News

November 22, 2019

Congrats to alumnus Jack Merrill (PhD '18), who will be joining the Princeton University Program in Linguistics this spring as a Lecturer!

Berkeley SLUgS (Society for Linguistics Undergraduate Students) is hosting its Fourth Annual Linguistics Symposium on Saturday, November 23rd. This year’s symposium features a wide variety of undergraduate speakers presenting on topics ranging from poetry in ASL to child language acquisition, as well as a keynote by Larry Hyman. Coffee & breakfast will be provided; see the schedule here and facebook event here.

The 2019 annual meeting of The Society of Biblical Literature is taking place this weekend in San Diego.

On Monday, Nov 25, from 3:10-5pm, please join us in 370 Dwinelle for Qualifying Paper project presentations by third-year graduate students, followed by light refreshments.

  • Schuyler Laparle: Gesture space as interaction space: The spatial separation of topics in discourse
  • Martha Schwarz: Competition and allocutive agreement in Kumal
  • Edwin Ko: Multiple agreement in Crow
  • Tyler Lemon: Metathesis and encliticization in Uab Meto

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

November 21, 2019

On Thursday, Dec 5, Kenny Baclawski will defend his dissertation, entitled Discourse connectedness: The syntax–discourse structure interface. The defense will take place from 9am-noon in Dwinelle 3401. All members of the department are invited to attend.
Abstract:
 This dissertation argues for the existence of a new -feature, discourse connected (DC), which grammatically encodes a constraint on the relation between the constituent it attaches to and rhetorical relations between multiple sentences in a discourse. Connectives like That's because and For example encode the rhetorical relations explanation and elaboration. DC encodes these relations as well, but by merging a phrase at the left edge of a clause or noun phrase, specifically a phrase that is previously mentioned in the sentence being explained or elaborated upon. I argue that a variety of syntactic phenomena in Eastern Cham, an Austronesian language spoken in Vietnam, are best explained in terms of DC-marking: topicalization, optional wh-movement, inventory forms, partitives, and certain appositives. Given that DC encodes a discourse structural constraint, there must be an interface between syntax and discourse structure, and this interface may help expand the typology of possible -features.

November 16, 2019

Congratulation to Alice Shen, Susanne Gahl, and Keith Johnson, whose paper Didn’t hear that coming: effects of withholding phonetic cues to code-switching has been accepted for publicati

November 15, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week or so:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Emily Clem (UC San Diego): Unifying inverse marking and the strictly descending PCC
  • Phorum - Monday Nov 18 - Dwinelle 3401 - 12-1pm
    Hannah Sande (Georgetown): TBA
  • Linguistics Department Colloquium - Monday Nov 18 - Dwinelle 370 - 3:10-5pm
    Daisy Rosenblum (UBC): Nouns, Noun Phrases, and other Referential Resources in Kʷak̓ʷala
  • CogNetwork - Monday Nov 18 - Dwinelle 1303 - 5p
    Inés Lozano Palacio (University of La Rioja): Deconstructing irony: A cognitive approach to an analytic enigma
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Nov 21 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3:40-5pm
    Emily Drummond (UC Berkeley): TBA
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 22 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Erika Petersen O Farrill (Stanford): TBA
  • Fourth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium - Saturday November 23 -  Dwinelle 370 
    See the full program here and the SLUgS Facebook event here!

The 2019-2020 colloquium series continues this coming Monday, Nov 18, with a talk by Daisy Rosenblum (UBC). Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled Nouns, Noun Phrases, and other Referential Resources in Kʷak̓ʷala, and the abstract is as follows:

This paper explores the status, constituency and distributive patterning of Kʷak̓ʷala Noun Phrases in a corpus of recently recorded spontaneous interaction, and examines them alongside other referential resources available to speakers. Kʷak̓ʷala – along with other Wakashan languages, and neighboring Salishan languages – has challenged some of our ideas about how categories such as ‘Noun’ and ‘Verb’ work in grammar. However, while lexical roots in Kʷak̓ʷala and other Wakashan languages may not easily sort themselves into self-evident ‘Noun’ and ‘Verb’ categories (cf. Bach 1968, Jacobsen 1979, Kinkade 1983; Demirdache & Matthewson 1995; inter alia), syntactic predicates and arguments are clear within conversational data, and Kʷak̓ʷala lexical argument phrases align well with our expectations of ‘NP’ as a category. In considering how lexical reference in Kʷak̓ʷala relates to other referring resources in the language, such as (so-called) ‘lexical suffixes,’ I also ask what we can understand from examining bilingual speakers’ translations of their Kʷak̓ʷala into English, and explore how Kʷak̓ʷala lexical reference compares with patterns of Preferred Argument Structure and other information management constraints found cross-linguistically (cf. Chafe 1984; DuBois 1987). Examining these and other questions for Kʷak̓ʷala allows a nuanced and emergent analysis of what is meant by the category ‘Noun Phrase’ in Kʷak̓ʷala, identifies functions NPs serve in Kʷak̓ʷala grammar in use, and informs our understanding of how to develop useful materials for teachers and learners engaged in Kʷak̓ʷala revitalization.

