All News

February 24, 2022

Congrats to Ben Papadopoulos, who has just published an article titled "A Brief History of Gender-Inclusive Spanish" in the Italian feminist journal Deportate, esuli, profughe 'Deported, exiled, refugee (women).' Ben wrote the article in both English and gender-inclusive Spanish (in the x gender), and the journal has published both versions.

February 23, 2022

The Department of Linguistics at UC Berkeley is seeking a lecturer in Phonetics. The job ad and link to apply are available here:

February 21, 2022

February 18, 2022

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

February 11, 2022

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Feb 16 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (p/w fforum) - 3:10-4pm
    Lise Dobrin (UVA): Is the aim accuracy or insight? Transcribers as cultural and linguistic filters.
  • Phorum - Friday Feb 11 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 1-2pm
    Josefina Bittar (UC Santa Cruz): Borrowing of Mental Event Verbs from Spanish to Guaraní.
  • Phorum - Friday Feb 18 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 1-2pm
    Maksymilian Dąbkowski (UC Berkeley): A Q-Theoretic solution to A'ingae postlabial raising.
  • ProD* - Friday Feb 11 - Zoom - 2-3pm
    A conversation with Alice Shen (PhD 2020), an analytical linguist at Grammarly, about her career path, how she uses her PhD training in her work now, among other topics.
    *Professional development seminar for grad students, postdocs, and faculty. If you would like to opt in to the ProD mailing list, please let Susanne Gahl know.
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 11 - 1303 Dwinelle and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Andrew Garrett and Erik H. Maier (UC Berkeley): How to do things with birds: The pragmatics of lexical and syntactic choice in early Karuk narrative texts.
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 18 - 1303 Dwinelle and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Yurika Aonuki (UBC): Relative pronominal tense in Gitksan and Japanese.
  • Zoom Phonology - Friday Feb 18 - Zoom - 9am
    Larry M. Hyman (UC Berkeley) and Mwambi G. Mbûûi (Graduate Theological Union): Dahl's Law in two Bantu Languages. Part I: Tiania.
    For the Zoom link or to be added to the Zoom Phonology mailing list, contact Karee Garvin.

February 4, 2022

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

January 31, 2022

The 2021-2022 colloquium series continues on Monday, February 7, with a talk by Anna Belew (Endangered Languages Project & University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa), held via Zoom (passcode: 956577) at 3:10pm. The talk is entitled "Ten Years Beyond the Ancestral Code: Growing Into a Model for Sociolinguistic Documentation," and the abstract is as follows:

Reflecting on the ten years since the 2012 Workshop on Sociolinguistic Documentation in Sub-Saharan Africa, this talk will explore work and ideas at the intersection of language documentation, revitalization, and sociolinguistics. Documentary linguistics has traditionally focused on describing and recording the structure of a single lexico-grammatical code (or bounded "language"). However, as argued by Childs, Good, and Mitchell (2014), in their report on the aforementioned 2012 workshop, the documentation of sociolinguistic contexts is equally crucial - especially since these contexts are generally more fragile, and more endangered, than languages themselves. This talk will share findings from the author's sociolinguistic documentation work in Iyasa-speaking communities in Cameroon; explore the challenges of forging viable, useful, and ethical paths in this relatively new field of study; reflect on how sociolinguistic documentation can lead to better language revitalization planning; and share lessons learned and suggestions for others interested in this type of work. Finally, this talk will touch on how the skills and knowledge of documentary and/or sociolinguists can be applied to career paths outside of academia.

