News

January 11, 2020

Congrats to Deborah Anderson, whose "Universal Scripts Project" has just received an NEH Preservation and Access grant! The project will support preparation of eight scripts—six historical and two modern—for inclusion in the international Unicode standard, to aid research using materials in historical scripts and to promote communication in minority language communities. This is a part of the larger Script Encoding Initiative.

Larry Hyman writes to share the news that his 2019 edited volume Phonological Typology (Hyman & Plank, eds.),  along with his 2018 edited volume The Conjoint/Disjoint Alternation in Bantu (van der Wal & Hyman, eds.), is now available in paperback!

Zach O'Hagan sends the following set of updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Amalia Skilton (PhD 2019) added 46 new file bundles to one of her three extant collections on Ticuna (isolate; Brazil, Colombia, Peru), based on her 2019 fieldwork in Cushillococha. These file bundles -- totaling nearly 1TB -- correspond to different (anonymized) children, and typically include daylong audio recordings, as well as audio and video recordings of task-oriented and undirected interactions between children and caregivers.
  • Kenneth Hill has archived a new collection of papers focused on Serrano (Uto-Aztecan; California), including field notes (digitized), sound recordings (digitized), 7 boxes of lexical file slips, and 2 boxes of mingograms. The sound recordings are original reel-to-reel tapes dating from his dissertation fieldwork in 1963 and 1964 with speakers Sarah Martin and Louis Marcus, and include word lists, sentence translation, and 20 texts. There are also short sound recordings of Cahuilla, Nahuatl, Cusco Quechua, and Efik. Ken received his PhD in linguistics from UCLA in 1967, with a dissertation titled "A Grammar of the Serrano Language" supervised by William Bright, the first recipient of the PhD in the modern instantiation of this department (1955). Ken was a visiting assistant professor here in 1964-1965, before moving to Michigan, where he supervised Rich Rhodes' PhD dissertation (1976).

The first workshop for the NSF-funded South American Nasality Project (Co-PIs Susan Lin and Lev Michael) was held December 11-15, here in the department. Several participants are pictured below: first row (left to right): Marina Magalhães (U de Brasilia), Lorena Orjuela (UT Austin), Myriam Lapierre (UC Berkeley), Kelsey Neely (UT Austin); second row: Wesley dos Santos (UC Berkeley), Wilson Silva (U of Arizona), Jorge Labrada (U of Alberta), Lev Michael (UC Berkeley), Adam Singerman (U of Chicago), Thiago Chacon (U de Brasilia). Also participating, but not pictured: Susan Lin, Ronald Sprouse, and Paula Floro (all UC Berkeley).

December 13, 2019

Chris Beier writes to share the following report:
Lev Michael and I, Chris Beier, are thoroughly enjoying our current sabbatical year, which began in June and will end in August 2020. This sabbatical, which we are spending almost entirely in Peru, is dedicated to doing the culminating fieldwork, analysis, and writing necessary to produce major outputs of the long-running Iquito Language Documentation Project, which we launched in 2002. 
So far, we have reached two major milestones:

• First, in August, we released a new Iquito–Loretano Spanish "students dictionary" and delivered it on paper to the Iquito heritage community. At almost 400 pages, it is a much better resource than its predecessors, and everybody in the community seems very pleased with it! We have also made the PDF available free online, at the Cabeceras Aid Project website.

• Then this week, we submitted a final (we hope) draft of our Iquito–English Dictionary to our publisher, Abya-Yala. This dictionary is about 650 pages and is quasi-encyclopedic in its content, so we are equally happy to have finished it! We'll be back with more news once it is actually published and available for distribution.
• Last but not least, and simultaneously, Lev is back on campus briefly (December 10 to 17)  for the first in a series of workshops that are part of an exciting new three-year NSF-funded project, "Nasal segments and nasal harmony in South American languages: Field phonetics and typology", which he, Susan Lin, and Myriam Lapierre are co-leading.

Zach O'Hagan sends the following set of updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

Here's a photo of the LRAP wrap-up meeting for this semester:

December 10, 2019

This week, postdoc Bernat Bardagil will be giving a talk called "Quotative strategies in Panará (Jê)" at the Workshop on Speech and Attitude Reports, organized by Leibniz-ZAS and held at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, in Belém (Brazil).

