All News

November 3, 2022

Congratulations to Edwin Ko on the publication of a new article, "Shifting teacher/learner roles in language reclamation efforts relying on digital technology," in the journal Language Documentation & Conservation!

Terry Regier presented a talk on "British attitudes toward Arabs and Jews in Mandate Palestine, as assessed through historical records of language use" at a conference on Reassessing the British Mandate in Palestine, in Ramallah (remotely).

Isaac Bleaman was quoted in an article published in Forward about the new Yiddish keyboard layouts available on Apple devices.

November 1, 2022

Congratulations to Eric Wilbanks, whose doctoral dissertation, "The Integration of Social and Acoustic Cues During Speech Perception," was signed, sealed, and delivered last week!

October 31, 2022

The final Linguistics Colloquium of fall 2022 will take place on Monday, November 14, with a talk by Wesley Y. Leonard (UC Riverside) in Dwinelle 370 and on Zoom (passcode: lxcolloq) from 3:10-5pm. His talk is entitled "Insights from Native American Studies for Decolonizing Linguistics Pedagogy," and the abstract is as follows:

Despite the increasing focus on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in the discipline of Linguistics, members of Native American and other Indigenous communities remain underrepresented—and often feel unwelcome. A recurring concern is that Linguistics is not accountable to Indigenous histories, protocols, and ways of engaging with language. A wider issue is that colonization is endemic, and academic norms have developed around colonial logics.

Drawing from critical tools in Native American Studies, this colloquium's objective is to build capacity for teaching linguistics in ways that promote JEDI for Native American and other Indigenous communities. It will begin with a summary of how colonialism, particularly settler colonialism, and related -isms guide Linguistics, and how Indigenous conceptual tools can be leveraged in response. We will then explore these principles through a consideration of how Linguistics is and could be taught.

October 28, 2022

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

October 25, 2022

Isaac Bleaman is giving a colloquium talk at UT Austin's Department of Germanic Studies on Wednesday, November 2. The talk is titled "Contemporary and historical perspectives on sociolinguistic variation in Yiddish." More information is available here.

Gašper Beguš is giving a colloquium talk at Stanford Linguistics on Friday, October 28 at 3:30 PM. The talk is titled "Modeling language from raw acoustic data with generative deep learning." More information is available here.

October 24, 2022

Congratulations to Jennifer Kaplan, who has just published an article in Languages titled "Pluri-grammars for pluri-genders: Competing gender systems in the nominal morphology of non-binary French." The article discusses the different ways non-binary Francophones innovate French nouns that don't conform to the masculine/feminine grammatical gender system.

October 23, 2022

The 2022-2023 colloquium series continues on Monday, November 7, with a talk by our colleague Justin Davidson (UC Berkeley), taking place in Dwinelle 370 and on Zoom (passcode: lxcolloq) from 3:10-5pm. His talk is entitled "Legitimizing non-nativeness: Language contact in Barcelona and the California Bay Area," and the abstract is as follows:

Like many subfields of Linguistics, research and theory from Variationist Sociolinguistics traditionally focused on the speech of monolingual English communities, leading to continued calls to expand the scope to non-Anglo and/or multilingual communities (Bayley and Preston 1996; Bayley, Preston, and Li 2022). A shift, minimally, from an idealized monolingual speaker to a multilingual speaker, would better align linguistic theory with the reality of human experience in that only a minority of people live their entire life with exposure to (and/or use of) exclusively one language. Nevertheless, research on multilinguals and multilingualism begets a series of important questions that inform linguistic theory and the methodologies we incorporate in our research: Who is and who isn't multilingual? At what point does a learner of a second language become a full-fledged speaker of that language? What are the consequences of using native and/or monolingual speaker speech norms as benchmarks for multilingual speech phenomena?

In order to begin answering these and other questions pertaining to multilingualism, in this talk I present findings from a pair of sociophonetic investigations carried out in two Spanish-speaking bilingual communities distinguished, among other factors, by the sociopolitical status of Spanish: Barcelona, Spain and the California Bay Area. In spite of considerable diversity in language dominance, I aim to show, respectively in each community, how variation in the production of the alveolar lateral /l/ or orthographic <b/v> evidences dynamic and full participation in community-wide, sociolinguistically-conditioned speech norms. These findings ultimately support the continued broadening of linguistics research to include a wider range of speakers, and furthermore crucially serve to legitimize the speech of non-native speakers.

October 21, 2022

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

October 19, 2022

Congratulations to Berkeley graduate students Katherine Russell and Gabriella Licata, who received the second and third place prizes, respectively, for this year's LSA Student Abstract Award! Katie's LSA presentation is titled "Variability in Paraguayan Guarani nasal harmony," and Gabriella's is titled "A semiotic analysis of right-wing surveillance of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's communicative repertoire." The official announcement is available here. The awards ceremony will take place during the annual meeting of the LSA in Denver on January 7, 2023.