January 28, 2022

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Phorum - Friday Jan 28 - Zoom - 1-2pm
    Anna Björklund (UC Berkeley): Nomlaki Vowel Quality and Duration: An Archival Examination.
    Note: Due to scheduling conflicts in the department, the organizers have decided to move Phorum to Fridays at 1pm for the rest of the semester.
  • Phorum - Friday Feb 4 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 1-2pm
    Richard Bibbs (UC Santa Cruz): Perceptually-grounded contrast licensing by laryngeals in Chamorro.
  • Sociolinguistics Lab at Berkeley - Wednesday Feb 2 - Dwinelle 5125 and Zoom - 3-4pm
    Spring organizational meeting
    Please contact Ben Papadopoulos for more information or to be added to the SLaB mailing list.
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Jan 28 - Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Tatiana Bondarenko (MIT): Two paths to clausal embedding.
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 4 - 1303 Dwinelle and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Round Robin

January 27, 2022

January 26, 2022

Wesley dos Santos presented at the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) last Sunday, January 23. The slides for his talk, "For a Realis and Irrealis Account of Ko and Po in Kawahíva," are available here.

January 25, 2022

A chapter by Christine Beier and Lev Michael entitled "Managing Lexicography Data" appears in the new Open Handbook of Linguistic Data Management (MIT Press). All 56 chapters of the handbook, which span a tremendous range of topics, are available free online. Check it out!

January 21, 2022

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

January 17, 2022

The 2021-2022 colloquium series continues on Monday, January 24, with a talk by Melissa Baese-Berk (University of Oregon), held via Zoom (passcode: 660588) from 3:10-5pm. The talk is entitled "Factors influencing non-native perception and learning," and the abstract is as follows:

Learning a second language is a complex task, requiring acquisition of syntactic structure, lexical items, and phonological structure, among other things. Speech perception and learning phonological categories are notoriously difficult for non-native speakers because sensitivity to non-native contrasts by adult listeners is typically quite poor. Previous research has hypothesized that a relationship between the structure of the first and second languages predicts perception and acquisition of contrasts in the second language. My research examines a number of other factors that may influence perception and learning of non-native contrasts. The work I will present addresses several factors including: the relationship between perception and production during learning and how this relationship might shift both over time and across contrasts, the role of variability during training, and the role of active vs. passive exposures during training. I will discuss the implications of the results of these studies for our understanding of speech perception and production more broadly.

Thank you to Hannah Sande for sharing this information from the Center for African Studies:

We are offering Summer 2022 funding through the Department of Education for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. In addition to the Arabic language offered at Berkeley, there are other African Languages offered at various other FLAS-funded programs in the US. We can possibly fund African languages that are not being taught at Berkeley or other programs this summer through the Intensive Summer Multilanguage Seminar, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Contact us for more information.

The application deadline is Monday, 14 February, 2022.

January 16, 2022

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

  • Anna Lewington has archived two cassettes of sound recordings of stories, songs, and music in Matsigenka (Arawak; Peru), from fieldwork conducted for her (1985) MA thesis "The Implications of Manioc Cultivation in the Culture and Mythology of the Machiguenga of South Eastern Peru" (St. Andrews).
  • Justin Spence (PhD 2013) has added over 220 new file bundles to the collection Materials of the Hupa Language Documentation Project (see items 821-1044, from 2009-2010; and 1484-1497, from October to December 2021). The materials stem from a longtime collaboration with speaker Verdena Parker. See Calques from October 8, 2021 for more details!

January 14, 2022

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

January 12, 2022

Congratulations to Jennifer Kaplan and Cecelia Cutler (CUNY Graduate Center), whose presentation "I’m Tawkin’ Here: Why don’t New Yorkers sound like Noo Yawkas anymore?" won first prize in the Five Minute Linguist competition at this year's meeting of the Linguistic Society of America! Read all about it here.

Eric Wilbanks is joining UC Berkeley Research IT this spring as a domain consultant, where he will provide consultation and training on research data and computing to the campus research community. Congrats, Eric!

January 11, 2022

Congratulations to Larry Hyman on the publication of a new article in Africana Linguistica:

January 10, 2022

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships fund graduate students to study critical and less commonly taught foreign languages, in combination with area and international studies. FLAS awards are offered by the Center for African Studies; the Institute of East Asian Studies; the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies; the Center for Latin American Studies; the Center for Middle Eastern Studies; the Institute for South Asia Studies; the Center for Southeast Asia Studies; and the Institute of European Studies. Summer and academic year applications are due Monday, 1/31, and more information is available here.