News

April 5, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday April 5 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Amy Rose Deal (Berkeley): Interaction, satisfaction, and the PCC
  • Phonetics and Phonology Research Weekend (PHREND) - Saturday April 6 - Dwinelle 370 
  • Phorum - Monday Apr 8  - 1303 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    Junko Ito & Armin Mester (UCSC): Syntax-Prosody Faithfulness
  • Linguistics Colloquium - Monday April 8 - 370 Dwinelle - 3-5pm  
    Elizabeth Closs Traugott (Stanford): On the Rise of the Dative and Benefactive Alternations in English: The Intertwining of Differentiation with Attraction
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday April 10 - 1303 Dwinelle - 11-12:30PM 
    Beth Piatote (Berkeley): TBA
  • SLUgS - Thursday April 11 - 1229 Dwinelle - 5-6pm 
    Meeting about the research of Cal Linguistics professors and graduate students -- we will be hosting a few professors and graduate students who will be sharing about their research. 
  • Special lecture - Friday April 12 - 1303 Dwinelle - 2-3pm 
    Craig Cummings (unicode.org): Adding Languages to Computers and Mobile Devices
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday April 12 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Eva Portelance (Stanford University): Verb stranding ellipsis in Lithuanian: verbal identity and head movement

April 4, 2019

Congrats to fifth-year grad student Emily Clem, who has just accepted a tenure-track position in the linguistics department at UC San Diego! 

The 2018-2019 colloquium series continues this coming Monday, April 8, with a talk by Elizabeth Closs Traugott (Stanford). Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled On the Rise of the Dative and Benefactive Alternations in English: The Intertwining of Differentiation with Attraction, and the abstract is as follows:

The rise of the ‘dative’ alternation (e.g. She gave her neighbor birthday presents ~ She gave birthday presents to her neighbor) has been shown to develop in later Middle English, around 1400 (Zehentner 2018). Building on Zehentner and Traugott (Forthcoming), I outline the rise of the benefactive alternation (e.g. build her a house ~ build a house for her) after 1600 from a historical constructionalist perspective and compare it with the rise of the dative alternation. My focus is on what evidence these developments provide for De Smet et al.’s (2018) discussion of attraction and differentiation. De Smet et al. propose that when functionally similar constructions come to overlap analogical attraction may occur. So may differentiation, but this process involves attraction to other subnetworks and is both “accidental” and “exceptional”. I show that in the histories of the dative and benefactive alternations functionally similar constructions come to overlap, and differentiation from each other plays as large a role as attraction to each other. Both attraction and differentiation occur at different levels: the verb and its distribution, the alternation subtype, and the larger system. Differentiation plays a considerably more significant role than De Smet et al. propose.

April 3, 2019

Coming up this weekend is the Phonetics and Phonology Research Weekend, a.k.a. (PHREND). The workshop will be held Saturday, April 6, in Dwinelle 370, with a poster session to be held in the department hallway on Level A. Berkeley will be represented by Meg Cychosz, Karee Garvin, Emily Grabowski,  Sharon InkelasKeith JohnsonMyriam LapierreYevgeniy MelguyEmily Remirez,  Martha Schwarz, Alice Shen, and Jesse Zymet. The full program is available here.

April 2, 2019

Zach O'Hagan writes with the following news from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

Terry Regier visited Sweden and Germany March 2-13 for a series of talks: An invited keynote at the kickoff event for the Chalmers AI Research Center in Gothenburg, followed by talks at the University of Gothenburg, Uppsala University, and Leipzig University.

April 1, 2019

Alumnus Len Talmy (Ph.D. 1972) writes to share the news that he has just returned from the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL), near Tokyo, where he gave two talks on his recent Targeting book and consulted with the group there researching his motion typology.

