All News

August 17, 2022

Congratulations to Schuyler Laparle, who has accepted a position as Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Cognition at Tilburg University, beginning January 2023.

August 16, 2022

Congratulations to Isaac Bleaman, who has received a 5-year CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation! His project is entitled "Documenting and Analyzing Sociolinguistic Variation in the Speech of Holocaust Survivors," and it will involve developing a large corpus of conversational Yiddish for language research and community engagement. The project was described in a recent announcement to LSA members and publicized in the Forward (first in Yiddish and then in English translation).

August 15, 2022

Congratulations to Leanne Hinton on the publication of Flutes of Fire: An Introduction to Native California Languages, Revised and Updated! This is a newly expanded edition of her 1994 book -- "an approachable, entertaining, and informative classic on Native culture-keeping." Read all about it here!

August 14, 2022

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

  • In late May we received a very generous grant of $500,000 from the Arcadia Fund! Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, "supports work to preserve endangered cultural heritage, protect endangered ecosystems, and promote access to knowledge." This grant will provide needed support for our operations over a five-year period, including support to bring Indigenous community researchers to the Berkeley campus for visits to our archive.
  • For the first time since 2019, we co-hosted in-person the Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous California Languages, organized by the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS). From May 22-28, 15 faculty members, graduate students, and alumni volunteered as linguistic partners supporting Indigenous Californians working with some 25 languages.
  • We published Report 20 of the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, Mutsun Text Collection: mutsun riicakma hummen. It's a monumental 7,175-page philological work by Natasha Warner (PhD 1998), Lynnika Butler, Heather Van Volkinburg, and Quirina Geary, "24 years after starting it as an Excel spreadsheet," as Natasha puts it, based on relationships that formed at Breath of Life in the 1990s.
  • We accessioned the following new archival collections, most documenting the history of field methods instruction in the department:
  • We added materials to the following extant archival collections:
    • Guébie Fieldwork Collection (2014-15): sound recordings of elicitation and texts, field notes, and typed transcripts from Hannah Sande and Katie Russell's nearly 80 (mostly remote) work sessions 2020-2022 (see 2014-15.145 through 2014-15.223). Archiving was aided by Julianne Kapner.
    • Nukuoro Field Materials (2019-24): videos and typed notes from grammatical elicitation conducted on Zoom in 2021 with speakers Mina Lekka and Johnny Rudolph (see 2019-24.157 through 2019-24.187).
    • Documentary Materials on Chamikuro (2019-31): new and updated Praat TextGrids for previously archived sound recordings (see 2019-31.043).

May 13, 2022

We wrote to our soon-to-be and recent undergraduate alumni (from 2022 and 2021) for updates on their plans after graduation. Here are the stories they shared with us:

  • Nicholas Ngai (BA 2022) will be starting his master's degree in computer science at UC Berkeley.
  • Dara Gaeuman (BA, fall 2022) will be applying to grad school for Speech Language Pathology programs.
  • Cynthia Zhong (BA 2022) will be starting her Ph.D. in linguistics at MIT this fall.
  • Anjali Kantharuban (BA 2022) will be beginning an MPhil in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at Cambridge in October 2022. Afterwards, she will do her PhD in Language and Information Technology at Carnegie Mellon University, studying ways to make natural language computer systems functional on a wider variety of languages and dialects.
  • Irene Yi (BA 2021) will be starting in the Linguistics PhD program at Stanford in the fall.
  • Ivori White (BA 2022) will be moving to Japan in August to teach English. Before she moves she will be practicing her Japanese and napping her days away.
  • Charles Zhang (BA 2021) started a job working on quantum computers in September 2021 and will pursue a further degree in comparative linguistics.
  • Margaret Asperheim (BA 2022) will be starting an MA at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in August.
  • Noah Usman (BA, fall 2021) has started a job as an Insights Associate at Pakistani-American investment firm i2i Ventures, the sister company of startup accelerator Invest2Innovate.
  • Jesus Duarte (BA 2022) will be starting his PhD in Hispanic Linguistics at UCLA in the fall.
  • Carmela Blazado (BA 2021) will begin the Master’s Program for Speech-Language Pathology at University of the Pacific in August 2022.
  • Anna Shim (BA 2022) will be starting at UC Berkeley's BE3 graduate program in education starting June 2022.
  • Tegan Lakshmanan (BA 2022) will be starting her PhD in Math at UC Berkeley in the fall.
  • Grant Brooks Goodman (BA 2022) will be working at SiriusXM/Pandora as a software engineer in August 2022.
  • Cooper Bedin (BA 2022) will be beginning a PhD program in linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in September.
  • Kevin Yu (BA 2021) will be starting his PhD in linguistics at the University of Florida in fall 2022.