Congratulations to Andrew Garrett, who has been awarded the 2023 Ken Hale Award from the Linguistic Society of America! Here is the official announcement from the LSA:

The LSA Awards Committee is pleased to announce Andrew Garrett as the 2023 Ken Hale Award Recipient. Through his linguistic and community work documenting languages of Northern California, principally Yurok and Karuk, Andrew Garrett admirably encapsulates the different commitments and achievements of the great Ken Hale. A leading scholar originally trained in historical linguistics and Indo-European, whose honors include the 2015 Best Paper in Language Award (with three co-authors), Garrett has produced produced work on a wide range of linguistic, historical, and cultural issues as well as producing new studies and web-based lexical and grammatical tools useful to language specialists and linguists in general and to the Yurok and Karuk communities. Most recently he is the author of The unnaming of Kroeber Hall: Language, memory, and Indigenous California (MIT Press, to appear in 2023).

The awards ceremony will take place during the annual meeting of the LSA in Denver on January 7, 2023.

October 18, 2022

Gašper Beguš and Alan Zhou (Berkeley Speech and Computation lab alum) published a paper titled "Interpreting Intermediate Convolutional Layers of Generative CNNs Trained on Waveforms" in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing. The paper is available through Open Access here:

October 14, 2022

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

October 13, 2022

Professor Emerita Leanne Hinton will be a keynote speaker at the 16th annual Arizona Linguistics Circle conference (ALC16) at the University of Arizona, Tucson, on October 21-22. In keeping with the conference's theme, "World in Crisis: Linguistics in an ever-changing context," her talk will be titled "From Genocide to Language Revitalization in Native California: Resilience and Reclamation."

Berkeley alumna Professor Rosemary Beam de Azcona (PhD 2004), now at ENAH (National School of Anthropology and History) in Mexico, will also be a keynote speaker, talking on "3000 Years of Crisis and Adaptation: Zapotec in a Changing World."

October 11, 2022

Congratulations to Yevgeniy Melguy and Keith Johnson, whose article "Perceptual adaptation to novel accent: Phonetic category expansion or category shift?" was published online this week in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (Vol. 152, Issue 4). It may be accessed via this link.

Terry Regier recently gave colloquium presentations at the University of Pennsylvania (September 30) and UC Irvine (October 4).

October 10, 2022

The 2022-2023 colloquium series continues on Monday, October 24, with a talk by Anne Charity Hudley (Stanford) and Christine Mallinson (UMBC), taking place via Zoom (and live-streamed in Dwinelle 370) from 3:10-5pm. Their talk is entitled "Decolonization and inclusion in linguistics: Setting the framework for a liberatory linguistics," and the abstract is as follows:

Colonial oppression is at the heart of linguistics as a discipline because of the expedient material and intellectual wealth that colonialism has provided. Over the last few years, linguists have begun to take the exclusionary, racist and colonial histories seriously in linguistics and in the study of language more broadly. Charity Hudley, Mallinson, and Bucholtz’s (2020) call for racial justice in linguistics challenged current scholars to increase inclusivity while decolonizing the linguistics departments and programs. Several authors responded with their own reckonings with continued colonial and white supremacist practices within the field, all of which were published together a special issue in Language, the journal of the Linguistic Society of America.

Following the publication of this special issue, Charity Hudley, Mallinson, and Bucholtz presented a call for the development and publication of two volumes on racial justice and inclusion in linguistics: Decolonizing Linguistics and Inclusion in Linguistics (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). In addition, Charity Hudley was invited to co-edit an issue of Dædalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, on the topic of Language and Social Justice.

In this talk, Charity Hudley and Mallinson will present an overview of the three forthcoming volumes and share how this collective work moves us closer to a more liberatory linguistics.

Charity Hudley, A.H., Mallinson, C., & Bucholtz, M. (2020). Toward racial justice in linguistics: Interdisciplinary insights into theorizing race in the discipline and diversifying the profession. Language 96(4), e200-e235. doi:10.1353/lan.2020.0074.
Charity Hudley, A.H., Mallinson, C., & Bucholtz, M. (forthcoming). Decolonizing Linguistics. Oxford University Press.
Charity Hudley, A.H., Mallinson, C., & Bucholtz, M. (forthcoming). Inclusion in Linguistics. Oxford University Press.
Charity Hudley, A.H., & Wolfram, W., guest editors. (forthcoming). Special issue: Language and Social Justice. Dædalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Zachary O'Hagan, Emanuele Fabiano (Universidade de Coimbra), and Joshua Homan (Universidad San Francisco de Quito) are the recipients of a grant from the Instituto Riva-Agüero (Lima) for their proposed project Historias cautivas: Estudio de las relaciones interétnicas omurano-kandozi en el río Nucuray a partir de la masacre de la comunidad Triunfo (río Urituyacu). The Instituto awards individual and team-based research grants annually to its members. This award is to Fabiano, Homan, and O'Hagan's research group Amazonía indígena contemporánea: Relaciones interétnicas, lenguas e historia, which carried out fieldwork on the Urituyacu River (Peru) in June of this year.