All News

April 18, 2023

Congratulations to Susan Luong, Department Manager for Linguistics, who is one of this year's recipients of the Distinguished Service Award for the Social Sciences!

Lev Michael and Christine Beier recently gave a course on lexicography for under-documented languages at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. The slides for the course are available here for anyone who may be interested.

April 17, 2023

Dear colleagues,

We are sad to announce that our past student, colleague, co-author, and friend William (Bill) F. Weigel passed away suddenly a few days ago.

Bill came to Linguistics later in life than most, having first had a career as an attorney. His papers in Linguistics were few but always interesting and sometimes influential. He was an erudite linguist, with immense knowledge of many topics and languages. His dissertation, Yowlumne in the Twentieth Century, was a beautiful study of the language better known to linguists as Yawelmani Yokuts — a combination of a grammar, a study of language change, and a critique of linguistic methodologies used in past Yawelmani studies (specifically the creation of contrived, unattested forms) that played such a big role in the evolution of generative grammar. His 2013 article "Real data, contrived data, and the Yokuts canon" should be required reading for anyone who engages with the results of earlier documentation.

After his PhD, Bill worked with Yokuts communities and individuals on their efforts toward language revitalization, supported by the Owens Valley Career Development Center Nuumu Yadoha Program, providing workshops on Yokuts grammar, storytelling, strategies of documenting endangered languages and dictionary-making. He also taught Linguistics 55AC for many years, at first in the Linguistics Department and later at University Extension.

In recent years, with COVID restrictions and declining health, Bill's geography became smaller, and he became a regular patron of coffee shops along Shattuck Avenue near his apartment. With his big heart and friendly attitude, he became well-known to both vendors and street people, a real "town and gown" guy. We and his other friends often sought him out there for a conversation. We'll miss that, and him, a great deal.

Leanne Hinton, Andrew Garrett, Carly Tex, Johanna Nichols, and Rich Rhodes

April 14, 2023

In and around the Department of Linguistics in the next week:

April 13, 2023

Starting in July, Gabriella Licata (Spanish & Portuguese) will be a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Latino and Latin American Research and Studies Center at the University of California, Riverside. She will be working at the intersection of linguistics, education, and anthropology in the LatCrit Sociocultural Linguistics Lab under the supervision of Dr. Claudia Holguín Mendoza.

April 12, 2023

On Monday, May 1, Mark van de Velde and Peter Jenks will co-host a small workshop on Definiteness in the Niger-Congo Noun Phrase.

Participants include Pius Akumbu (LLACAN), Dmitry Idiatov (LLACAN), Larry M. Hyman (Berkeley), Augustina Owusu (Boston College), and Hannah Sande (Berkeley). The workshop will take place in the O'Neill Room at the Berkeley Faculty Club. Please let us know if you are planning to attend by filling out this short form:

The workshop is generously funded by grants from the France-Berkeley Fund and the Center for African Studies.

Workshop: Definiteness in the Niger-Congo Noun Phrase

8:45-9:10am Breakfast
9:10-10:20am Where are the stage 1 articles? Dmitry Idiatov and Mark van de Velde
10:20-10:30am Coffee Break
10:30-11:15am Implications of Tiania and Bantu Noun Phrase Structure, Larry M. Hyman
11:15-12:00pm Demonstratives and definiteness in Babanki, Pius Akumbu and Peter Jenks
12-12:45pm Lunch
12:45-1:30pm On the strong-weak status of the Akan definiteness marker, Augustina Owusu
1:30-2:15pm Definiteness marking in Guébie, Peter Jenks, Hannah Sande, and Malte Zimmermann

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."

The following papers from our department have been accepted for presentation at the 16th Researching and Applying Metaphor (RaAM16) conference, hosted at the Universidad de Alcalá, Spain, from June 28 to 30, 2023:

  • Bryce Wallace and Eve Sweetser: "Anti-Vax framings and metaphors: What makes an Anti-Vaxxer?"
  • Eve Sweetser: "Culturally based metaphors, frame metonymy, and 'culturally primary' associations."

Congratulations to Bryce Wallace ('23, Linguistics & English), who has received the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship! Read the story here.

Bryce was also recently named a Haas Scholar. A description of his project, "The Ethics of Literary Scholarship and the Burden of Representation: If and How the Humanities Articulate Otherness," is available here.

April 10, 2023

Edwin Ko has accepted a three-year (renewable) position as a Lecturer in Linguistics at Yale University, beginning July 1, 2023. He will be teaching courses in historical linguistics and other areas of linguistics, and continuing his research on the Crow language and Siouan comparative linguistics.

