April 11, 2023

Isaac Bleaman will be an invited speaker at a conference on "Trauma and Memory, Rupture and Continuity: Yiddish Creativity after the Holocaust" taking place at Brown University on April 16-17, 2023. The title of his talk is "Creating a Digital Corpus of Conversational Yiddish after the Holocaust."

April 10, 2023

In recent weeks, Amy Rose Deal traveled to Penn to give an invited talk called "Probe-specific locality" at the workshop on Locality in Theory, Processing, and Acquisition. She then traveled to Stony Brook University where she gave the talk both to a group of linguists in person and, via the magic of the internet, to the NYI Global Institute of Cultural, Cognitive, and Linguistic Studies as part of the NYI Distinguished Linguist Lecture Series.

August 16, 2022

Congratulations to Isaac Bleaman, who has received a 5-year CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation! His project is entitled "Documenting and Analyzing Sociolinguistic Variation in the Speech of Holocaust Survivors," and it will involve developing a large corpus of conversational Yiddish for language research and community engagement. The project was described in a recent announcement to LSA members and publicized in the Forward (first in Yiddish and then in English translation).

August 15, 2022

Congratulations to Leanne Hinton on the publication of Flutes of Fire: An Introduction to Native California Languages, Revised and Updated! This is a newly expanded edition of her 1994 book -- "an approachable, entertaining, and informative classic on Native culture-keeping." Read all about it here!

May 8, 2022

On Saturday, May 7, some 60-70 linguists and others from Berkeley and afar gathered at the Faculty Club for a celebration of Keith Johnson's career on the occasion of his retirement. (Keith will be a Professor of the Graduate School as of July 1.) In-person speakers included Molly Babel, Meg Cychosz, Erin Diehm, Andrew Garrett, and Steve Goldinger; speaking by video recording or Zoom were Mary Beckman, Christian DiCanio, Larry Hyman, Richard Wright, and a series of (other) former students. Terry Regier served as master of ceremonies; Meg, Andrew, Siti Keo, and Hannah Sande were co-organizers.

During the event, Molly Babel announced that she, Yao Yao, Elizabeth Strand, and Grant McGuire will be editing Training Curiosity: Papers in honor of Keith Johnson, a special issue of Language and Speech that celebrates Keith's career and contributions. In the spirit of Keith’s style, they encourage collaboration across researchers with complementary theoretical and methodological angles from academic and industry perspectives on topics that speak to Keith’s impact, and invite one-page abstracts by August 1, 2022. Please submit abstracts and inquiries to Molly Babel (

Congratulations, Keith!

April 26, 2022

Assistant Adjunct Professor Chris Beier has been awarded a 2022 Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowship from the National Endowment of Humanities (NEH). This grant will support her project entitled Transcription, Parsing, and Comparative Analysis of Tone in Iquito Texts. Beier will be on leave in order to carry out this project in Peru between June 2022 and August 2023.

Beier offered this description of the funded project: "This project advances the documentation and description of Iquito, a critically endangered Zaparoan language of northern Peruvian Amazonia, with a focus on its complex tonal system. Core activities include transcription, parsing, and analysis of texts from circa 1960; re-parsing of re-analyzed texts from 2002-2018; and comparative analysis of these texts to inform ongoing grammatical description of Iquito. Because Iquito's tonal system includes both boundary Hs and HLL melodies that surface in multiple domains and across word boundaries, text-based analysis of connected speech is an indispensable tool for discovery. Thorough documentation of Iquito’s tonal system will inform the typology of tone in Amazonia, and contribute to cross-linguistic typology and theories of grammatical tone."

Congratulations, Chris!

April 11, 2022

The UC Berkeley Department of Linguistics is celebrating the distinguished career of Professor Richard Rhodes at the Patio of the Faculty Club on Monday, April 18, 2022, from 4 to 6 PM. Congratulations, Rich!

January 27, 2022

November 29, 2021

Gašper Beguš recently gave two invited talks—one at SRPP at Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) and the other at Kuhl Lab Forum, University of Washington—both titled "Interpretable comparison between auditory brainstem response and intermediate convolutional layers in deep neural networks."

April 5, 2021

Larry Hyman has received notification from French Ambassador Philippe Etienne that he has been appointed Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques. As Ambassador Etienne explains, "this honor reflects the French authorities' gratitude for [Larry's] efforts to promote French language and culture" and culminates a span of over 50 years in which Larry has studied abroad in Bordeaux, held visiting research positions in Paris, Lyon and Toulouse, and received other invitations in France. He is also known for hosting many French visitors in Berkeley. Along with his French colleague, Clément Sanchez of the Collège de France, Larry has served as Director of the France-Berkeley Fund since 2010. More information is available here. Congratulations, Larry!

January 7, 2021

Our heartfelt congratulations to Larry M. Hyman, who has received the Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award from the Linguistic Society of America!