March 29, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week or so:

  • Phorum - Monday Apr 1 - 1303 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    Rachel Arsenault (UCB): Ultrasound training does not improve children's non-native contrast perception
  • Psycholinguistics Guest Lecture - Tuesday April 2 - Dwinelle 1303 - 12:30-2pm
    Steve Piantadosi will be speaking about his work on Tsimane (specifically: how Tsimane children learn to count), among other topics.
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday April 3 - 1303 Dwinelle - 11-12:30PM
    Lance Twitchell (University of Alaska): Haa Dachxánxʼi Sáani Kagéiyi Yís: Haa Yoo Xʼatángi Kei Naltseen – For Our Little Grandchildren: Language Revitalization Among The Tlingit
  • Group in American Indian Languages - Thursday April 4 - 6pm  [note rescheduled date]
    Tasha Hauff (Berkeley): The Product of all our Hard Work: a Case Study in improving Lakota Language Education in K-12 Classrooms
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday April 5 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Amy Rose Deal (Berkeley): Interaction, satisfaction, and the PCC
  • Phonetics and Phonology Research Weekend (PHREND) - Saturday April 6 - Dwinelle 370 

March 25, 2019

The 4th volume of the Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America has just been published, showcasing research presented in January at the 2019 Annual Meeting. In the collection are three papers by students and faculty: 

Congrats all!

Congrats to alumna Elise Stickles (PhD '16), who has just accepted a tenure-track position in the English department at the University of British Columbia! 

March 21, 2019

Last weekend was a busy one for Berkeley linguists, with department members at conferences in Dwinelle Hall dedicated to Celtic and Amazonian languages as well as attending conferences in other locations! 

Numerous Berkeley attendees at the Symposium on Amazonian Languages (SAL III)

Symposium on Amazonian Languages III

Virginia Dawson and Samantha Wathugala at Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 9, Reed College, Portland (after presenting their paper, In support of a choice functional analysis of Sinhala ðə)

Dawson and Wathugala at FASAL

And to cap things off with some true linguistics in action: here's Susan Lin presenting Linguistics: making sense from noise at the East Bay Science Cafe, last Thursday (March 14). 

Susan Lin presenting

The Program Committee of the LSA is accepting proposals for Organized Sessions to be held at the LSA's 2020 Annual Meeting, which will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana from January 2-5.  An Organized Session is an excellent opportunity to present a group of similarly-focused presentations on a diverse array of topics and in a wide variety of formats. In addition to individual LSA members, Committees and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are encouraged to submit proposals on topics falling under their purview, and proposals are particularly welcome from women and underrepresented ethnic minorities, and on linguistic topics relating to the Southeastern United States in general and New Orleans in particular. In addition, proposals related to theUnited Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages are also particularly encouraged. 

The submission deadline for "regular" organized session proposals is May 15, 2018.  The deadline for proposals that build upon themes emerging from the Davis LSA Institute is July 17.  For more information about submitting an organized session, click here.

March 19, 2019

This coming week in Helsinki, postdoc Bernat Bardagil Mas will present a talk titled Rethinking the documentation trilogy in endangered language research at a conference called Descriptive grammars and typology. Congrats, Bernat!

Congrats to graduating senior Hua Long, who has been chosen to receive the Undergraduate Student Civic Engagement Awarda prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Public Service! Ms. Long will receive this award from Chancellor Carol Christ in Sibley Auditorium on Monday, April 29, 2019 at 3:00pm.

This coming weekend, Andrew Cheng will be presenting ‘School’ versus ‘Home’: California-based Korean Americans’ Context-dependent Production of /u/ and /oʊ/ at the 43rd Penn Linguistics Conference. Congrats, Andrew!

