News

Faculty

February 15, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Linguistics & Near Eastern Studies special lecture - Friday Feb 15 - 254 Barrows Hall - 2pm 
    Lutz Edzard (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg): The morphosyntax of compounding in Semitic
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Peter Jenks (Berkeley): Anaphoric definites as anchored definites
  • Ling 47 ("Communication Disorders")  special event - Friday Feb 15 - Dwinelle 1229 - 4pm
    Viewing and discussion of the documentary When I Stutter
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Feb 20 - Dwinelle 1303 - 11-12:30PM 
    Practice talks for ICLDC: Julia Nee (Berkeley): Communication Based Instruction and Evaluation of Language Revitalization; Anna Berge (Alaska Native Language Center) and Edwin Ko (Berkeley): Interactive Maps, Place, and Context 
  • Philosophy Dept Work in Progress Talk - Wednesday Feb 20 - Moses 301 - noon-1
    Amy Rose Deal (Berkeley): Factivity and uncentered attitudes
  • Climate care tea/coffee hour - Friday Feb 22 - 3401 Dwinelle - 2-3pm
    Discussion of goal setting
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 22 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm
    Jorge Hankamer (Santa Cruz) & Line Mikkelsen (Berkeley): CP complements to D 

February 14, 2019

February 8, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • BLS Workshop: Countability Distinctions - Friday Feb 8 & Saturday Feb 9
    Join us for talks including keynotes by Suzi Lima (Toronto) and David Barner (UCSD)!  The complete program is available here
  • Phorum - Monday Feb 11 - 1303 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    Georgia Zellou, Michelle Cohn, & Bruno Ferenc Segedin (UCD): Talking Tech: How does voice-AI influence human speech? 
  • Linguistics Colloquium - Monday Feb 11 - 370 Dwinelle -  3:10-5pm 
    Larry Hyman: The Fall and Rise of Vowel Length in Bantu
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Feb 13 - Dwinelle 1303 - 11-12:30PM 
    Andrew Garrett, Dmetri Hayes, and Ronald Sprouse: TBA 
  • SLUgS - Thursday Feb 14 - Dwinelle 1229 - 5-6pm  
    Viewing of Atlantis 
  • Linguistics & Near Eastern Studies special lecture - Friday Feb 15 - 254 Barrows Hall - 2pm
    Lutz Edzard (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg): The morphosyntax of compounding in Semitic
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Peter Jenks: TBA

February 2, 2019

Some new updates from the Survey of California and other Indian Languages regarding activities for 2019 so far:

  • Chris Beier & Lev Michael archived an initial 13 file bundles related to Iquito (Zaparoan; Peru), including over 8 hours of audio recordings of 59 texts from the early years of their research (2002-2005).
  • Zach O'Hagan added 63 file bundles from 2018 fieldwork to his collection on Caquinte (Arawak; Peru), including over 39 hours of audio and video recordings of stories, interviews, elicitation, and other interactions.
  • Vivian Wauters (MA 2012), now a graduate student in horticultural science at the University of Minnesota, archived 22 file bundles related to Arabela (Zaparoan; Peru), including over 36 hours of audio recordings of elicitation and some texts, field notes, and a FLEx database.
  • Three boxes of lexical file slips (herehere, and here) of Atsugewi (Palaihnihan; California) created by Len Talmy (PhD 1972) have been digitized and are available.
  • An unpublished manuscript on historical Tucanoan linguistics, written by Alva Wheeler (PhD 1970) as a term paper for a seminar taught by Mary Haas, has been digitized and is available.
  • Jorge Rosés (Alberta) & Erin Hashimoto (Alberta) archived "Time-aligned Annotations of Makah Narratives" (Wakashan; Washington), which combines speakers Ralph LaChester and Mabel Robertson's (1965) recordings of the language made with William Jacobsen (PhD 1964) with handwritten transcriptions of them, making them more accessible to users in ELAN and SayMore.

February 1, 2019

Coming up next week is a workshop on Countability Distinctions, organized by Emily Clem, Virginia Dawson, Amy Rose Deal, Paula Floro, Peter Jenks, Tyler Lemon, Line Mikkelsen, Tessa Scott, and Yi-Chi Wu. The workshop will feature two plenary talks, one each on Friday Feb 8 and Saturday Feb 9:

  • Suzi Lima (Toronto): A typology of the count/mass distinction in Brazil and its relevance for count/mass theories
  • David Barner (UC San Diego): Quantification in Context is Multidimensional

In addition, there will be talks on mass/count related phenomena in Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Kipsigis, Hungarian, Romanian, and English. All are welcome. Check out the full schedule here!

