News

Alumni

January 12, 2021

Congratulations to Amalia Skilton (PhD, 2019), who will begin a 3-year Klarman Fellowship at Cornell University in July 2021. Klarman Fellowships "provide postdoctoral opportunities to early-career scholars of outstanding talent, initiative and promise. Among the most selective of its kind in the country, the program offers independence from constraints of particular grants, enabling the recipients to devote themselves to frontline, innovative research without being tied to specific outcomes or teaching responsibilities."

January 6, 2021

Congratulations to Amalia Skilton (PhD, 2019), who has been awarded the SSILA Archiving Award in Honor of Michael Krauss! From the official announcement:

The committee recognizes the Ticuna Archive, assembled and archived by Amalia and housed at the Survey of California and other Indian Languages. The archive stands out not only for the breadth of materials which it contains, but also for its meticulous organization and curation, which are documented in the guide to the materials, and published in Language Documentation and Conservation. In addition, the committee particularly notes the level of community-engagement exemplified by Amalia’s discussion of ethics and permissions associated with the collections and the level of accessibility of the collection. Amalia lives up to the spirit of Michael Krauss in creating high standards for documentation and archiving and at the same time as contributing to linguistic theory through her research on such topics as deixis, language acquisition, and Ticuna grammar.

The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) has announced that the Mary R. Haas Book Award has been awarded to Amalia Skilton (PhD, 2019):

Dr. Amalia Skilton (University of California, Berkeley) has been awarded SSILA Mary R. Haas Book Award for her thesis Spatial and Non-Spatial Deixis in Cushillococha Ticuna. This dissertation is an exquisite piece of work in both methodology and the theoretical contributions. The replicability of the several experiments—both with other Ticuna speakers and cross-linguistically—is a highly desirable feature in the context of the study of Indigenous languages. It also makes important theoretical contributions to the area of semantics and pragmatics of demonstratives, providing evidence that demonstratives encode visibility contrasts. This finding challenges the current dominant view that demonstratives carry information regarding distance but do not encode perceptual deictic content. The study also provides evidence that demonstratives do not contrast necessarily in terms of ‘distance’ between speaker/addressee and referents, but in terms of ‘peripersonal space,’ the space within reach of the speaker.

Kelsey Neely (PhD, 2019) was selected for an honorable mention for the award:

Dr. Kelsey Neely (University of California, Berkeley) has also been selected for honourable mention for The Linguistic Expression of Affective Stance in Yaminawa (Pano, Peru). The committee praised this thesis for its comprehensive nature, consisting of both a grammar of Yaminawa with context-rich examples and a detailed study of affective stance, and for its potential broader impacts of the work, particularly with respect to language education.

Congratulations, Amalia and Kelsey!

January 5, 2021

Congratulations to Christian DiCanio (PhD, 2008) who has been awarded tenure at Buffalo!

October 8, 2020

Congrats to Geoff Bacon, who recently filed his dissertation Evaluating linguistic knowledge in neural networks and has just taken up a position as a computational linguist at Google!

The program for the 51th annual meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (to be hosted virtually by the Université de Quebec à Montreal) has just been released, promising the following presentations by current department members and recent alumni:

  • Amy Rose Deal: 3-on-3 restrictions and PCC typology
  • Peter Jenks: Names as complex indices: On apparent Condition C violations in Thai
  • Laura Kalin and Nicholas Rolle (PhD '18): Deconstructing subcategorization: Conditions on insertion vs. position
  • Edwin Ko: Feeding agreement: Anti-locality in Crow applicatives of unaccusatives

Congrats all!

August 16, 2020

Congratulations to Drs. Cheng, Cychosz, Dawson, and Shen who have recently completed their dissertations!

  • Andrew Cheng: "Accent and ideology among bilingual Korean Americans”
    Andrew will be starting in a post-doctoral research position at UC Irvine in September.
  • Meg Cychosz: "Phonetic development in an agglutinating language"
    Meg started a post-doctoral research position at the University of Maryland in August.
  • Virginia Dawson: "Existential quantification in Tiwa: disjunction and indefinites"
    Ginny is now Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Western Washington University.
  • Alice Shen: "Costs and cues in the auditory comprehension of code-switching"
    Alice spent the summer working at Facebook and will be teaching at Reed College during 2020-21.

The dissertations are all available on our departmental website.

