All News

May 3, 2023

May 2, 2023

Research on biological and artificial neural computation of speech by Gašper Beguš is featured in Berkeley News. Read it here!

April 28, 2023

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

  • Linguistics Undergraduate Honors Colloquium 2023 - Monday May 1 - Dwinelle 370 and Zoom - 3:10pm
  • Language Revitalization Working Group and Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday May 3 - Dwinelle 370 and Zoom (password: lrwg22) - 3:10-4:30pm
    Leanne Hinton, Zach O'Hagan, Tzintia Montaño-Ramírez, Alex Elias (UC Berkeley): "Through their eyes: A panel discussion on fieldwork and revitalization at Berkeley."
    The panel will be followed by a reception in Ishi Court from 4:30-6 p.m. Please RSVP to inform us of your attendance and accommodation or dietary requirements (if applicable).
  • Phorum - Friday Apr 28 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4:30pm
    Christopher Cox (Aarhus University & University of York): "Exploring the Active Role of the Infant & Caregiver-Infant Feedback Loops in Language Development."
  • WCCFL Practice Talks - Tuesday May 2 - Dwinelle 3401 and Zoom - 12:30 (sharp)-3pm
    - 12:30-1pm: Amber Galvano, "A Q- and Exemplar-Theoretic approach to cross-dialect Spanish <st> production"

    - 1-1:30pm: Becky Jarvis, "Subject movement in Atchan relative clauses: A two-probe, mixed A/A'-account"
    - 1:30-2pm: Shweta Akolkar, Sansan Claude Hien, & Franco Liu, "Nominal licensing without T: Switch reference and wh/focus fronting in Lobi"
    - 2-2:30pm: Amy Rose Deal & Justin Royer, "Mayan animacy hierarchy effects: A dynamic interaction approach"
    - 2:30-3pm: Maddy Bossi, "Two types of 'say'-complementation in Kipsigis"

April 27, 2023

On Friday, April 28, Line Mikkelsen will deliver an invited talk at the Chicago Linguistic Society on "Hyperraising in Kalaallisut." Click here for the program.

April 26, 2023

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

  • On Monday and Tuesday of this week, 10 Wintu people, led by Michelle Radcliff-Garcia, visited the California Language Archive (CLA). Anna Macknick (GSR) was responsible for the conceptualization and coordination of the event, which they carried out in conjunction with Chelsi Sparti, drawing new connections among the CLA, the American Indian Graduate Program, the Native FEWS Alliance, and the Student Technology Equity Program (STEP), all of which provided financial and/or logistical support; STEP fully donated several laptop computers to the group! The group also spent time at the Bancroft Library, at the Native Community Center (Anthony Hall), and with Prof. Beth Piatote here in the department, in her capacity as head of the Arts Research Center, which houses the Indigenous Poetics Lab. Alex Elias and Måsi Santos also provided valuable assistance, including as part of a workshop on using FieldWorks Language Explorer (FLEx).
  • Rebecca Jarvis, Julianne Kapner, and Katherine Russell have accessioned the new collection Materials of the Atchan Language Project (Kwa; Côte d’Ivoire), based on a collaboration with Jeanne Doko, Léocadie Guebeapo, Timothée Kouadio, Evelyne Koutouan, and others. Materials include audio recordings of elicitation sessions, oral narratives, and sociolinguistic interviews; field notes; and time-aligned TextGrids. The project has been conducted both in person in Côte d’Ivoire and remotely on Zoom.

April 25, 2023

The Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americas (WSCLA), hosted by McGill University in Montréal, is taking place April 28-30, 2023, and features talks by the following Berkeley linguists:

Click here for the full program.

April 24, 2023

Please join us for

The Linguistics Undergraduate Honors Colloquium

Monday, May 1, 2023 at 3:10pm

370 Dwinelle Hall

(Zoom link for remote guests:

Student Presenters

  • Cecilia Elena Bachmann
    Honors Thesis Title: "Language: A Multidimensional Tool in Higher Education between Achievement and Oppression"
    Faculty Advisor: Isaac Bleaman (Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics)
    Second Reader: Justin Davidson (Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese)
  • Andres Sanchez
    Honors Thesis Title: "Accented Speech Recognition Disparities in Digital Voice Assistants: Addressing Spanish-Accented English"
    Faculty Advisor: Terry Regier (Professor, Department of Linguistics)
    Second Reader: Justin Davidson (Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese)
  • Aishwarya Jayadeep
    Honors Thesis Title: "From āṭutan̠ to khalbə: Examining the Heart of Liquid Adaptation in Malayalam’s English and Arabic loans"
    Faculty Advisor: Andrew Garrett (Professor, Department of Linguistics)
    Second Reader: Darya Kavitskaya (Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures)
  • Cor Zanda
    Honors Thesis Title: "Parallel Morphological Changes in the Polynesian Thematic Suffixes"
    Faculty Advisor: Andrew Garrett (Professor, Department of Linguistics)
    Readers: Emily Drummond (PhD candidate, Department of Linguistics) and Peter Jenks (Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics)
  • Bryce Wallace
    Honors Thesis Title: "The Vaccine Holocaust: The Rhetorical Use of Metaphor in Anti-vax Discourse"
    Faculty Advisor: Eve Sweetser (Professor, Department of Linguistics)
    Second Reader: Lori Dorfman (Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health)
  • Calvin Quick
    Honors Thesis Title: "Syntactic Variation in Early Modern Welsh Poetry: An Optimality Theoretic Approach"
    Faculty Advisor: Eve Sweetser (Professor, Department of Linguistics)
    Second Reader: Myriah Williams (Lecturer, Celtic Studies)

April 22, 2023

The week before last, Karuk language teacher Florrine Super visited the campus with eight of her Karuk language students on a college preparedness trip. As part of the visit they talked about their work with the Karuk language in Line Mikkelsen's freshman seminar on linguistic diversity in California.

That same week, Karuk cultural practitioners Dixie Rogers and Claudette visited Linguistics 55AC ("The American Languages") to share their experiences learning the Karuk language in the context of material culture, as well as an introduction and demonstration of Karuk basket weaving.

April 21, 2023

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

  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Apr 26 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (password: fforum) - 3:10-4pm
    Rachael Samberg (UC Berkeley): "An introduction to privacy & ethics in linguistics research."
  • Phorum - Friday Apr 21 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4:30pm
    Georgia Zellou (UC Davis): "The perception of vowelless words in Tashlhiyt."
  • Phorum - Friday Apr 28 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4:30pm
    Christopher Cox (Aarhus University & University of York): "Exploring the Active Role of the Infant & Caregiver-Infant Feedback Loops in Language Development."
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Apr 21 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Yining Nie (San José State): "Causatives and ambiguity in French and Italian" (joint work with Fabienne Martin, Chiara Dal Farra and Silvia Silleresi).

April 20, 2023

Gašper Beguš (with Alan Zhou and Christina Zhao) published a paper titled "Encoding of speech in convolutional layers and the brain stem based on language experience" in Scientific Reports, available to download through Open Access.

Isaac Bleaman and Chaya Nove will be speaking at the 2023 Center for Jewish Studies Faculty Colloquium on "The Corpus of Spoken Yiddish in Europe: Goals, Methods, and Applications." The event will take place on Wednesday, April 26 from 5-6:30pm in Dwinelle 3335 (and Zoom). Registration is required. Click here for the flyer.

April 18, 2023

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.

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!

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

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."

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."