November 14, 2019

Postdoc Bernat Bardagil writes to share that he is now in Rio de Janeiro, taking part in the Viva Língua Viva language revitalization conference, organized by the Museu do Índio and UNESCO. Here is Bernat with two members of the Manoki community, Edivaldo Nãpuxi and Dario Kanuxi, in Rio:

Bernat Bardagil and colleagues in Rio

November 12, 2019

Congrats to Zach O'Hagan, whose paper entitled The origin of purpose clause markers in Proto-Omagua-Kukama has been published in Journal of Historical Linguistics 9(2):282-312.

November 11, 2019

Congrats to Larry Hyman, whose paper Number and animacy in the Teke noun class system, co-authored with Florian Lionnet (PhD '16) & Christophère Ngolele is just out in African linguistics across disciplines: Selected papers from the 48th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Read it here!

November 10, 2019

Alumnus Len Talmy (Ph.D. 1972) writes to share that he is just back from a visit to Beihang University in Beijing, where he gave two talks on his book The Targeting System of Language (MIT Press, 2018) and was presented with translation copies of his 2-volume set Toward a Cognitive Semantics (MIT Press, 2000), recently translated into Chinese by Fuyin (Thomas) Li and published by Peking University Press.

November 8, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 8 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Mark Norris (Independent scholar): On AGR
  • Meaning Sciences Club - Thursday Nov 14 - 234 Moses Hall - 12:30-2pm
    Virginia Dawson (UC Berkeley): Disjunction is not Boolean: novel evidence from Tiwa
  • Language Revitalization Working Group - Thursday Nov 14 - 3401 Dwinelle - 1-2p
    Discussion of two papers by Margaret Noodin
  • Center for Race and Gender Distinguished Lecture Series - Thursday Nov 14 - Multicultural Student Center, MLK Union - 4-5:30pm
    Margaret Noodin (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee): Ojichaagwag Waaseyaaziwag (Radiant Souls): Four Women Masters of Social Self-Expression
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Emily Clem (UC San Diego): TBA

November 7, 2019

Congrats to Zach O'Hagan and Lev Michael, whose paper (with Natalia Chousou-Polydouri) entitled Phylogenetic classification supports a Northeastern Amazonian Proto-Tupí-Guaraní homeland has been published in the open-access journal LIAMES: Línguas Indígenas Americanas.

November 6, 2019

Congrats to Kenny Baclawski, whose paper Eastern Cham optional wh-movement is discourse connected-movement has been accepted at Natural Language and Linguistic Theory!

Kenny has also recently presented his joint work with undergraduate student Zihan Cindy Yang in Berlin at a workshop on Discourse Expectations: Theoretical, Experimental, and Computational Perspectives. The joint paper is entitled Experimental evidence for the status of the Right-Frontier Constraint.

Congrats to grad student Ruth Rouvier, who has been awarded a mini-grant from the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues. Ruth's grant project is entitled Yurok Language Revitalization: Affective Stance and Language Learning.

November 1, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Phorum - Monday Nov 4 - 3401 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    John Harris (UCL): How much of what phonologists know about do speakers know? The learnability of a simple, regular, unnatural sound pattern in English
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 8 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Mark Norris (Independent scholar): On AGR

October 31, 2019

Ernesto Gutiérrez Topete writes to share news of a number of Berkeley talks recently presented at the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, University of Texas at El Paso, on Oct. 24-26, 2019:

  • Ben Papadopoulos: Morphological gender innovations in Spanish of non-binary speakers
  • Justin Davidson: La [v]ariebilidad sociofonética en el español de California: Social and Linguistic Underpinnings of the Labiodentalization of /b/
  • Ernesto Gutiérrez Topete: Influence from English on the production of the /tl/ cluster by Mexican Spanish-English bilinguals
  • Gabriella Licata, Annie Helms, Rachel Weiher: Merger in production and perception? Bilingual discrimination of Spanish [β] and [v]
  • Justin Davidson: Navigating the Statistical Tides: An R Tutorial for the Non-Coding-Inclined [workshop]

Congrats all!

October 25, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Phorum - Monday Oct 28 - 1229 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    Maho Morimoto (UC Santa Cruz): Preservation of liquid geminates in Japanese loanwords from Italian
  • Linguistics Dept Colloquium - Monday Oct 28 - Dwinelle 370 - 3:10-5pm
    Damian Blasi (Radcliffe / Max Planck): New models of language dynamics: The role of cross-linguistic data
  • Sociolinguistics Lab at Berkeley - Tuesday Oct 29 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3:30-5pm
    Post-NWAV review; discussion of Carmichael 2017
  • Working Group in History and Philosophy of Logic, Mathematics and Science - Wednesday Oct 30 - 234 Moses Hall - 6-7:30pm
    Ivano Caponigro (UC San Diego): Logic and Grammar. Richard Montague’s Turn towards Natural Language
  • Linguistics 290e special talk - Thursday Oct 31- 1303 Dwinelle - 9:10am-noon
    John Harris (University College London): Is #sC special?
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Oct 31 - 1303 Dwinelle - 3:40-5pm
    Wendy López Márquez (UC Berkeley): A linguist native speaker’s perspective on language documentation and description>