January 26, 2019

A new article by Stephanie Shih (BA '07) and Sharon Inkelas on Autosegmental Aims in Surface-Optimizing Phonology has just appeared in Linguistic Inquiry. Congrats, Sharon and Stephanie!  

January 24, 2019

Previously on Calques we heard from a range of linguists about their winter break activities. Here's two more: 
  • Peter Jenks enjoyed the holidays in the Bay Area with his family and managed to do a little cross country skiing. He also matched LRAPs for the spring, read and reviewed some great syntax papers, finished a proceedings paper with Ruyue Bi for SuB 23 called 'Pronouns and ellipsis in Mandarin,' and finished chapter 14 of the Moro grammar on 'Auxiliaries'.
  • Jesse Zymet traveled to the LSA to give a poster entitled "Learning a frequency-matching grammar together with lexical idiosyncrasy: MaxEnt versus mixed-effects logistic regression". Then, just before the semester began, he gave a talk at Stanford's P-Interest, titled "Lexical propensities in phonology: corpus and experimental evidence, grammar, and learning". Attendees gave great feedback, and he really enjoyed meeting with Stanford phonologists/phoneticians in person. 

January 22, 2019

Long time, no Calques! What have linguists been up to over winter break? 

  • Andrew Cheng took the runner up award at the LSA's Five Minute Linguist competition with his talk Style-shifting, Bilingualism, and the Koreatown Accent. A video recording of the entire event is on YouTube, and this link directs you to Andrew's talk (starting at around 19 minutes). Andrew also prepared to move to Philadelphia for the spring semester to teach two courses at his alma mater, Swarthmore College. He will return to Berkeley in the summer or fall!

Andrew Cheng LSA 2019

  • Emily Clem took her paper Cyclicity in Agree: Maximal projections as probes on the road, with colloquia at the University of Leipzig (IGRA) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She then traveled to NYC for LSA, where she gave a shorter version of the same talk (which won 3rd place for the Student Abstract Award) as well as a joint talk with Virginia Dawson on Feature sharing and functional heads in concord:

Clem and Dawson LSA 2019

  • Virginia Dawson, in addition to the talk just mentioned, also gave a talk entitled Lexicalizing disjunction scope, after giving a festive welcome to 2019 with Tessa Scott, Jack Merrill (PhD '18), Myriam LapierreZach O'Hagan, Emily Clem, and Nik Rolle (PhD '18)!
     Berkeley linguists 2019
  • Amy Rose Deal traveled to Cambridge, MA, to attend a Radcliffe Exploratory Seminar on "What is good and what is possible? Searching for an interdisciplinary language".
  • Karee Garvin worked on her QP, went to Chicago for Christmas, traveled NYC for LSA (at which she gave 2 talks, one depicted below, and organized a special session on Inside Segments with Myriam Lapierre, Martha Schwarz, Ryan Bennett, and Sharon Inkelas), and wrapped up the break with a visit to Cambodia and Vietnam.

Karee Garvin talk LSA 2019

  • Dmetri Hayes spent part of his break skiing in France, and eating and walking around in Berlin, Helsinki, Stockholm and Barcelona, and along the way spent some time thinking about a computational semantics project to better leverage morphological information. 
  • Larry Hyman wrote a new paper on Causative and passive High Tone in Bantu: Spurious or Proto? and then turned to prepare the handout (and slides) for his Philological Society paper in London next month, entitled Functions of vowel length in language: Phonological, grammatical & pragmatic consequences. (Berkeley locals will get to hear a version of this work on February 11.) He then attended the LSA meeting in New York where he finished his final year on the Executive Committee and had a GREAT time hanging out with his most immediate former graduate students Florian Lionnet, Jack Merrill, and Nik Rolle, and crashing the Amazonianist dinner at a Brazilian restaurant organized by Myriam Lapierre.
    Larry Hyman Nik Rolle
  • Julia Nee traveled to Mexico to help with a language revitalization camp for kids in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca. In the photo below, Julia works with students to read the book Beniit kon xpejigan ("Benita and her balloons") which was written collaboratively with Zapotec speakers Veronica Bazán Chávez, Trinidad Martínez Sosa, Isabel Lazo Martínez, Efraín Lazo Pérez, and Berkeley undergrad Celine Revzani who worked as an LRAP apprentice on the project in Spring 2018.

