News

September 19, 2019

In the days ahead Amy Rose Deal will be traveling to the University of Toronto to give a colloquium talk entitled Interaction, satisfaction, and the PCC, as well as a semantics talk on a recent manuscript entitled Uncentered attitude reports.

The program for the upcoming 2020 winter meeting of SSILA, the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, has just been released. SSILA will meet concurrently with the LSA. The program promises the following presentations by current department members and recent alumni:

  • Brady Dailey (Boston University), Ethan Rimdzius (Boston University), Julia Nee (Berkeley), Edwin Ko (Berkeley), Jimmy Sbordone (Boston University), Erica Carson Jr. (Redwood Valley Rancheria; Pomo/Wappo), Catherine Connor (Boston University): Web-based Stories and texts promote learning engagement in language revitalization
  • Zachary O'Hagan: Complex Temporal Relations in Caquinte: The Case of =ta and =ja
  • Richard Rhodes: On the phonetic nature of Proto-Algonquian *θ
  • Emily Clem (PhD '19): Distinguishing switch-reference and relativization in Amahuaca
  • Amalia Skilton (PhD '19): Co-speech pointing gestures by Ticuna speakers: A corpus study

Congrats all!

The 2019-2020 colloquium series kicks off this coming Monday, Sept 23, with a talk by Khalil Iskarous (USC). Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled The Dynamics of Linguistic Development: The Unfolding of Skill Interaction, and the abstract is as follows:

Recent work on the development of production, perception, and phonological skills in children has shown a remarkable amount of interaction between these skills, so that it is difficult to understand each separately from its relation to the others. This talk will introduce a predictive dynamical systems-based model of linguistic development that tries to capture these fundamental interactions between the skills. The goal is not to partake in the seemingly eternal zero-sum theoretical debate between nativist and empiricist outlooks, but to show how an explicit dynamical account can integrate linguistic input, architectural properties of a learning system, and a developing grammar, together with an articulatory action system and a perceptual system that allow a child to participate in their world through language. Some of the phenomena to be accounted for are Vihman’s articulatory filter and templatic regression, as well as the influence of phonetic practice on early phonological/lexical patterning.

Berkeley sociolinguistics will be represented at the upcoming conference New Ways of Analyzing Variation 48 by:

  • Isaac Bleaman: Linguistic prescriptivism, social conservatism, and phonetic drift in language maintenance communities
  • Justin Davidson, Joseph Roy, and Gyula Zsombok: Workshop: Creating interactive shiny dashboards to showcase sociolinguistic research: Seeing the forest and the trees

Congrats all!

September 13, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Phorum - Monday Sept 16 - 1303 Dwinelle  - 3p  *Note special time and place*
    Katherine Demuth (Macquarie University): Resolving Variation: Listeners, Learners & Grammar
  • On the same page talk series - Wednesday Sept 18 - Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall - 4p 
    Indigenous Bay AreaLine Mikkelsen will moderate a discussion with panelists Vincent Medina (Chochenyo Ohlone, Muwekma Ohlone Tribe), Peter Nelson (Coast Miwok, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria; SDSU), and Linda Yamane (Rumsien Ohlone)
  • Meaning Sciences Club - Thursday Sept 19 - Moses Hall 234 - 12:30-2p
    Cleo Condoravdi (Stanford): Ad-nominal Epistemic Adverbs Without Hidden Structure
  • Language Revitalization Working Group - Thursday Sept 19 - 3401 Dwinelle - 1-2p
    Conversation about the role of universities in language revitalization (led by Julia Nee, readings available on our bCourses page)
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Sept 19 - 1303 Dwinelle  - 3:40-5p
    Line Mikkelsen will lead a round table discussion of publishing based on fieldwork data. 
  • SLUgS - Thursday Sept 19 - Victory Point Cafe - 5p
    Linguistics Game Night: We will be meeting at Victory Point (a board game cafe) to play linguistics-themed board games. Please RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/slugsgamenight so we can make a reservation! (Event will be paid for by SLUgS funds.)
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 20 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Ksenia Ershova (Stanford): Finding configurationality in polysynthesis: Wh-agreement as a diagnostic for clause structure in West Circassian

September 12, 2019

The Department of Linguistics will be searching this year for a new Assistant Professor of Phonology!

The deadline for applications is Nov. 15, 2019. Apply at https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/JPF02286

September 9, 2019

The program for the 9th Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA IX) has just been released, promising the following presentations by current department members and recent alumni:

  • Zachary O'Hagan: Complex Temporal Relations in Caquinte: The Case of =ta and =ja
  • Wendy Liz Arbey López Marquez: Los aplicativos en el popoluca de la Sierra
  • Myriam Lapierre, Tessa Scott, Karee Garvin: Morphologically conditioned (sub)segmental subtraction in Mam
  • Kelsey Neely (PhD '19): Metrical phonology in the verbal domain in Yaminawa (Pano, Peru)
  • Amalia Horan Skilton (PhD '19): Demonstratives and reaching space in Ticuna

Congrats all!

September 6, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 6 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Round robin -- bring us a short update on your syntax/semantics related recent thinking!
  • Experimental Phonology Working Group - Monday Sept 9 - Dwinelle 1226 - 10:30-11:30am
    Contact Jesse Zymet for more information.
  • Phorum - Monday Sept 9 - 1229 Dwinelle  - 12-1p
    Santiago Barreda-Castanon (UC Davis): Speech perception and apparent-speaker characteristics
  • Sociolinguistics lab -- Tuesday Sept 10 - 1229 Dwinelle - 3:30-5pm
    Contact Isaac Bleaman for more information.
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Sept 12 - 1303 Dwinelle  - 3:40-5p
    Virginia Dawson (UC Berkeley):
    Documenting Tiwa kinship terms
  • SLUgS - Thursday Sept 12 - 1229 Dwinelle - 5p
    PhonLab tour: we will be meeting at 1229 Dwinelle at our normal time (5 pm) before going to the Phon Lab to meet with Keith Johnson, learn about phonetic tools, and ask questions

September 5, 2019

Here are some late-breaking additions to our file of linguists' summer updates:

  • With the funding provided by the Sawyer Fellowship, undergraduate students Teela Huff and Nicholas Carrick under the guidance of graduate student Myriam Lapierre went to Mato Grosso, Brazil and conducted linguistic fieldwork with the Xavante community of Etenhiritipa. The Xavante language, or A’uwẽas it is called by native speakers, is a Central Jêlanguage spoken in west-central Brazil. During their time in the community, they elicited approximately 12 hours of Swaedish list data and gathered a sizeable amount of vocabulary from participant observation with the community. In the upcoming semester, the goal of this project is to input all of this fieldwork data into a FLEx database that then can be archived in the California Language Archive as well as be utilized to create a dictionary for the Xavante community. Alongside the dictionary, pedagogical materials that the community desires will be created. The project will then focus on the creation of a preliminary phonological analysis as well as incorporating Xavante lexical items into a pre-existing database to perform historical reconstruction of Macro-Je.
  • Miriam R L Petruck participated in The First Designing Meaning Representations Workshop held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics in Florence, Italy, presenting her work on Meaning Representation of Null-Instantiated Semantic Roles in FrameNet, and a Special Theme Session at the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference on Cross-theoretical Perspectives on Frame-based Lexical and Constructional Analyses: Bridging Qualitative and Quantitative Studies, presenting work with Lori Levin entitled Frame Semantic Parsing Needs Constructions.
  • Jesse Zymet presented work with Margit Bowler on so-called majority rules vowel harmony in Warlpiri at the Manchester Phonology Meeting, in Manchester, UK. He also participated in UCLA's Doctoral Hooding Ceremony (almost a year after filing the dissertation!), and had a paper with Jeff Adler (co-first author) accepted with minor revisions to Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. The paper is entitled "Irreducible parallelism in phonology: evidence for lookahead from Mohawk, Maragoli, Sino-Japanese, and Lithuanian"; here's a link to the most recent version. Finally, this summer Jesse has been working with Peter Jurgec (University of Toronto) to put together an experiment that assesses speaker knowledge of patterns of morphophonological variation in Slovene. Jurgec is currently conducting this experiment in Slovenia.
    Jesse Zymet and Margit BowlerZymet graduation

Tessa Scott sends the following report:

Henry Sales worked as the Mam language consultant for the graduate field methods class two years ago and has continued to work with graduate students in the department on research on Mam. Henry is teaching a Mam language class at Laney College in Oakland, with assistance from Tessa Scott and recent alumna Emily Clem. The class meets every Saturday from 9:30-11:30am in room E207 at Laney College in Oakland. The link to the class website is here. All are welcome to come; the class is unofficial and free. If people want to be added to the mailing list they can email Tessa (tessa_scott@berkeley.edu). This class had spring and summer iterations as well -- check out this KQED story about efforts to teach Mam in Oakland.

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

If you have questions about the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages and its digital catalog the California Language Archive (CLA), don't hesitate to email us at scoil-ling@berkeley.edu, or talk to Andrew Garrett (Director), Ronald Sprouse (IT), or Zachary O'Hagan (GSR). We collect analog and digital materials on languages of the Americas, as well as from all Berkeley-affiliated researchers, irrespective of region of the world. Our holdings include over 450 collections, with approximately 19,000 items and 32,500 digital files, consisting of paper materials (field notes, file slips, etc.), audio and video recordings, photographs, a stuffed American goldfinch, and more! Much of it is born-digital or has been digitized. You can take the initiative with your own archiving, using our pre-archive interface. Here are some other news items since we last reported in April.

  • The Survey/CLA is now on Instagram! Follow us @surveycla. Our account profiles the speakers of indigenous languages represented in our collections. (You can also follow us on Facebook at Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, where announce new collections and other pertinent news.)
  • We hosted visits to the archive from people representing Karuk, Nez Perce, Northern Paiute, Pomo, Salinan, and Washo language groups.
  • We rescued from a book giveaway a reel-to-reel tape from the graduate linguistic field methods course on Mongolian taught in 1967-1968 by Karl Zimmer (1927-2019). The recording was produced in what is now the Berkeley Language Center Recording Studio. If you can help us identify the speaker of Mongolian heard on the recording, please email us at scoil-ling@berkeley.edu.
  • We made public three short recordings of Newari (Tibeto-Burman; Nepal) from Mary Haas's 1961-1962 field methods course with speaker Sushila Joshi.
  • Emily Clem (PhD 2019) archived audio recordings and slides from her dissertation defense from May 2019, available here.
  • We accessioned the collection Time-aligned Annotations of Bodega Miwok Sound Recordings (Miwokan; CA). These annotations, transcription with glossing, were made in ELAN by Andrew Cowell (CU Boulder) based on Catherine Callaghan's (PhD 1963) recordings of the language with speaker Sarah Ballard (1881-1978) in 1960.
  • We accessioned a collection of sound recordings and field notes from the LSA Linguistic Institute's field methods course on Kashaya (Pomoan; CA), taught by Pamela Munro (UCLA) at Berkeley 10 years ago. The language consultant was Anita Silva.
  • We accessioned a collection of four recordings (with transcription) of lexical elicitation of Bodega Miwok, made by Richard Applegate (PhD 1972) with Sarah Ballard in 1974.
  • We digitized and made public new materials related to Nez Perce (Sahaptian; northwest US). Most are digital images of Series 2 and Series 4 of the Haruo Aoki Papers on the Nez Perce Language, consisting of the original transcriptions, translations, and annotations of the stories that feature in Aoki and Walker's (1989) "Nez Perce Oral Narratives." Also available are Marcus Ware's (1959) recordings with speaker Corbett Lawyer, which include lists of words, phrases, and sentences.
  • Kelsey Neely (PhD 2019) archived audio and video recordings and slides from her dissertation defense from October 2018, available here. She also added 50 ELAN annotation files (transcription with Spanish translation) to her collection Materials of the Yaminawa Documentation Project.
Calques has been made aware of the following research groups and talk series meeting this semester:
  • Experimental Phonology Working Group  --  meeting on Mondays, 10:30-11:30am, in Dwinelle 1226. The first meeting will be Monday, September 9. Contact Jesse Zymet for more information.
  • Fieldwork Forum  -- meeting on Thursdays, 3:40-5:00pm, in Dwinelle 1303. Organized by Edwin Ko, Emily Drummond and Wesley dos Santos. More info on the website: Fieldwork Forum
  • Gesture and Multimodality Group -- meeting certain Fridays, 9-11am. Contact Eve Sweetser for more information.
  • Group in American Indian Languages -- meeting dates and times TBD; contact Zach O'Hagan for more information.
  • Language Revitalization Working Group  -- meeting Thursdays 1-2pm, in Dwinelle 3401. More info on the website: Language Revitalization Working Group
  • Metaphor Group -- meeting times TBD; contact Eve Sweetser for more information.
  • Phorum  -- meeting Mondays 12-1pm, in 1229 Dwinelle. Organized by Emily Grabowski and Yevgeniy Melguy. More info on the website: Phorum
  • Society of Linguistics Undergraduates Students (SLUgS) -- meeting certain Thursdays 5pm
  • Sociolinguistics lab -- meeting on certain Tuesdays, 3:30-5pm, in Dwinelle 1229. The first meeting will be Tuesday, September 10. Contact Isaac Bleaman for more information.
  • Syntax & Semantics Circle  -- meeting on Fridays, 3-4:30pm, in Dwinelle 1303. Organized by Tessa Scott & Schuyler Laparle. More info on the website: Syntax and Semantics Circle

September 4, 2019

Just out from open-access publisher Language Science Press is Theory and description in African Linguistics: Selected papers from the 47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, edited by Emily Clem (PhD 2019), Peter Jenks, and Hannah Sande (PhD 2017).  The book contains two papers by current Berkeley department members:

Congrats all!

Emeritus professor Karl Zimmer passed away earlier this week. Zimmer joined the Department of Linguistics in 1965.  His research focused on Turkish and morphology;  see especially his important early paper on “Psychological correlates of some Turkish morpheme structure conditions” Language 45(2), 309-321. He retired from teaching in 1991 and was honored with a festschrift called Puzzles of Language: Essays in Honour of Karl Zimmer in 2011. The Department is planning a memorial event in his honor on Sunday, December 8, 2019, from 12-3pm at the Alumni House.

Tyler Lemon is heading to Osnabrück, Germany this week to present a poster at Sinn und Bedeutung 24 titled "Clausal comparison and degree abstraction in Vietnamese exceed comparatives." Congrats, Tyler!

Students in Ling 140, Field Methods, are studying Runyankore this semester under the guidance of Larry Hyman and Runyankore speaker Daphine Namara. Ms. Namara is from Uganda and is a student in the Masters in Public Health program. Runyankore [NYN] belongs to the Rutara subgroup of Bantu, dialectal with Rukiga, and closely related to Ruhaya across the border in Tanzania and slightly more distantly to Luganda.

In the photo from right to left are Daphine Namara, Kiran Girish, Akil Ismael, Jiarui Gao, David Corwin, Nick Carrick, Larry Hyman, Teela Huff, Ana Lívia Agostinho, and Phuong Khuu.

Hyman field methods course

Larry Hyman has a new paper in Schuhschrift: Papers in Honor of Russell Schuh, available open access through eScholarship here. The paper is entitled `Synchronic vs. diachronic naturalness: Hyman & Schuh (1974) revisited'.

August 30, 2019

In addition to all the publications that are listed here, here, here, and here, Berkeley linguists have been up to so much more!

  • This summer Amy Rose Deal completed her first book, entitled A theory of indexical shift: meaning, grammar, and crosslinguistic variation. It will appear in late 2019 or early 2020 with MIT Press. The larger project from which the book springs is a study of the compositional semantics of different types of attitude reports crosslinguistically. A new manuscript on this topic, entitled Uncentered Attitude Reports, is available here
  • As part of the High Art Project, Emily Drummond climbed Yosemite's iconic El Capitan this summer. The group performed three concerts on the wall over three and a half days, in a variety of genres (classical, jazz, folk, pop) all accompanied on electric guitar!
    Emily Drummond on El Capitan
  • Wesley dos Santos was in Brazilian Amazonia for a 3-month fieldwork trip with the Kawahiva groups Juma, Karipuna and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau. He offered a workshop on the writing system of the language (photo below with participants), gave a talk at Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (Belém, Brazil) on Kawahiva Reported Speech (Tupi-Guarani), and participated in a workshop held in Rio de Janeiro for projects funded by Unesco and Museu do Índio to create digital dictionaries for Brazilian Indigenous languages.
     Kawahiva writig workshop
  • Larry Hyman spent a month in Paris (May 21-June 20) attending the annual business meeting of the France-Berkeley Fund, relaxing in his favorite city, and giving two talks: "The fall and rise of vowel length in Bantu" (University of Paris 3) and "Tonology of Luganda Noun Phrase Constituents at a Workshop on Nominal Expressions in the Bantu Languages" (LLCAN [Langues, Langages et Cultures d'Afrique Noir], CNRS, Paris). He thereafter rescued three "refugees" from the LSA Summer Institute at UC Davis. The rest of the summer he enjoyed the liberty of doing his research in Berkeley and preparing for his Fall courses, Linguistics 24, 140, and 290e.
  • Darya Kavitskaya gave a poster with Sharon Inkelas at the 3rd Phonetics and Phonology in Europe conference, held at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy, in June; the poster was entitled Cluster simplification in Russian-speaking children with SLI. Dasha also did some fieldwork on Crimean Tatar and recorded some Crimean Tatar words for a perception experiment on vowels, now under construction.
  • Edwin KoJulia Nee, Erica Carson Jr., Catherine O'Connor (Boston University), Brady Dailey, and Ethan Rimdzius (Boston University) hosted the second two-day Northern Pomo language camp at Redwood Valley Rancheria, where participants used the Northern Pomo Language Tools website to work on their Northern Pomo language skills . Ko and Nee also presented the results of the first camp at SSILA in July. This is a picture of camp organizers & participants:
    Northern Pomo summer camp
  • Over the summer Tyler Lemon traveled to the island of Timor in Indonesia to engage in linguistic fieldwork and documentation training through a project funded by the Documenting Endangered Languages program of the NSF and directed by Professors Peter Cole and Gabriella Hermon (University of Delaware).  Tyler was put on a team with two native speakers of Uab Meto (Timor-Babar, Austronesian) named Nona Seko and Yoakim Kenjam and lived in the village of Oelneke for 3 weeks to record speakers of the language.  The materials resulting from this project will be archived in Paradisec. Here is Tyler with his doumentation teammates Nona Seko (left, in blue and gold) and Yoakim Kenjam (right, in red):
     Lemon trip to Indonesia
  • Julia Nee worked with Rosita Jiménez Lorenzo to host a three-week Zapotec summer camp for kids in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. The camp involved both classroom activities (including games like Bingo) and field trips to important sites in the area (including the Zapotec ruins at Monte Albán). Here are some bingo boards created by students, and a picture of students documenting a particular type of cactus while on a field trip to "La Cuevita": 
    Zapotec summer camp, Oaxaca   zapotec bingo
  • Zach O'Hagan gave a talk in Lima in July at the conference Lenguas del Perú: Hacia un estado del arte. He spent time in La Merced, Satipo, and Atalaya finishing a monolingual book of Caquinte stories before traveling to the Caquinte community Kitepampani. At other points in the summer he was writing, curating a comparative lexical database of Arawak languages, working in the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, copy-editing parts of an upcoming handbook of Amazonian languages edited by Pattie Epps (UT) and Lev Michael, doing genealogy, and road-tripping, including with Virginia Dawson to install one Berkeley linguist in their new home in San Diego. Here is a picture of Zach with Caquinte speaker Antonina Salazar:
    Zach O'Hagan and Antonina Salazar
  • Eric Wilbanks presented his work at ICPhS in Melbourne and had a published paper appear in Glossa!
  • Eve Sweetser participated in a theme session on Figurative Language and Grammar at the Japanese Cognitive Linguistics Workshop, Aug 5-6 at Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan, with two co-authored papers: (1) Seiko Fuiji, Oana David, Paula Radetsky and Eve Sweetser, 'When metaphoric and literal meanings meet: CUT/BREAK verbs in English verb-particle constructions and Japanese compound verb constructions.'  (2) I-Hsuan Chen and Eve Sweetser, 'Metaphors, sentence structure, and CUT/BREAK verbs in Mandarin'. She also presented two papers at the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Aug 6-10 also at Kwansei Gakuin University.  (1) 'Embedded viewpoint and stance in gesture and speech: multimodal stance-stacking.'  (2) Schuyler LaParle and Eve Sweetser, 'War is war - or is it? - Different genres show different metaphors for cancer'.
  • Some Berkeley people are pictured at the 52nd International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia: Aimée Lahaussois (PhD 2002), David Peterson (PhD 1999), Jackson Sun (PhD 1993), Jim Matisoff (professor emeritus), David Bradley, Dominic Yu (PhD 2012):

August 28, 2019

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

  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Aug 29 - 1303 Dwinelle - 3:40-5p
    Summer fieldwork updates.
  • Language Revitalization Working Group - Thursday September 5 - Dwinelle 3401 - 1-2pm  
    Introductions, semester planning, framing language revitalization (Reading: Hinton 2018 "What is language revitalization")
    *New group! Contact Martha Schwarz for more information*
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Sept 4 - 1229 Dwinelle  - 9:30-11a
    Teela Huff and Nick Carrick (UC Berkeley):
    The Xavante Documentation Project
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 6 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30 
    Round robin -- bring us a short update on your syntax/semantics related recent thinking!