News

February 8, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • BLS Workshop: Countability Distinctions - Friday Feb 8 & Saturday Feb 9
    Join us for talks including keynotes by Suzi Lima (Toronto) and David Barner (UCSD)!  The complete program is available here
  • Phorum - Monday Feb 11 - 1303 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    Georgia Zellou, Michelle Cohn, & Bruno Ferenc Segedin (UCD): Talking Tech: How does voice-AI influence human speech? 
  • Linguistics Colloquium - Monday Feb 11 - 370 Dwinelle -  3:10-5pm 
    Larry Hyman: The Fall and Rise of Vowel Length in Bantu
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Feb 13 - Dwinelle 1303 - 11-12:30PM 
    Andrew Garrett, Dmetri Hayes, and Ronald Sprouse: TBA 
  • SLUgS - Thursday Feb 14 - Dwinelle 1229 - 5-6pm  
    Viewing of Atlantis 
  • Linguistics & Near Eastern Studies special lecture - Friday Feb 15 - 254 Barrows Hall - 2pm
    Lutz Edzard (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg): The morphosyntax of compounding in Semitic
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Peter Jenks: TBA

February 7, 2019

The 2018-2019 colloquium series continues this coming Monday, February 11, with a talk by our own Larry Hyman. Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled "The Fall and Rise of Vowel Length in Bantu", and the abstract is as follows:

Although Proto-Bantu had a vowel length contrast on roots which survives in many daughter languages today, many other Bantu languages have modified the inherited system. In this talk I distinguish between four types of Bantu languages: (1) Those which maintain the free occurrence of the vowel length contrast inherited from the proto language; (2) Those which maintain the contrast, but have added restrictions which shorten long vowels in pre-(ante-)penultimate word position and/or on head nouns and verbs that are not final in their XP; (3) Those which have lost the contrast with or without creating new long vowels (e.g. from the loss of an intervocalic consonant flanked by identical vowels); (4) Those which have lost the contrast but have added phrase-level penultimate lengthening. I will propose that the positional restrictions fed into the ultimate loss of the contrast in types (3) and (4), with a concomitant shift from root prominence (at the word level) to penultimate prominence (at the intonational and phrase level). In the course of covering the above typology and historical developments in Bantu, I will show that there are some rather interesting Bantu vowel length systems that may or may not be duplicated elsewhere in the world.

Postdoc Bernat Bardagil Mas is currently in Brazil for fieldwork with Mỹky and Panará until mid-March. He sends the following update on his activities there: 
  • February 11-15: he will co-teach a language course for indigenous teachers with Aline da Cruz at the Federal University of Goiás (Núcleo Takikahakỹ de Formação Superior de Professores Indígenas) 
  • February 15: he will give an invited talk at the Núcleo de Tipologia Linguística at the University of Brasilia, "As línguas jê e a exponência do caso ergativo"
  • March 12: he will give an invited talk at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, in Belém, "A morfologia do caso nas línguas jê"
Recently published by Bernat, in collaboration with Charlotte Lindenbergh, is a Linguistics in the Netherlands paper entitled "Realigning alignment - The completeness typology applied to case marking in Jê languages".

February 2, 2019

Some new updates from the Survey of California and other Indian Languages regarding activities for 2019 so far:

  • Chris Beier & Lev Michael archived an initial 13 file bundles related to Iquito (Zaparoan; Peru), including over 8 hours of audio recordings of 59 texts from the early years of their research (2002-2005).
  • Zach O'Hagan added 63 file bundles from 2018 fieldwork to his collection on Caquinte (Arawak; Peru), including over 39 hours of audio and video recordings of stories, interviews, elicitation, and other interactions.
  • Vivian Wauters (MA 2012), now a graduate student in horticultural science at the University of Minnesota, archived 22 file bundles related to Arabela (Zaparoan; Peru), including over 36 hours of audio recordings of elicitation and some texts, field notes, and a FLEx database.
  • Three boxes of lexical file slips (herehere, and here) of Atsugewi (Palaihnihan; California) created by Len Talmy (PhD 1972) have been digitized and are available.
  • An unpublished manuscript on historical Tucanoan linguistics, written by Alva Wheeler (PhD 1970) as a term paper for a seminar taught by Mary Haas, has been digitized and is available.
  • Jorge Rosés (Alberta) & Erin Hashimoto (Alberta) archived "Time-aligned Annotations of Makah Narratives" (Wakashan; Washington), which combines speakers Ralph LaChester and Mabel Robertson's (1965) recordings of the language made with William Jacobsen (PhD 1964) with handwritten transcriptions of them, making them more accessible to users in ELAN and SayMore.