Julia Nee

  • Tessa Scott gave a poster on Cyclic linearization and the conjoint/disjoint alternation in Ndengeleko at LSA!
    Tessa Scott
  • Eve Sweetser traveled to Japan to give a three-lecture series on Figurative Language at the Tokyo University's Komaba campus.

  Did we miss you in this winter break linguist round-up? Let us know for next week's Calques!

November 28, 2018

This coming week Lev Michael will be in Florianópolis, Brazil, where he will be giving a plenary talk entitled Captive-taking and language contact in Amazonia at the 10th meeting of Associação Brasileira de Estudos Crioulos e Similares. Before the December 5 talk, he'll be giving a mini-course (Dec 3-4) at the same conference, entitled ''El contacto lingüístico en la Amazonía: Áreas, procesos y metodologías" (Language contact in Amazonia: Areas, processes, and methodologies).


In previous travel, talk and class news, on November 8 Lev gave a 'conferencia magistral' at the Centro de Estudios Antropológicos of UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) entitled La gramaticalización impulsada por la cultura: el caso de las evidenciales reportativas en el idioma nanti (Culture-driven grammaticalization: The case of Nanti reportative evidentials), and on November 9 he gave a class for faculty members at UNAM and other affiliated universities entitled "Temas y metodologías en la lingüística antropológica" (Topics and methodologies in Anthropological Linguistics).

The Society of Linguistics Undergraduate Students (SLUgS) will be holding its 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium this Saturday, featuring undergraduate researchers from across the country. The keynote speaker will be Keith Johnson. The symposium features presentations by Berkeley students Benjamin John PapadopoulosYvette Wu, and Rachel Arsenault. The program is available here. Congrats all! 

Open-access linguistics book publisher Language Science Press has just published an interview on its blog with Larry Hyman, the most prolific LangSci author to date! The interview can be read here

November 21, 2018

November 15, 2018

The 2018 annual meeting of The Society of Biblical Literature is taking place this weekend in Denver.

November 13, 2018

In the days ahead Larry Hyman will be traveling first to the University of British Columbia, where he will present "In search of prosodic domains in Lusoga" and attend workshops on Kinata and Medumba, and then to Ghent University for the International Conference on Reconstructing Proto-Bantu Grammar, at which he will present "Causative and Passive H tone: Spurious or proto?" 
Continuing the African languages theme, Larry also has three new papers in the newly published book East Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns, and verbs. The book is open access and can be downloaded in its entirety here. Larry's three chapters are entitled:
  • “Bantoid verb extensions”. In John Watters (ed.), Eastern Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns, and verbs, 175-199. Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • “Third person pronouns in Grassfields Bantu”. In John Watters (ed.), Eastern Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns and verbs, 201-223. Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • “More reflections on the nasal classes in Bantu”. In John Watters (ed.), Eastern Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns and verbs, 225-238. Berlin: Language Science Press.

November 9, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 9 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Tom Roberts (UC Santa Cruz): I can't believe what's not butter: Deriving distributed factivity
  • Fieldwork Forum - Tuesday Nov 13 - Dwinelle 1229 - 4-5:30PM [note special time and place!]
    Haley De Korne (University of Oslo): 
    Language reclamation as a socio-political practice: Strategies of engagement in multilingual environments
  • Group in American Indian Languages (GAIL) - Thursday Nov 15 - 6pm [note: talk begins at 6]
    Kate Hedges and Leanne Hinton (UC Berkeley): Konkow Maidu language and texts
  • SLUgS - Thursday Nov 15 - Dwinelle 1229 - 5-6pm 
    SLUgS will be hosting a language exchange night for members to share information about languages they speak and learn about other languages.
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 16 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm 
    Jorge Hankamer (UC Santa Cruz) & Line Mikkelsen (UC Berkeley): CP complements to D 

November 1, 2018

On-going this semester is a Learning in Retirement course, offered through the Berkeley Retirement Center, entitled The Origins and Nature of Language. The course lecture this week was delivered by Eve Sweetser, and next week's lecture will be given by Terry Regier: 

  • Eve Sweetser: Why are Languages so different?    Slides   Audio Link with Slides
  • Terry Regier: What are the consequences of linguistic diversity for perception and thought?
    Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 2-4 pm, Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Building

Congrats, Eve and Terry!

