News

January 14, 2019

Our English department colleague Kristin Hanson is this semester inaugurating a new course, English 201A: Linguistics for Graduate Students in the Humanities, in which various linguistics department members will be participating.

Recent alumnus and current Googler Michael Greenberg (BA '16) writes to share news of Google's recently announced Interpreter Mode feature, on which he was the principle designer. He writes, "The feature is a synthesis of so much I learned at Cal, from cognitive linguistics to phonetics, language learning, and language acquisition." Check out this article about the "potentially world-changing" Intepreter Mode feature to learn more! 

December 7, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

December 6, 2018

Kenny Baclawski will be traveling to Muenster, Germany, this week for the Information Structure in Spoken Language Corpora (ISSLAC3) Workshop, where he will speak on Topic, Focus, and Wh-Phrases in Cham and Moken. Then he will travel on to the University of Geneva to give an additional talk there. 

November 29, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 30 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm 
    Zach O'Hagan: Two sorts of contrastive topic in Caquinte
  • SLUgS Linguistics Symposium - Saturday Dec 1 - Dwinelle 370 - 8:30am-5pm
  • Linguistics Holiday Potluck - Monday Dec 3 - Dwinelle 1229 - 12 noon
  • Linguistics Department colloquium - Monday Dec 3 - Dwinelle 370 - 3-5pm
    Carlos Gussenhoven (Radboud University Nijmegen): Between phonetics and phonology: Of the beast and the untamed savage
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Dec 6 - Dwinelle 1229 - 4-5:30PM 
    Quirina Geary (UC Davis): TBA
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Dec 7 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm 
    Noga Zaslavsky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Karee Garvin (UC Berkeley), Charles Kemp (University of Melbourne), Naftali Tishby (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), & Terry Regier (UC Berkeley): Color-naming evolution and efficiency: The case of Nafaanra 

November 28, 2018

The department climate committee consists of Chris Beier, Emily Remirez, and Julia Nee. The committee has recently unveiled a new participatory bulletin board outside of Dwinelle 1303, including resources related to climate and well-being (which passers-by are welcome to take copies of), a space for sharing expressions of gratitude (to which contributions are invited), and a "community in action" section showcasing photos of Berkeley linguists (to which contributions are invited).  Here is the board in its current state: 

Climate bulletin board

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! 

Psycholinguist and professor emerita Sue Ervin-Tripp passed away earlier this month. Dan Slobin writes, "We have lost a major founder of both psycho- and sociolinguistics, a distinguished researcher, and a splendid human being.  She will be much missed." The campus news obituary can be read here.  

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 23, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Phorum - Monday Nov 26 - Dwinelle 1303 - 12-1pm 
    Simon Todd (Stanford): Word frequency effects in sound change: A listener-based exemplar model
  • QP Fest - Monday Nov 26 - Dwinelle 370 - 3-5pm
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Nov 29 - Dwinelle 1229 - 4-5:30PM 
    Julia Nee: TBA
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle Friday Nov 30 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm 
    Zach O'Hagan: Two sorts of contrastive topic in Caquinte

November 22, 2018

QP Fest will be held on Monday, November 26, in Dwinelle 370, from 3-5pm. (Note the rescheduled date!)

The schedule is as follows: 

    • Introduction (3:10-3:15)
    • Tessa Scott: "Conjoint/disjoint in Ndengeleko: A head movement alternation" (3:15-3:35) 
    • Karee Garvin: "Positional effects on timing and coordination of segments within the syllable" (3:35-3:55) 
    • Yevgeniy Melguy: "Talker ethnicity and listener expectation in the perception of foreign-accented speech" (3:55-4:15) 
    • Mini-break (4:15-4:20)
    • Noah Hermalin: "Ambiguity and efficiency trade-offs in Sumerian cuneiform" (4:20-4:40) 
    • Myriam Lapierre: "A phonological analysis of Panãra" (4:40-5:00) 

November 21, 2018

Mairi McLaughlin (affiliated faculty of the Linguistics Department, and Associate Professor of French) writes to share news of recent talks and travels. McLaughlin is currently an Oliver Smithies Visiting Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford, in which capacity she has recently presented talks entitled Historical Newspapers and Language Change and Historical French News Discourse. She also recently spoke at Oxford on Anglicisms in Romance: A New Perspective (given as the Clara Florio Cooper Memorial Lecture), and at Cambridge on The Historical French Press and Language Change. The photo below is from a lecture given at Oxford.

Mairi McLaughlin lecture, Oxford

November 16, 2018

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday and to impacts from wildfire smoke, there are no scheduled events for the upcoming week. 

Note that Phorum is cancelled for Monday Nov 19 due to the special campus closure, and that QP Fest has been rescheduled for Nov 26. 

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 8, 2018

New to the California Language Archive (CLA) this week is a collection of Nafaanra materials elicited by Karee Garvin. The collection can be accessed here

November 1, 2018

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