Congratulations, everybody!

May 12, 2022

Peter Jenks will be giving a plenary at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS) hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa next Thursday, May 19, 3:30-4:30pm Hawaii Time (virtual). The title of the talk is "Semantic Distinctions in the Thai Pronominal System."

May 11, 2022

The Center for African Studies at UC Berkeley has awarded Samba Kane its Best Undergraduate Thesis award (with a $250 prize) for his honors thesis in Linguistics titled "Perfective Aspect and Order of Affixation in Pulaar." Samba completed his thesis in December 2021, and his readers were Peter Jenks and Harold Torrence (UCLA). Congrats, Samba!

May 10, 2022

The 40th meeting of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 40) will take place virtually this weekend, May 13-15, 2022, and features work by a number of Berkeley linguists!

  • Himidan Hassen (Independent scholar), Peter Jenks, Sharon Rose (UC San Diego): "A'-satisfaction with φ-interaction in Tira"
  • Emily Drummond: "Argument-extraction restrictions do not constrain sluicing"
  • Line Mikkelsen: "Same and different are additive presupposition triggers" (invited talk; joint work with Dan Hardt, Copenhagen Business School)

The full program is available here.

Congrats to the following Berkeley linguists, who will be presenting at the 29th Manchester Phonology Meeting, taking place online from May 25 to 27. More information is available here.

  • Maks Dąbkowski: "A Q-Theoretic solution to A'ingae postlabial raising"
  • Julianne Kapner: "Affixal and default fixed segmentism: New categories for fixed elements in reduplication"
  • Katie Russell: "Nasalization in Atchan: Morpheme-specific harmony"

Additionally, Charles Chang (PhD 2010) will be featured as an invited speaker at a special session on "Second Language Phonology and Phonological Theory."

Katherine Russell will be presenting on "Nasalization in Atchan: Sensitivity to morpheme identity" at the 19th meeting of the Réseau Français de Phonologie - French Phonology Network, which is taking place at the University of Porto, Portugal, June 7-9. A provisional program can be found here.

Ben Papadopoulos (organizer), eleven of his current or former LRAP apprentices, and Jennifer Kaplan will give a panel publically presenting the Gender in Language Project and its preliminary findings for the first time at Lavender Languages and Linguistics 28 on May 23, 2022 at the University of Catania, Italy. These stellar students are Cooper Bedin, Carmela Blazado, Sol Cintrón, Sebastian Clendenning-Jimenez, Keira Colleluori, Jesus Duarte, Julie Ha, Zaphiel Kiriko Miller, Serah Sim, Chelsea Tang, and Irene Yi. Apart from the panel, four other individual papers from Jennifer, Sebastian & Zaphiel (presenting together), Keira, and Jesus will be presented. Ben and eight of the aforementioned students will soon be travelling to the conference. Information about the panel, as well as the individual papers being presented, may be found here. Congrats, all!

May 9, 2022

Congratulations to Madeline Bossi and Emily Drummond, whose proposals for NSF Dynamic Language Infrastructure - Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DLI-DDRI) grants have been recommended for funding! Maddy's proposal is titled "Syntax and its interfaces in Kipsigis" and Emily's is titled "Ergativity in Nukuoro (Polynesian Outlier)."

May 8, 2022

On Saturday, May 7, some 60-70 linguists and others from Berkeley and afar gathered at the Faculty Club for a celebration of Keith Johnson's career on the occasion of his retirement. (Keith will be a Professor of the Graduate School as of July 1.) In-person speakers included Molly Babel, Meg Cychosz, Erin Diehm, Andrew Garrett, and Steve Goldinger; speaking by video recording or Zoom were Mary Beckman, Christian DiCanio, Larry Hyman, Richard Wright, and a series of (other) former students. Terry Regier served as master of ceremonies; Meg, Andrew, Siti Keo, and Hannah Sande were co-organizers.