In place of the general meeting of BLS this February, there will be a workshop on the topic of countability distinctions. Here is the call for papers:

BLS Workshop: Countability Distinctions

08-Feb-2019 - 09-Feb-2019 

Countability distinctions and mass nouns are a topic of long-standing interest in semantics, grammar, and the philosophy and psychology of language. Recent work on this topic has pushed our understanding forward in three separate but related directions: 

  1. There is more than one type of countability distinction relevant to natural language: nouns like furniture are different from nouns like sand both in how quantity judgments are carried out (Barner and Snedeker 2005) and in which types of adjectival modification are possible (Rothstein 2010, Schwarzschild 2011). 
  2. A semantics for mass nouns can be given that captures the many grammatical parallels between water and furniture without ascribing the same status to the minimal elements in their denotations (Chierchia 2010, Landman 2011). 
  3. The crosslinguistic picture on countability distinctions is more nuanced than originally thought: there are languages where all nouns combine with numerals in apparently similar ways (Lima 2014, Deal 2017), and in languages where classifiers are necessary to mediate noun-numeral combinations, there nevertheless exist countability-related distinctions among nouns diagnosable by quantity judgments and adjective distribution (Cheung, Li, and Barner 2010, Rothstein 2010). 


For this workshop, held in place of the general meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, we invite submissions for talks on all aspects of countability distinctions in natural language. Submissions may address questions including, though not limited to, the following: 

- What are the ways in which countability distinctions are manifested in particular languages? 
- Are morphosyntactic differences in the distribution of count versus mass nouns traceable directly to their semantics, or to their syntax, or to both? 
- What do countability distinctions show us about nominal semantics? What do they teach us about nominal syntax? 
- How should we choose among theories of mass noun semantics (or syntax) currently on the market? 
- Are countability distinctions a language universal? Which distinctions are subject to variation (if any), and which (if any) are not? 
- How are countability distinctions represented psychologically, and acquired by children? 

Invited speakers (confirmed): 
David Barner (UC San Diego) 
Suzi Lima (University of Toronto) 

Conference website: http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/bls/ 
Contact: blsworkshop@berkeley.edu 

Organizing Committee: 
Emily Clem, Virginia Dawson, Amy Rose Deal, Paula Floro, Peter Jenks, Tyler Lemon, Line Mikkelsen, Tessa Scott, Yi-Chi Wu

Call for Papers: 

Submission deadline: November 30, 2018 

Abstracts should be submitted in PDF format via EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=blsw1 

Abstracts should not exceed two pages in length (12-point type, Times New Roman, single line spacing, 1 inch margins) including examples and references. 

Submissions must be anonymous and are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract per author or two joint abstracts per author. 

Reviews and notifications of acceptance will be returned to authors by mid-December. 

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 2 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Amy Rose DealClausal complementation vs. “relative embedding”: On knowledge and happiness in Nez Perce 
  • Phorum - Monday Nov 5 - Dwinelle 1303 - 12-1pm
    Jennifer Bellik (UCSC): Vowel intrusion in Turkish onset clusters
  • Antikoni, by Beth Piatote  - Tuesday Nov 6  - Hearst Museum of Anthropology - 5:30-7 p.m. 
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Nov 8 - Dwinelle 1303 - 4-5:30PM 
    Kate Lindsay (Stanford): TBA
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 9 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Tom Roberts (UC Santa Cruz): TBA

October 30, 2018

The 50th Algonquian Conference took place last weekend in Edmonton, Alberta, featuring four talks by Berkeley faculty or alumni: 

  • Rich RhodesMorphological transitivity in Ojibwe
  • Amy Dahlstrom (PhD '86): A Meskwaki construction in narrative texts: independent pronoun + full NP
  • David Costa (PhD '94): Verb negation in Indiana Miami
  • Jerome Biedny, Matthew Burner, Andrea Cudworth, & Monica Macaulay (PhD '87): Classifier Medials Across Algonquian: A First Look

Berkeley authors are depicted below!

Cal faculty & alumni at the Algonquian Conference 2018

The Proceedings of NELS 48 have just been published in a three-volume set. The set contains three papers by faculty and/or alumni: 

  • Boris Harizanov and Line MikkelsenResumption and Chain Reduction in Danish VP Left Dislocation
  • Nicholas Rolle (PhD '18), Output-Output Correspondence via Agreement by Projection
  • Hannah Sande (PhD '17) and Peter Jenks, Cophonologies by phase

Congrats all!