February 1, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 1 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Round Robin
  • Lecture in Hispanic Linguistics - Friday Feb 1 - 5125 Dwinelle - 1-2pm
    Jhonni Carr (Berkeley): Spanish in Los Angeles Urban Signage: Language Attitudes and Linguistic Communities
  • Phorum - Monday Feb 4 - 1303 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    Gopala Anumanchipalli (UCSF), Josh Chartier (UCSF, Berkeley), & Edward Chang (UCSF): Synthesizing speech directly from the human brain
  • Language Variation and Change reading group - Wednesday Feb 6 - 5303 Dwinelle - 11a-noon 
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Feb 6 - Dwinelle 1229 - 11-12:30PM
    Meg Cychosz (Berkeley): TBA
  • SLUgS - Thursday Feb 7 - Dwinelle 1229 - 5-6pm 
    Game night, plus informal tutoring afterwards from 6-7pm
  • BLS Workshop: Countability Distinctions - Friday Feb 8 and Saturday Feb 9 - Dwinelle 370  
    Schedule available here

Coming up next week is a workshop on Countability Distinctions, organized by Emily Clem, Virginia Dawson, Amy Rose Deal, Paula Floro, Peter Jenks, Tyler Lemon, Line Mikkelsen, Tessa Scott, and Yi-Chi Wu. The workshop will feature two plenary talks, one each on Friday Feb 8 and Saturday Feb 9:

  • Suzi Lima (Toronto): A typology of the count/mass distinction in Brazil and its relevance for count/mass theories
  • David Barner (UC San Diego): Quantification in Context is Multidimensional

In addition, there will be talks on mass/count related phenomena in Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Kipsigis, Hungarian, Romanian, and English. All are welcome. Check out the full schedule here!

January 31, 2019

The Survey of California and Other Indian Languages has just sent along some updates on its activities in Fall 2018:

  • Kenny Baclawski archived 67 file bundles related to his 2014 and 2015 fieldwork on Cham (Austronesian; Vietnam), including audio recordings of texts, and of elicitation on grammar and sociolinguistic variation.
  • Karee Garvin archived 32 file bundles related to her 2017 fieldwork on Nafaanra (Senufo; Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire), inclulding audio recordings of phonetic, lexical, grammatical, and narrative elicitation, and field notes.
  • Edwin Ko archived 17 file bundles related to his 2018 fieldwork on Crow (Siouan; Montana), including audio recordings of elicitation and texts, and photographs.
  • Amalia Skilton archived 625 gigabytes (herehere, and here) of audio and video recordings of Ticuna (isolate; Peru, Colombia, Brazil), spanning fieldwork from 2015 to the present. Included are transcriptions of some 3 hours of conversation, 3 hours of interviews, and 8 hours of traditional monologic texts.

Stay tuned for more Survey updates from this new year! 

January 27, 2019

Zach O'Hagan has two new papers to appear in the proceedings of WSCLA, both based on his fieldwork on Caquinte and both in collaboration with 2018 PhD alumni: 
  • Baier, Nico and Zachary O'Hagan. to appear. Morphological Reflexes of Subject Extraction in Caquinte. Proceedings of WSCLA 23. [pdf]
  • Rolle, Nicholas and Zachary O'Hagan. to appear. Different Kinds of Second-position Clitics in CaquinteProceedings of WSCLA 23. [pdf]

Congrats, Zach! 