During the event, Molly Babel announced that she, Yao Yao, Elizabeth Strand, and Grant McGuire will be editing Training Curiosity: Papers in honor of Keith Johnson, a special issue of Language and Speech that celebrates Keith's career and contributions. In the spirit of Keith’s style, they encourage collaboration across researchers with complementary theoretical and methodological angles from academic and industry perspectives on topics that speak to Keith’s impact, and invite one-page abstracts by August 1, 2022. Please submit abstracts and inquiries to Molly Babel (

Congratulations, Keith!

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

  • Thanks to Ronald Sprouse, we have a new website with a new look! Much of the content remains the same, but there's a new blog, project spotlights, and collection spotlights. The first posts are by Andrew Garrett; graduate students Rebecca Jarvis and Katherine Russell, and their collaborator Timothée Kouadio; and Zachary O'Hagan. We'll be inviting others to contribute in the future. Our catalog and the pre-archive continue to function as before. Stay tuned for more new content in the coming months!

May 6, 2022

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

  • Belén Flores's Retirement Tea Party - Friday May 6 - Ishi Courtyard - 2-4pm
  • Phorum - Friday May 6 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 1-2pm
    Wesley dos Santos and Hannah Sande (UC Berkeley): Apparent partial reduplication in Kawahíva is total reduplication of a particular spell-out domain.
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Monday May 9 - 1303 Dwinelle and Zoom - 3-4pm
    Line Mikkelsen (UC Berkeley): Same and different are additive presupposition triggers (Practice talk).

Photo from last week's Linguistics Undergraduate Honors Colloquium:

Presenters from Linguistics Undergraduate Honors Colloquium 2022

(From left: Cynthia Zhong, Cooper Bedin, Jenkin Leung, Margaret Asperheim)

Congrats to all of our thesis-writers!

May 2, 2022

Congrats to Julia Nee (PhD 2021), along with coauthors Genevieve Smith, Alicia Sheares, and Ishita Rustagi, on the publication of a new article titled "Linguistic justice as a framework for designing, developing, and managing natural language processing tools" in Big Data and Society! There's a blog post summary of the article here.

May 1, 2022

A new paper by Berkeley linguists and colleagues has just appeared in the Journal of Language Evolution:

Click here for the preprint PDF. Congrats to all!

April 29, 2022

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

  • Linguistics Undergraduate Honors Colloquium 2022 - Monday May 2 - Dwinelle 370 and Zoom - 3:15pm
    - Cynthia Zhong: "Tonal Variations on 'bu' in Mandarin-English Code-Switching"
    - Cooper Bedin: "(A Computational Approach to) Acoustic Cues of Queer Speech"
    - Jenkin Leung: "Variation in Hong Kong Cantonese Nasal Onsets"
    - Margaret Asperheim: "One language or five thousand: A linguistic categorization analysis of Library of Congress classification and language resources"
  • Belén Flores's Retirement Tea Party - Friday May 6 - Ishi Courtyard - 2-4pm
  • Phorum - Friday Apr 29
    Meeting canceled.
  • Phorum - Friday May 6 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom - 1-2pm
    Wesley dos Santos and Hannah Sande (UC Berkeley): Apparent partial reduplication in Kawahíva is total reduplication of a particular spell-out domain.
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Apr 29 - 1303 Dwinelle and Zoom - 3-4:30pm
    Carlos Cisnernos (UC Berkeley) and Anqi Zhang (Nanjing University): The non-scalar, epistemic nature of polarity sensitive wh-indefinites in Mandarin.
  • Zoom Phonology - Friday Apr 29 - Zoom - 9am
    Katherine Russell (UC Berkeley): Variation in two Paraguayan Guaraní nasalization patterns.
    For the Zoom link or to be added to the Zoom Phonology mailing list, contact Karee Garvin.

April 28, 2022

Congrats to Gašper Beguš and Alan Zhou (undergraduate student in the Berkeley Speech & Computation Lab) who have been published in ICASSP 2022 - 2022 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing. Their article, titled "Interpreting Intermediate Convolutional Layers In Unsupervised Acoustic Word Classification," is freely available for a month here: