 350 languages."

Festivities

The Linguistics Department Fall meeting and reception will be on Monday, August 25, beginning at 3:00 pm in 370 Dwinelle Hall. Refreshments will be served after the meeting; finger food donations are welcome. Come introduce yourself, and meet old and new friends.

Talks

The first colloquium of the academic year will be on Monday, September 22, featuring Prof. Greville Corbett (University of Surrey), who is visiting Berkeley to give a series of three lectures on "Morphosyntactic complexity: The view from canonical typology":

  • Lecture 1: Lexical splits (Sept. 22)
  • Lecture 2: Hybrids (Sept. 23)
  • Lecture 3: Gender (Sept. 24)