January 26, 2019

A new article by Stephanie Shih (BA '07) and Sharon Inkelas on Autosegmental Aims in Surface-Optimizing Phonology has just appeared in Linguistic Inquiry. Congrats, Sharon and Stephanie!  

January 25, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Jan 30 - Dwinelle 1229 - 11-12:30PM 
    Discussion of fieldwork equipment
  • SLUgS - Thursday Jan 31 - Dwinelle 1229 - 5-6pm
    Semester kickoff: activities include eating pizza, learning about the club, and socializing with other linguistics enthusiasts!
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 1 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm 
    Round Robin
  • Lecture in Hispanic Linguistics - Friday Feb 1 - 5125 Dwinelle - 1-2pm
    Jhonni Carr (Berkeley): Spanish in Los Angeles Urban Signage: Language Attitudes and Linguistic Communities

January 24, 2019

Previously on Calques we heard from a range of linguists about their winter break activities. Here's two more: 
  • Peter Jenks enjoyed the holidays in the Bay Area with his family and managed to do a little cross country skiing. He also matched LRAPs for the spring, read and reviewed some great syntax papers, finished a proceedings paper with Ruyue Bi for SuB 23 called 'Pronouns and ellipsis in Mandarin,' and finished chapter 14 of the Moro grammar on 'Auxiliaries'.
  • Jesse Zymet traveled to the LSA to give a poster entitled "Learning a frequency-matching grammar together with lexical idiosyncrasy: MaxEnt versus mixed-effects logistic regression". Then, just before the semester began, he gave a talk at Stanford's P-Interest, titled "Lexical propensities in phonology: corpus and experimental evidence, grammar, and learning". Attendees gave great feedback, and he really enjoyed meeting with Stanford phonologists/phoneticians in person. 

January 23, 2019

Our English department colleague Kristin Hanson is this semester inaugurating a new course, English 201A: Linguistics for Graduate Students in the Humanities, in which various linguistics department members will be participating.

Recent alumnus and current Googler Michael Greenberg (BA '16) writes to share news of Google's recently announced Interpreter Mode feature, on which he was the principle designer. He writes, "The feature is a synthesis of so much I learned at Cal, from cognitive linguistics to phonetics, language learning, and language acquisition." Check out this article about the "potentially world-changing" Intepreter Mode feature to learn more! 

The 2018 edition (volume number 14!) of the UC Berkeley PhonLab Annual Report is now up at https://escholarship.org/uc/bling_reports. This year's report includes 15 papers by faculty, students, and alumni: 

Keith Johnson says: We have also moved all of the back issues of the Annual Report to escholarship.org where the archive will be indexed and maintained in perpetuity (thanks for the nudge in this direction, Andrew Garrett; and thanks to Ronald Sprouse for the technical support).

The Proceedings of SALT 28 are now available through the LSA's open access online platform. This year's edition contains three papers by faculty and/or alumni: 

The journal Snippets has recently released a special issue on Non-local Contextual Allomorphy. Included in the volume are two short papers by Berkeley linguists:

Congrats, Yvette, on your first publication! 

January 22, 2019

Long time, no Calques! What have linguists been up to over winter break? 

  • Andrew Cheng took the runner up award at the LSA's Five Minute Linguist competition with his talk Style-shifting, Bilingualism, and the Koreatown Accent. A video recording of the entire event is on YouTube, and this link directs you to Andrew's talk (starting at around 19 minutes). Andrew also prepared to move to Philadelphia for the spring semester to teach two courses at his alma mater, Swarthmore College. He will return to Berkeley in the summer or fall!