The award is named after linguist Victoria Fromkin and given to a member of the LSA who has performed "extraordinary service to the discipline and to the Society" throughout their career.

From the LSA citation:

"Larry M. Hyman's career is a testament to the idea that scholarly accomplishment goes hand in hand with devotion to service to the field. On LSA committees and as part of its leadership, as an organizer of scholarly meetings and a member of editorial boards around the world, as a passionate advocate for the LSA, and as a host and sommelier at innumerable linguistic events, Hyman makes us all want to belong to the community of linguists."

January 6, 2021

Congratulations to Lev Michael, who has been awarded the Victor Golla Prize from the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA)!

The Victor Golla Prize is presented in recognition of a significant history of both linguistic scholarship and service to the scholarly community, with service that expands the quality and/or dissemination of such scholarship.

An excerpt of the full announcement was circulated in the SSILA newsletter:

Lev exemplifies Victor’s virtues of scholarship grounded in an empirical practice that encompasses ongoing language documentation and text philology, pursuing answers to big-picture questions about areality and language change, and effectively integrated with service to a broad community. He excels in the area of South Americanist language documentation, linguistic analysis, and community language support.

Among his many accomplishments, Lev started the biennial Symposium on Amazonian Languages, which meets in Berkeley. In March of last year, SAL 3 had 21 talks by scholars from Brazil, Canada, and the US. Of course there are bigger events for Latin Americanists generally, but nothing comparable in North America for Amazonianists. He created SAPhon, the South American Phonological Inventory Database. This online resource contains information about phonological inventories for 363 South American languages, allowing users to view information about individual languages and sounds, with a map browsing function.

Lev and his research partner Chris Beier are committed to capacity building in the Amazonian communities where they work. This is a critical part of Lev’s pedagogy and mentoring of North American students, and shines through in his work. He does training and involves community members in the work he and Chris do, and makes sure there are results that benefit them.

The committee found that Lev exemplify the spirit of this award through the breadth, quality, and availability of his research, his success in engagement with communities, and by the inspiration he brings to new generations of linguists.

December 17, 2020

Congrats to Line Mikkelsen, whose paper Forms and functions of backward resumption: The case of Karuk, co-authored with Karuk tribal members Charron (Sonny) Davis, Vina Smith, Nancy Super (née Jerry), Peter Super Sr., and Charlie Thom Sr., has just appeared in Language! As the paper notes in its opening paragraph:

The research on Karuk reported here is the outcome of a collaboration between Karuk master speakers and Elders Sonny Davis, Julian Lang, the late Vina Smith, Nancy Super (née Jerry), the late Peter Super, Sr., and the late Charlie Thom, Sr.; Karuk language learners, researchers, and teachers Tamara Alexander, Robert Manuel, Crystal Richardson, Susan Gehr, Arch Super, Florrine Super, and Franklin (Frankie) Thom; and UC Berkeley linguists Andrew Garrett, Erik Maier, Line Mikkelsen, Karie Moorman, Ruth Rouvier, and Clare Sandy in Yreka, California, starting in 2010 and continuing through 2020. The work includes language documentation, linguistic analysis, language learning, development of language curriculum, educational support, language teaching, working through texts, (re)transcribing legacy recordings, linguistic elicitation with verbal and visual stimuli, and the development of ararahih-'urípih (= Karuk language net;, an online dictionary and morphologically parsed text corpus.

December 10, 2020

Isaac Bleaman will be giving a talk at the Association for Jewish Studies on the topic "Attitudes toward change in a maintained language: Yiddish in New York" (Dec. 16 at 9:30am) and serving as a respondent on another panel on minority languages in Israel.
He will be giving a longer version of the talk (in Yiddish) at University College London on Jan. 12 at 10am, an event in the Ada Rapoport-Albert Seminar Series on Contemporary Hasidic Yiddish.

Congrats to Eric Wilbanks, whose NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant (with Keith Johnson) is being recommended for funding! The project, titled "On-line Integration during Speech Perception", will involve several experiments tracking the time-course of sociophonetic perception, and includes funding for an improved eye-tracking set-up for the lab.

October 16, 2020

We are delighted to announce that Hannah Sande will be joining Berkeley Linguistics in January 2021! Hannah will begin teaching classes in Fall 2021, and will spend spring semester advising (remotely), and doing research.

October 8, 2020

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!

October 1, 2020

June 13, 2020

The Faculty of the Berkeley Linguistics Department issued a statement on the George Floyd killing.

June 3, 2020

On June 2, Leslie Francesca Hyman married Matthew Cascardi, son of Anthony Cascardi, Dean of Arts and Humanities, in an intimate and joyful Zoom ceremony, courtesy of Oakland City Hall. As Larry has been saying all along, "I'm not losing a daughter, I'm gaining a dean!"

Congratulations to the happy couple and their families!

Hyman Cascardi wedding ceremony