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.

Larry Hyman and Ana Lívia Agostinho, who was a visiting scholar in the department (2019-2020) from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, have authored a new chapter together:

Ana Lívia Agostinho & Larry M. Hyman. 2023. Interpreting non-canonical word prosody in Afro-European contact. In Jeroen van de Weijer (ed.), Representing phonological detail, 151-169. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.

April 7, 2023

In and around the Department of Linguistics in the next week:

April 6, 2023

On Thursday, April 6, Julia Peck gave a talk at Spanish in the US/Spanish in Contact with Other Languages at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The talk was titled "Ladino in Contact: Morphosyntactic Integration of Turkish and French Lexical Borrowings in Istanbul Judeo-Spanish."

April 5, 2023

Several current and former UC Berkeley linguists will be presenting at TripleA 10 in Potsdam in June:

The TripleA workshop series was founded in 2014 by linguists from Potsdam and Tübingen with the aim of providing a platform for researchers conducting theoretically-informed linguistic fieldwork that investigates meaning. Its focus is particularly on under-represented languages from Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania.

April 3, 2023

The Seventh Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium is on Saturday, April 15th from 10am to 5pm in Dwinelle 5125 (Spanish and Portuguese Library). Talks range from ASL phonology, colonial language policy, epicene pronominalization, abbreviations, thematic suffixes, Native American English perception, and more! Come meet and engage with the next generation of linguists!

March 31, 2023

In and around the Department of Linguistics in the next week:

  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Apr 5 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (password: fforum) - 3:10-4pm
    Deborah Anderson (UC Berkeley) with Craig Cornelius (Google) and Kamal Mansour: "Language Preservation and Documentation with Unicode: Character encoding, keyboards and fonts."
  • Language Revitalization Working Group - Wednesday Apr 5 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (p/w lrwg22) - 2:10-3pm (note different time)
    Yan García (CSU Long Beach and Tlahtoltapazolli): "Community Nahuatl Teaching in Los Angeles."
  • Phorum - Friday Apr 7 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4:30pm
    Marie Tano (Stanford): "Stancetaking and the construction of Black American identities in the United States."
  • Sociolinguistics Lab at Berkeley - Monday Apr 3 - Dwinelle 5125 and Zoom - 2-3pm
    Lorenzo García-Amaya (Michigan): "Investigating the impact of long-term bilingualism on filled-pause production and fluency patterns in Afrikaans-Spanish bilinguals" (remote talk).
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Apr 7 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Nicoletta Biondo (UC Berkeley): "Bridging theoretical linguistics and cognitive neuroscience: Fine-grained linguistic differences do matter during online language comprehension."

March 28, 2023

Congratulations to Andrew Cheng (PhD 2020) who has accepted a tenure track offer from the University of Hawai'i to start in August 2023! Andrew also has a new paper out in the Journal of Linguistic Geography titled "A comparative study of English vowel shift and vowel space area among Korean Americans in three dialect regions."

March 27, 2023

The 2022-2023 colloquium series concludes on Monday, April 10, with a talk by Laura Kalin (Princeton), taking place in Dwinelle 370 and on Zoom (passcode: lxcolloq) from 3:10-5pm. Her talk is entitled "On the nature of linearization: Insights from infixes and infixation," and the abstract is as follows:

How do abstract syntactic structures come to have a linear order? It is widely assumed in the generative literature that linearization follows the syntax (see, e.g., Chomsky 1995, Nunes 1999, 2004, Moro 2000, Berwick & Chomsky 2011). But, there is no consensus on the precise timing and nature of post-syntactic linearization, with proposals split along the following lines (among many others): (i) is linearization determined entirely by structural relationships?; (ii) does linearization within a word obey the same principles as linearization across words?; and (iii) does linearization of an affixal morpheme with respect to its stem take place prior to or simultaneous with (i.e., as part of) exponence? For some varying proposals, see e.g. Lieber 1992, Noyer 1992, Embick 2010, Arregi and Nevins 2012, Bye and Svenonius 2012, Idsardi and Raimy 2013, Myler 2017, Georgieva et al 2021, Felice 2022, Hewett 2022.

In this talk, I use infixes and infixation as a window into linearization and the post-syntactic component. In very brief, what I will propose is that basic linear order (for all morphemes) is established cyclically, from the bottom of a spelled-out structure upward, interspersed with exponence; at each terminal, linearization properly precedes exponence, and can be influenced by various non-structural factors. In addition, I will argue for one point of re-linearization which is also cyclic, but which takes place after exponent choice. The evidence will include and go beyond the type of case study considered in Kalin 2022.