June 11, 2020

In connection with the campus celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first women students at the University of California, the linguistics department has made a web page honoring some of the many women who have contributed to our work over the last 120 years:

https://lx.berkeley.edu/women-berkeley-linguistics

This may expand or evolve in the coming days and months. The committee that put the page together (Madeline Bossi, Margaret Cychosz, Andrew Garrett, Zachary O'Hagan, Emily Remirez, and Tessa Scott) is very grateful to the many contributors who wrote thoughtfully and shared pictures.

May 23, 2020

Our alum Jenny Lederer (PhD, 2009) has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of English Language and Literature at San Francisco State University. Congratulations, Jenny!

May 12, 2020

Congratulations to Charles B. Chang (PhD, 2010) who has been awarded tenure at Boston University!

A new article has been published based on Emily Cibelli's 2015 Berkeley dissertation. Congrats, Emily!

Cibelli, E. (2020). Articulatory and perceptual cues to non-native phoneme perception: Cross-modal training for early learners. Second Language Research.

Rumor also has it that Dr. Cibelli is moving back to the Bay Area.

January 29, 2020

Now that 2019 is in the books, congratulations to our 2019 PhD alumni!

January 13, 2020

Congrats to Zach O'Hagan, whose paper A Phonological Sketch of Omagua, co-authored with Clare Sandy (PhD 2017), has now been published in the International Journal of American Linguistics!

November 22, 2019

Congrats to alumnus Nik Rolle (PhD 2018) on the birth of his son Jude Thomas Deverell!

Rolle and son

Congrats to alumnus Jack Merrill (PhD '18), who will be joining the Princeton University Program in Linguistics this spring as a Lecturer!

October 10, 2019

The 2019 Annual Meeting on Phonology is taking place this weekend at Stony Brook. Berkeley is represented by two talks by current dept members and recent alumni:

  • Karee Garvin, Myriam Lapierre , Martha Schwarz and Sharon Inkelas: Modeling Vowel Quantity Scales in Q Theory
  • Nicholas Rolle (PhD '18) and Florian Lionnet (PhD '16): Phantom structure: A representational account of floating tone association

Congrats all!

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!

September 9, 2019

The program for the 9th Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA IX) has just been released, promising the following presentations by current department members and recent alumni:

  • Zachary O'Hagan: Complex Temporal Relations in Caquinte: The Case of =ta and =ja
  • Wendy Liz Arbey López Marquez: Los aplicativos en el popoluca de la Sierra
  • Myriam Lapierre, Tessa Scott, Karee Garvin: Morphologically conditioned (sub)segmental subtraction in Mam
  • Kelsey Neely (PhD '19): Metrical phonology in the verbal domain in Yaminawa (Pano, Peru)
  • Amalia Horan Skilton (PhD '19): Demonstratives and reaching space in Ticuna

Congrats all!

September 4, 2019

Just out from open-access publisher Language Science Press is Theory and description in African Linguistics: Selected papers from the 47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, edited by Emily Clem (PhD 2019), Peter Jenks, and Hannah Sande (PhD 2017).  The book contains two papers by current Berkeley department members:

Congrats all!

August 30, 2019

In addition to all the publications that are listed here, here, here, and here, Berkeley linguists have been up to so much more!