March 15, 2019

Next Friday, March 22, Amalia Skilton will defend her dissertation, entitled Spatial and non-spatial deixis in Cushillococha Ticuna. The defense will take place from 9:10am-12pm in Dwinelle 1229. All members of the department are invited to attend.
Abstract:
This dissertation is a study of the 6-term demonstrative system of Ticuna, a language isolate spoken by 60,000 people in Peru, Colombia, and Brazil.
Much linguistic work on demonstratives has claimed that they encode only the distance of the referent from the participants. By contrast, I argue that no demonstrative of Ticuna conveys any information about distance. Instead, I show that the demonstratives of Ticuna provide listeners with three kinds of information:
  • Perceptual information: Demonstratives encode whether the speaker can see the demonstrative referent.
  • Spatial information: Demonstratives encode where the referent is located relative to the peripersonal space (reaching space) of the discourse participants. Location relative to peripersonal space is crucially different from distance.
  • Attentional information: Demonstratives convey whether the referent is an object of preexisting joint attention.

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday March 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Adam Roth Singerman (University of Chicago): Ergativity and pronominal resumption 
  • California Celtic Conference - Friday March 15 - Sunday March 17 - Dwinelle 370
    See the full program here!
  • Third biennial Symposium on Amazonian Languages (SAL3) - Saturday March 16 - Sunday March 17 -  Dwinelle 1229 
    See the full program here!
  • Phorum - Monday Feb 25 - 1303 Dwinelle - 12-1pm 
    Kate Lindsey (Stanford): Is Ende reduplication phonological copying or morphological doubling?
  • Language Variation and Change Reading Group - Wednesday March 20 - 11AM-noon -  1229 Dwinelle Hall
    Robert Bayley (UC Davis): Frequency and syntactic variation: Subject personal pronoun variation in U.S. Spanish and Mandarin Chinese
  • Group in American Indian Languages - Thursday March 21 - 6pm
    Tasha Hauff (Berkeley): The Product of all our Hard Work: a Case Study in improving Lakota Language Education in K-12 Classrooms
  • Dissertation Defense - Friday March 22 - Dwinelle 1229 - 9:10am-12pm 
    Amalia SkiltonSpatial and non-spatial deixis in Cushillococha Ticuna
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday March 22 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Kenneth Baclawski Jr. (Berkeley): TBA

March 14, 2019

Zach O'Hagan writes with the following news from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Nicholas Rolle (PhD 2018) archived 28 file bundles of sound recordings and field notes in two collections related to Izon and Kalabari (Ijaw; Nigeria), based on fieldwork in Port Harcourt in July and August 2017. A focus of these elicitation sessions is tone, especially grammatical tone. Now a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Program in Linguistics at Princeton University, Dr. Rolle's recent dissertation, Grammatical Tone: Typology and Theory, can be found here. An accomplished Africanist, NikRo is also a budding Amazonianist, having collaborated with Marine Vuillermet, a postdoc in this department in 2013 and currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage (Lyon), on the morphologically conditioned assignment of accent in Ese Ejja (Takanan; Peru, Bolivia).
  • William Sturtevant's (BA 1949, Berkeley) 1951 recordings of Mikasuki (Muskogean; Florida) have been made unrestricted.

March 12, 2019

Congrats to Emily Cibelli (PhD '15) who has just published an article based on her PhD dissertation in Phonetica: Training Non-Native Consonant Production with Perceptual and Articulatory Cues.

The 2018-2019 colloquium series continues this coming Monday, March 18, with a talk by Matthew Dryer (Buffalo). Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled Evidence for the Suffixing Preference, and the abstract is as follows:

It might be thought that there already exists overwhelming evidence for a preference for suffixes over prefixes. However, strictly speaking, most of the available evidence is evidence for an orthographic suffixing preference, i.e. a preference for suffixes over prefixes in the orthographic representations of words in grammatical descriptions. Haspelmath (2011), however, questions how reliable such orthographic representation are and therefore questions whether there is good evidence for a suffixing preference. In this paper, I provide evidence for a suffixing preference by examining the phonological properties of two types of affixes, tense-aspect affixes on verbs and pronominal possessive affixes on nouns, examining the former in 827 languages and the latter in 553 languages. It has been suggested that pronominal possessive affixes do not exhibit a suffixing preference. However, I provide evidence that under one interpretation of the suffixing preference, pronominal possessive affixes do indeed exhibit a suffixing preference.