All News

October 5, 2022

Congratulations to Mingyu Yuan, who has been accepted into the Graduate Designated Emphasis in Cognitive Science!

October 4, 2022

Affiliated faculty member Mairi McLaughlin just had an article published in a special edition of META that brings together articles on "Exploring New Methods in Quantitative Translation Studies." Mairi's article is called "La traductologie de corpus et la traduction journalistique historique," or "Corpus-based translation studies and historical news translation." Congrats, Mairi!

October 3, 2022

The Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP 2022), taking place at UCLA from October 21 to 23, will feature presentations by the following Berkeley linguists:

Congrats, all!

You are invited to a welcome party and information session for the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization, taking place on Wednesday, October 12, from 4-5pm in Dwinelle 370. For more information, including about the 2022 deadline to apply for the DE, see this flyer.

September 30, 2022

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

September 28, 2022

The following Berkeley linguists will be presenting their research at the 50th annual conference New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV), taking place October 13-15, 2022 in downtown San Jose and hosted by Stanford Linguistics. The full program is available here.

  • Isaac L. Bleaman and Rhea Kommerell: "Detecting the envelope of variation using computational language models"
  • Aurora Martinez Kane: "Linguistic and social factors influencing variation in Traditional New Mexican Spanish paragoge"
  • Gabriella Licata: "From implicit to explicit bias: Assessing generational attitude changes towards US Spanish translanguaging repertoires"

Edwin Ko will be sharing his dissertation work at the American Philosophical Society (APS) Brown Bag series on Tuesday, October 4th from 9-10 am Pacific time (hybrid). His dissertation is provisionally entitled "Inferring the history of the Siouan languages: Phylogeny, chronology, and geography." For the Zoom link to attend this event, contact Edwin Ko.

September 27, 2022

On October 3, Gašper Beguš will be giving a colloquium talk at the Yale University Department of Linguistics titled "Deep Phonology: Modeling language from raw acoustic data in a fully unsupervised manner." More information is available here.

The two linguistics undergraduate majors who are finishing theses this semester will be giving practice talks on Thursday morning, October 6, from 11:10am-12pm in Dwinelle 1303. These will be 20 minute talks followed by 5 minutes for questions. The titles and authors are:

  • Jasper Talwani: "Argument indexing in lajltayki- tsome / Highland Chontal"
  • Chelsea Tang: "A description and theoretical analysis of Lobi STAMP morphs"

September 26, 2022

The 2022-2023 colloquium series continues on Monday, October 3, with a talk by our very own Alexandra Pfiffner, taking place in Dwinelle 370 and synchronously via Zoom (passcode: lxcolloq) from 3:10-5pm. Her talk is entitled "Features, cues, and phonological contrast: A look at plosive voicing in Afrikaans," and the abstract is as follows:

Phonological voicing in obstruents is signaled by numerous acoustic cues, both spectral and temporal. Voicing contrasts have been featurally described as [±voice], [±spread glottis], fortis versus lenis, or a combination of features such as [±spread] and [±slack] vocal folds, depending on the cues utilized in a particular language. The problem that arises is that describing obstruent voicing contrasts with only cues or features, to the exclusion of the other, misses larger cross-linguistic patterns.

In this talk, I examine plosive voicing contrasts and positional neutralization in Afrikaans. Using data from perception and production experiments with native speakers, I show that acoustic cues (that are not necessarily linked to the definition of a distinctive feature) are integral to the realization of phonological contrast. To account for this data and unite the two views on describing voicing contrasts, I propose a new framework of cue-based features.

September 23, 2022

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

  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Sept 28 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (password: fforum) - 3:10-5pm
    Anna Macknick (UC Berkeley) leads "A discussion on relationships, positionality, and accountability in collaborative language work."
  • Phorum - Friday Sept 23 - Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Scott Borgeson (Michigan State): "Long-distance compensatory lengthening."
  • Phorum - Friday Sept 30 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4:30pm
    Noah Hermalin (UC Berkeley): "An introduction to phonographic writing systems."
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 23 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Frances Sobolak (Cornell): "Light verbs, Case, and Voice head functionality."
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 30 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Tzintia Montaño Ramírez (UC Berkeley): "Status of the patient subject in the Garifuna passives."

September 20, 2022

Congratulations to Gašper Beguš, Isaac Bleaman, and Alan Zhou (BA 2021), who were just published in Proceedings of Interspeech 2022!

  • Beguš, Gašper and Alan Zhou. 2022. Modeling speech recognition and synthesis simultaneously: Encoding and decoding lexical and sublexical semantic information into speech with no direct access to speech data. Proc. Interspeech 2022, 5298-5302. [article] [asynchronous talk]
  • Webber, Jacob J., Samuel K. Lo, and Isaac L. Bleaman. 2022. REYD – The first Yiddish text-to-speech dataset and system. Proc. Interspeech 2022, 2363-2367. [article]

September 19, 2022

Gašper Beguš commented on a recent whale study that was covered by NBC News. Click here to read it!

Andrew Garrett will be one of four panelists at the LSA's September 28 webinar on "Tenure, promotion, and academic review in documentary linguistics." The other panelists are Kayla Begay (PhD 2017), Alice Harris, and Jorge Rosés Labrada. Click here to register.

September 16, 2022

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

September 15, 2022

The 2022-2023 colloquium series begins on Monday, September 19, with a talk by our very own Amy Rose Deal, taking place in Dwinelle 370 and synchronously via Zoom (passcode: lxcolloq) from 3:10-5pm. Her talk is entitled "On ditransitive person restrictions in primary object languages," and the abstract is as follows:

When a ditransitive is expressed with clitic pronouns or agreement for both objects, oftentimes restrictions are in place on the relative person of the two objects. A typical pattern is that the theme object must be 3rd person. This pattern has been the subject of intensive study by syntacticians over the last two decades. In this talk I investigate the implications of this work for primary object languages, where the "object markers" controlled by the patient in a monotransitive are controlled by the goal/recipient in a ditransitive. Various prominent syntactic analyses of person restrictions, when put together with commonly assumed ideas about the syntax of primary object languages, lead to the prediction that person restrictions should be absent in ditransitives in languages of this type. This prediction is wrong: in fact, it has proven hard to find a primary object language that LACKS a person restriction in ditransitives. I critically review two lines of analysis that have been pursued regarding these person restrictions, and propose a new approach grounded in my recent work on the person-case constraint (Interaction, Satisfaction, and the PCC).

September 13, 2022

Debbie Anderson will be participating in a webinar on September 28, 2022, from 10:30-12:30 that will discuss Unicode and internationalization. Her brief talk will focus on the process of adding characters and scripts into the Unicode Standard, so that the letters/symbols can (eventually) be used on computers and devices — important for those working with "lesser-used" languages. Other talks will discuss other ongoing projects of the Unicode Consortium.

The event is free but registration is required. There will be a live Q&A session afterwards.

September 12, 2022

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

  • Allegra Robertson has archived a new collection of materials related to her first summer of fieldwork with speakers of Yánesha' (Arawak; Peru) in June and July of this year. Many speakers are represented, in sound recordings of traditional stories, explanatory texts, grammatical and lexical elicitation, and transcription sessions, together with scanned field notes and photographs.

September 9, 2022

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

  • Talk for Linguistics Graduate Students - Monday Sept 12 - Dwinelle 370 - 3:10-4pm
    Amy Honigman (Sr. Clinical Psychologist, Counseling and Psychological Services; Graduate Assembly Wellness Specialist)
  • Language Revitalization Working Group - Wednesday Sept 14 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (password: LRWG) - 3:10-4pm
    Opening meeting: This first session will be an opportunity to introduce the new organizers and get to know each other.
  • Phorum - Friday Sept 9 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Emily Grabowski (Berkeley): "Exploring phonetic time series analysis and representations."
  • Phorum - Friday Sept 16 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4:30pm
    Rachel E. Weissler (Oregon): "What is incorporated in emotional prosody perception? Evidence from race perception studies and analysis of acoustic cues."
  • Sociolinguistics Lab at Berkeley - Monday Sept 12 - Dwinelle 5125 and Zoom - 2-3pm
    Welcome meeting and discussion of Papadopoulos 2021.
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 9 - 1303 Dwinelle and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Sana Kidwai (Cambridge): "Marked Anticausatives in Urdu."