All News

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.

October 9, 2022

Congratulations to Nik Rolle (PhD 2018), mom Amy, and big brother Jude on the birth of Grace Elisabeth Deverell on October 7.

Nik Rolle and baby girlRolle daughter

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

  • Larry Hyman and Mwambi Mbûûi (Graduate Theological Union) have archived a new collection of materials related to their ongoing collaborative study of Tiania (Bantu; Kenya). The materials are notable for including drafts of several descriptive pieces co-authored by Prof. Hyman and Mr. Mbûûi in the early months of the project (some already published), alongside recordings of sessions conducted on Zoom, typed notes, and database files. Their collaboration began in the fall 2021 Berkeley undergraduate field methods course, which also included Cynthia Zhong (BA 2022), some of whose notes and recordings are also included here.
  • Madeline Bossi has added 34 new file bundles to her archival collection Kalenjin Field Materials (see items 2019-26.153 through 2019-26.187). The audio recordings of elicitation sessions and texts cover the period from April through August of this year, including in-situ fieldwork in Kenya in June. Speakers represented in the new items are Lydia Chebet Bett, Sharon Chemtai, Ezra Cheruiyot, Linus Kipkoech, Chepkemoi Ronoh, and Kiplangat Yegon.

October 7, 2022

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

  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Oct 12 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (password: fforum) - 3:10-4pm
    James Kari (Alaska Fairbanks): "Features of the Lower Tanana Dene Dictionary (to appear in 2023) and Geolinguistic Evidence of Dene/Ahtna Presence at High Water Levels of Glacial Lake Atna."
  • Language Revitalization Working Group - Wednesday Oct 12 - Dwinelle 370 - 4-5pm
    DE Welcome Back and Info night: Snacks and sharing about the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization; welcoming back DE students, hearing about projects, and encouraging new students to apply.
  • Phorum - Friday Oct 7 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4:30pm
    Allegra Robertson (UC Berkeley): "Rough around the edges: Representing root-edge laryngeal features in Yánesha’."
  • Phorum - Friday Oct 14 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4:30pm
    Annual Meeting on Phonology practice talks (Katie Russell, Gašper Beguš, Maksymilian Dąbkowski)
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Oct 7 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Mia Gong (UC Santa Cruz): "A/A' operations at the clausal periphery: Agree, movement, and the interpretation of chains" (work in progress).
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Oct 14 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Caitie Coons (UT Austin): "Toward inclusive linguistic typology: What understudied signed languages contribute."

October 6, 2022

On Tuesday, October 18, from 3 to 4pm, Linguistics graduate students and faculty will be representing the Berkeley Linguistics graduate program at the annual Graduate Diversity Admissions Fair. Please spread the word and encourage prospective graduate applicants to sign up for the admissions fair. It is entirely on Zoom. If you are a current graduate student and interested in taking part, please email Susanne Gahl or Line Mikkelsen.

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."