Linguistics Department News (Calques)

Recent Stories

WSCLA 23 proceedings published

September 22, 2019

The Proceedings of WSCLA 23 (Workshop on Structure and Constituency in the Languages of the Americas) have recently been published, containing the following papers by department members and recent alumni:

Congrats all!

Bardagil travels

September 22, 2019
Postdoc Bernat Bardagil has had a busy few months. This week he is serving as an external examiner in the doctoral qualification for Edson de Freitas Gomes at the UFPA (Universidade Federal do Pará), for the dissertation Aspectos morfossintáticos em mẽbengokre: transitividade e marcação de argumentos. Earlier in September, he took part in the AGGREGATION Working Meeting at the University of Washington, with Emily Bender's project. Over the summer, he ran the first Escola de Língua Manoki Watjuho Ja'a in the village of Cravari, where a team kick-started a process to revitalize Manoki among a large group of young people in the community. He also more generally did fieldwork over the summer with Mỹky-Manoki, will continue to do some more with the same language and with Panará during the fall.

BLS workshop call for papers

September 21, 2019

Calques is pleased to note that the call for papers for the 2020 Berkeley Linguistic Society Workshop has now been issued and abstracts are now being accepted! The workshop will take place February 7-8, 2020, with the theme of  "Phonological Representations: At the Crossroads of Gradience and Categoricity".

Abstract submission info be found here. Abstracts are due November 1, 2019.

Describing the nature and behavior of the sounds of language is a central concern in linguistics. Topics such as categoricity vs. gradience, the information included in representations, and the place of abstraction in the larger linguistic system are central to many theoretical debates. This workshop aims to bring together different approaches to capturing the behavior of speech sounds by fostering discussion among researchers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Invited Speakers:

Katie Drager (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa)
Bruce Hayes (University of California, Los Angeles)
Stephanie Shih (University of Southern California)

For questions, please email

Linguistics events this week (Sept 20-27, 2019)

September 20, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Phorum - Monday Sept 23 -  1229 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    Khalil Iskarous (USC): The Space of Optimality Theories
  • Linguistics Dept Colloquium - Monday Sept 23 - 370 Dwinelle - 3:10-5pm 
    Khalil Iskarous (USC): The Dynamics of Linguistic Development: The Unfolding of Skill Interaction
  • Sociolinguistics Lab at Berkeley (SLaB) - Tuesday, Sept 24 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3:30-5PM
    Practice talk(s) for NWAV 48
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Sept 26 - 1303 Dwinelle 
    Edwin Ko (UC Berkeley): Northern Pomo language revitalization: The function of digital technology
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 27 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Emily Drummond (UC Berkeley) & Line Mikkelsen (UC Berkeley): Secondary number agreement in Karuk

Berkeley @ SSILA

September 19, 2019

The program for the upcoming 2020 winter meeting of SSILA, the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, has just been released. SSILA will meet concurrently with the LSA. The program promises the following presentations by current department members and recent alumni:

  • Brady Dailey (Boston University), Ethan Rimdzius (Boston University), Julia Nee (Berkeley), Edwin Ko (Berkeley), Jimmy Sbordone (Boston University), Erica Carson Jr. (Redwood Valley Rancheria; Pomo/Wappo), Catherine Connor (Boston University): Web-based Stories and texts promote learning engagement in language revitalization
  • Zachary O'Hagan: Complex Temporal Relations in Caquinte: The Case of =ta and =ja
  • Richard Rhodes: On the phonetic nature of Proto-Algonquian *θ
  • Emily Clem (PhD '19): Distinguishing switch-reference and relativization in Amahuaca
  • Amalia Skilton (PhD '19): Co-speech pointing gestures by Ticuna speakers: A corpus study

Congrats all!

Spring 2020 colloquium schedule announced

September 19, 2019

Calques is pleased to announce the colloquium schedule for spring 2020 -- mark your calendars! All talks are 3:10-5pm in Dwinelle 370.

  • Monday, March 16, 2020:  Johanna Nichols (Berkeley)
  • Monday, March 30, 2020: Kristen Syrett (Rutgers)
  • Monday, April 13, 2020:  Zenzi Griffin (UT Austin)
  • Monday, April 20, 2020:  David Goldstein (UCLA)
  • Monday, April 27, 2020:  Juliet Stanton (NYU)

Deal in Toronto

September 19, 2019

In the days ahead Amy Rose Deal will be traveling to the University of Toronto to give a colloquium talk entitled Interaction, satisfaction, and the PCC, as well as a semantics talk on a recent manuscript entitled Uncentered attitude reports.

Iskarous colloquium

September 19, 2019

The 2019-2020 colloquium series kicks off this coming Monday, Sept 23, with a talk by Khalil Iskarous (USC). Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled The Dynamics of Linguistic Development: The Unfolding of Skill Interaction, and the abstract is as follows:

Recent work on the development of production, perception, and phonological skills in children has shown a remarkable amount of interaction between these skills, so that it is difficult to understand each separately from its relation to the others. This talk will introduce a predictive dynamical systems-based model of linguistic development that tries to capture these fundamental interactions between the skills. The goal is not to partake in the seemingly eternal zero-sum theoretical debate between nativist and empiricist outlooks, but to show how an explicit dynamical account can integrate linguistic input, architectural properties of a learning system, and a developing grammar, together with an articulatory action system and a perceptual system that allow a child to participate in their world through language. Some of the phenomena to be accounted for are Vihman’s articulatory filter and templatic regression, as well as the influence of phonetic practice on early phonological/lexical patterning.

Berkeley @ NWAV 48

September 19, 2019

Berkeley sociolinguistics will be represented at the upcoming conference New Ways of Analyzing Variation 48 by:

  • Isaac Bleaman: Linguistic prescriptivism, social conservatism, and phonetic drift in language maintenance communities
  • Justin Davidson, Joseph Roy, and Gyula Zsombok: Workshop: Creating interactive shiny dashboards to showcase sociolinguistic research: Seeing the forest and the trees

Congrats all!

Linguistics events this week (Sept 13-20, 2019)

September 13, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Phorum - Monday Sept 16 - 1303 Dwinelle  - 3p  *Note special time and place*
    Katherine Demuth (Macquarie University): Resolving Variation: Listeners, Learners & Grammar
  • On the same page talk series - Wednesday Sept 18 - Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall - 4p 
    Indigenous Bay AreaLine Mikkelsen will moderate a discussion with panelists Vincent Medina (Chochenyo Ohlone, Muwekma Ohlone Tribe), Peter Nelson (Coast Miwok, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria; SDSU), and Linda Yamane (Rumsien Ohlone)
  • Meaning Sciences Club - Thursday Sept 19 - Moses Hall 234 - 12:30-2p
    Cleo Condoravdi (Stanford): Ad-nominal Epistemic Adverbs Without Hidden Structure
  • Language Revitalization Working Group - Thursday Sept 19 - 3401 Dwinelle - 1-2p
    Conversation about the role of universities in language revitalization (led by Julia Nee, readings available on our bCourses page)
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Sept 19 - 1303 Dwinelle  - 3:40-5p
    Line Mikkelsen will lead a round table discussion of publishing based on fieldwork data. 
  • SLUgS - Thursday Sept 19 - Victory Point Cafe - 5p
    Linguistics Game Night: We will be meeting at Victory Point (a board game cafe) to play linguistics-themed board games. Please RSVP at so we can make a reservation! (Event will be paid for by SLUgS funds.)
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 20 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Ksenia Ershova (Stanford): Finding configurationality in polysynthesis: Wh-agreement as a diagnostic for clause structure in West Circassian