Andrew Cheng LSA 2019

  • Emily Clem took her paper Cyclicity in Agree: Maximal projections as probes on the road, with colloquia at the University of Leipzig (IGRA) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She then traveled to NYC for LSA, where she gave a shorter version of the same talk (which won 3rd place for the Student Abstract Award) as well as a joint talk with Virginia Dawson on Feature sharing and functional heads in concord:

Clem and Dawson LSA 2019

  • Virginia Dawson, in addition to the talk just mentioned, also gave a talk entitled Lexicalizing disjunction scope, after giving a festive welcome to 2019 with Tessa Scott, Jack Merrill (PhD '18), Myriam LapierreZach O'Hagan, Emily Clem, and Nik Rolle (PhD '18)!
     Berkeley linguists 2019
  • Amy Rose Deal traveled to Cambridge, MA, to attend a Radcliffe Exploratory Seminar on "What is good and what is possible? Searching for an interdisciplinary language".
  • Karee Garvin worked on her QP, went to Chicago for Christmas, traveled NYC for LSA (at which she gave 2 talks, one depicted below, and organized a special session on Inside Segments with Myriam Lapierre, Martha Schwarz, Ryan Bennett, and Sharon Inkelas), and wrapped up the break with a visit to Cambodia and Vietnam.

Karee Garvin talk LSA 2019

  • Dmetri Hayes spent part of his break skiing in France, and eating and walking around in Berlin, Helsinki, Stockholm and Barcelona, and along the way spent some time thinking about a computational semantics project to better leverage morphological information. 
  • Larry Hyman wrote a new paper on Causative and passive High Tone in Bantu: Spurious or Proto? and then turned to prepare the handout (and slides) for his Philological Society paper in London next month, entitled Functions of vowel length in language: Phonological, grammatical & pragmatic consequences. (Berkeley locals will get to hear a version of this work on February 11.) He then attended the LSA meeting in New York where he finished his final year on the Executive Committee and had a GREAT time hanging out with his most immediate former graduate students Florian Lionnet, Jack Merrill, and Nik Rolle, and crashing the Amazonianist dinner at a Brazilian restaurant organized by Myriam Lapierre.
    Larry Hyman Nik Rolle
  • Julia Nee traveled to Mexico to help with a language revitalization camp for kids in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca. In the photo below, Julia works with students to read the book Beniit kon xpejigan ("Benita and her balloons") which was written collaboratively with Zapotec speakers Veronica Bazán Chávez, Trinidad Martínez Sosa, Isabel Lazo Martínez, Efraín Lazo Pérez, and Berkeley undergrad Celine Revzani who worked as an LRAP apprentice on the project in Spring 2018.

Julia Nee

  • Tessa Scott gave a poster on Cyclic linearization and the conjoint/disjoint alternation in Ndengeleko at LSA!
    Tessa Scott
  • Eve Sweetser traveled to Japan to give a three-lecture series on Figurative Language at the Tokyo University's Komaba campus.

  Did we miss you in this winter break linguist round-up? Let us know for next week's Calques!

December 7, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

December 6, 2018

Kenny Baclawski will be traveling to Muenster, Germany, this week for the Information Structure in Spoken Language Corpora (ISSLAC3) Workshop, where he will speak on Topic, Focus, and Wh-Phrases in Cham and Moken. Then he will travel on to the University of Geneva to give an additional talk there. 

November 29, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 30 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm 
    Zach O'Hagan: Two sorts of contrastive topic in Caquinte
  • SLUgS Linguistics Symposium - Saturday Dec 1 - Dwinelle 370 - 8:30am-5pm
  • Linguistics Holiday Potluck - Monday Dec 3 - Dwinelle 1229 - 12 noon
  • Linguistics Department colloquium - Monday Dec 3 - Dwinelle 370 - 3-5pm
    Carlos Gussenhoven (Radboud University Nijmegen): Between phonetics and phonology: Of the beast and the untamed savage
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Dec 6 - Dwinelle 1229 - 4-5:30PM 
    Quirina Geary (UC Davis): TBA
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Dec 7 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm 
    Noga Zaslavsky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Karee Garvin (UC Berkeley), Charles Kemp (University of Melbourne), Naftali Tishby (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), & Terry Regier (UC Berkeley): Color-naming evolution and efficiency: The case of Nafaanra