  • This summer Amy Rose Deal completed her first book, entitled A theory of indexical shift: meaning, grammar, and crosslinguistic variation. It will appear in late 2019 or early 2020 with MIT Press. The larger project from which the book springs is a study of the compositional semantics of different types of attitude reports crosslinguistically. A new manuscript on this topic, entitled Uncentered Attitude Reports, is available here
  • As part of the High Art Project, Emily Drummond climbed Yosemite's iconic El Capitan this summer. The group performed three concerts on the wall over three and a half days, in a variety of genres (classical, jazz, folk, pop) all accompanied on electric guitar!
    Emily Drummond on El Capitan
  • Wesley dos Santos was in Brazilian Amazonia for a 3-month fieldwork trip with the Kawahiva groups Juma, Karipuna and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau. He offered a workshop on the writing system of the language (photo below with participants), gave a talk at Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (Belém, Brazil) on Kawahiva Reported Speech (Tupi-Guarani), and participated in a workshop held in Rio de Janeiro for projects funded by Unesco and Museu do Índio to create digital dictionaries for Brazilian Indigenous languages.
     Kawahiva writig workshop
  • Larry Hyman spent a month in Paris (May 21-June 20) attending the annual business meeting of the France-Berkeley Fund, relaxing in his favorite city, and giving two talks: "The fall and rise of vowel length in Bantu" (University of Paris 3) and "Tonology of Luganda Noun Phrase Constituents at a Workshop on Nominal Expressions in the Bantu Languages" (LLCAN [Langues, Langages et Cultures d'Afrique Noir], CNRS, Paris). He thereafter rescued three "refugees" from the LSA Summer Institute at UC Davis. The rest of the summer he enjoyed the liberty of doing his research in Berkeley and preparing for his Fall courses, Linguistics 24, 140, and 290e.
  • Darya Kavitskaya gave a poster with Sharon Inkelas at the 3rd Phonetics and Phonology in Europe conference, held at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy, in June; the poster was entitled Cluster simplification in Russian-speaking children with SLI. Dasha also did some fieldwork on Crimean Tatar and recorded some Crimean Tatar words for a perception experiment on vowels, now under construction.
  • Edwin KoJulia Nee, Erica Carson Jr., Catherine O'Connor (Boston University), Brady Dailey, and Ethan Rimdzius (Boston University) hosted the second two-day Northern Pomo language camp at Redwood Valley Rancheria, where participants used the Northern Pomo Language Tools website to work on their Northern Pomo language skills . Ko and Nee also presented the results of the first camp at SSILA in July. This is a picture of camp organizers & participants:
    Northern Pomo summer camp
  • Over the summer Tyler Lemon traveled to the island of Timor in Indonesia to engage in linguistic fieldwork and documentation training through a project funded by the Documenting Endangered Languages program of the NSF and directed by Professors Peter Cole and Gabriella Hermon (University of Delaware).  Tyler was put on a team with two native speakers of Uab Meto (Timor-Babar, Austronesian) named Nona Seko and Yoakim Kenjam and lived in the village of Oelneke for 3 weeks to record speakers of the language.  The materials resulting from this project will be archived in Paradisec. Here is Tyler with his doumentation teammates Nona Seko (left, in blue and gold) and Yoakim Kenjam (right, in red):
     Lemon trip to Indonesia
  • Julia Nee worked with Rosita Jiménez Lorenzo to host a three-week Zapotec summer camp for kids in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. The camp involved both classroom activities (including games like Bingo) and field trips to important sites in the area (including the Zapotec ruins at Monte Albán). Here are some bingo boards created by students, and a picture of students documenting a particular type of cactus while on a field trip to "La Cuevita": 
    Zapotec summer camp, Oaxaca   zapotec bingo
  • Zach O'Hagan gave a talk in Lima in July at the conference Lenguas del Perú: Hacia un estado del arte. He spent time in La Merced, Satipo, and Atalaya finishing a monolingual book of Caquinte stories before traveling to the Caquinte community Kitepampani. At other points in the summer he was writing, curating a comparative lexical database of Arawak languages, working in the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, copy-editing parts of an upcoming handbook of Amazonian languages edited by Pattie Epps (UT) and Lev Michael, doing genealogy, and road-tripping, including with Virginia Dawson to install one Berkeley linguist in their new home in San Diego. Here is a picture of Zach with Caquinte speaker Antonina Salazar:
    Zach O'Hagan and Antonina Salazar
  • Eric Wilbanks presented his work at ICPhS in Melbourne and had a published paper appear in Glossa!
  • Eve Sweetser participated in a theme session on Figurative Language and Grammar at the Japanese Cognitive Linguistics Workshop, Aug 5-6 at Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan, with two co-authored papers: (1) Seiko Fuiji, Oana David, Paula Radetsky and Eve Sweetser, 'When metaphoric and literal meanings meet: CUT/BREAK verbs in English verb-particle constructions and Japanese compound verb constructions.'  (2) I-Hsuan Chen and Eve Sweetser, 'Metaphors, sentence structure, and CUT/BREAK verbs in Mandarin'. She also presented two papers at the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Aug 6-10 also at Kwansei Gakuin University.  (1) 'Embedded viewpoint and stance in gesture and speech: multimodal stance-stacking.'  (2) Schuyler LaParle and Eve Sweetser, 'War is war - or is it? - Different genres show different metaphors for cancer'.
  • Some Berkeley people are pictured at the 52nd International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia: Aimée Lahaussois (PhD 2002), David Peterson (PhD 1999), Jackson Sun (PhD 1993), Jim Matisoff (professor emeritus), David Bradley, Dominic Yu (PhD 2012):