December 7, 2019

This week, Larry Hyman will be traveling to Japan to give an invited talk at the Word Prosody and Sentence Prosody Conference at the National Institute of Japanese Language and Linguistics. The title of the talk is Prosodic asymmetries in nominal vs. verbal phrases in Bantu.

This week, Dasha Kavitskaya will be traveling to Scotland to give a plenary talk at the Fourth Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology. The title of the 2-part talk is “Conditions on sound change: precepts and propositions”.

December 6, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next (RRR) week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle and Phorum- Friday Dec 6 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Larry HymanProsodic Asymmetries in Nominal vs. Verbal Phrases in Bantu
  • Berkeley Language Center Lecture Series - Friday Dec 6 - B-4 Dwinelle Hall - 3-5pm
    Presentations of Instructional Development Research Projects, including Dmetri Hayes on Teaching Karuk and Yurok Online: A Story of Pain and Healing
  • Sociolinguistics Lab at Berkeley (SLaB) - Tuesday Dec 10 - Dwinelle 3401 - 3:30-5pm
    Annie Helms: Generating Continua in TANDEM-STRAIGHT   (This workshop is designed to familiarize linguists with the application TANDEM-STRAIGHT, which can be used to create a continuum from two endpoint audio files. The resulting continua can be used as stimuli for discrimination and identification tasks in speech perception experiments.)

December 5, 2019

Peter Jenks sends a photo of the happy aftermath of Kenny Baclawski's successful dissertation defense yesterday morning:

December 4, 2019

Zach O'Hagan sends the following set of updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Madeline Bossi archived a new collection on Scottish Gaelic (Celtic; Scotland), based on her 2019 fieldwork, including sound recordings of elicitation sessions and texts, field notes, and photographs.
  • Zachary O'Hagan added 9 new file bundles to his extant collection on Caquinte (Arawakan; Peru), based on a short field trip in July, including sound recordings of elicitation sessions and video recordings of traditional stories.
  • Wesley dos Santos added 25 new file bundles to his extant collection on Kawahiva (Tupí-Guaraní; Brazil), based on fieldwork on three varieties, Juma, Karipuna, and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, from 2017 to 2019. The audio and video recordings include elicitation sessions, many texts and conversations, and songs, alongside field notes, photographs, and electroglottagraphy (EGG) work!  
  • Nicholas Rolle (PhD 2018) archived a new collection on Esan (Edoid; Nigeria), based on many years of research, including in-situ fieldwork, that began in a Toronto field methods course over a decade ago! The collection includes sound recordings of elicitation sessions and texts, field notes (still done with a Livescribe Smartpen), and photographs. He also added 15 new file bundles to an extant collection on Izon (Ijoid; Nigeria).
  • Jack Merrill (PhD 2018) archived a new collection on Kobiana (Senegambian; Senegal, Guinea-Bissau), based on fieldwork in Senegal in 2016, including sound recordings of elicitation sessions, field notes, and photographs.
  • Steve Parker (SIL International; Dallas International University) archived over 300 pages of original field notes on Chamikuro (Arawakan; Peru) based on fieldwork with some of the last native speakers of the language in 1985, 1987, and 1993.

December 2, 2019

Next week, Amy Rose Deal will be traveling to Göttingen, Germany, to give an invited talk on the mass/count distinction at Number and Plurality: Cross-linguistic Variation in the Nominal Domain.

November 29, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

November 22, 2019

Congrats to alumnus Nik Rolle (PhD 2018) on the birth of his son Jude Thomas Deverell!

Rolle and son

Congrats to Meg Cychosz and Keith Johnson, whose paper (authors Cychosz, M., Edwards, J., Munson, B., & Johnson, K.) entitled Spectral and temporal measures of coarticulation in child speech will appear next month in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America!

Congrats to alumnus Jack Merrill (PhD '18), who will be joining the Princeton University Program in Linguistics this spring as a Lecturer!

Berkeley SLUgS (Society for Linguistics Undergraduate Students) is hosting its Fourth Annual Linguistics Symposium on Saturday, November 23rd. This year’s symposium features a wide variety of undergraduate speakers presenting on topics ranging from poetry in ASL to child language acquisition, as well as a keynote by Larry Hyman. Coffee & breakfast will be provided; see the schedule here and facebook event here.

The 2019 annual meeting of The Society of Biblical Literature is taking place this weekend in San Diego.