September 12, 2014

Conference travel | Deadlines for conference abstracts | Forthcoming talks | Grant deadlines

Please send contributions (information and news of departmental interest) to Andrew Garrett.

September 5, 2014

Awesomeness | Conference abstract deadlines | Grant deadlines | Upcoming talks

Please send contributions (information and news of departmental interest) to Andrew Garrett.



September 3, 2014

The Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley welcomes new faculty member, Prof. Amy Rose Deal

August 29, 2014

Christine gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday morning.

Classes | Congratulations | Deadlines | Talks

Please send contributions (information and news of departmental interest) to Andrew Garrett.


Upper-division electives that are not yet full (for undergraduates and graduate students):

August 23, 2014

August 15, 2014

Prof. Lev Michael has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Early Career Award from the Linguistic Society of America.

April 22, 2014

New York Times features Yurok language, Berkeley linguists

February 14, 2014

The Department of Linguistics mourns the passing and celebrates the life and career of Chuck Fillmore (August 9, 1929 – February 13, 2014), a beloved teacher and colleague. A web page in his memory (with appreciations, biography, and photos) has been set up at

August 9, 2013

The Syntax & Semantics Circle is a weekly forum dedicated to discussion of the descriptive, experimental, and theoretical study of syntax and semantics, featuring presentations of ongoing research by members of the Berkeley Linguistics Department and other departments, as well as discussion of previously published works. Go to the current schedule.

Update January 17, 2020: The Xtone database is no longer available.

The long-term objective of Keith Johnson's NIH-funded research project is to understand human spoken language processing (particularly speech perception and auditory word recognition) in linguistic context. Speech signals are unique in human experience because they are highly familiar, and have great practical significance in daily life. Therefore, it is not too surprising to find that people develop optimized processing strategies tuned specifically for speech.

The Survey of California and Other Indian Languages has three main activities: language documentation; archiving; and community service and public outreach. The Survey was founded by Mary Haas and Murray Emeneau in 1952, a year before the present Department of Linguistics, and it continues the linguistic work of the Archaeological and Ethnographic Survey of California, established by A. L. Kroeber in 1901.

Andrew Garrett's Yurok Language Project combines active fieldwork with Yurok elders with philological analysis of earlier fieldnotes and recordings to develop a Yurok documentary corpus. The Yurok materials are organized into a single digital archive, publicly available on the project web site, which incorporates information from as early as 1850 to the present day.

George Lakoff and Eve Sweetser's Neural Theory of Language (NTL) project is an interdisciplinary research effort to answer the question: How does the brain compute the mind? Specific research questions include: How can the brain -- a highly structured network of neurons -- support thought and language? How do the specific neural structures of the human brain shape the nature of thought and language?

Phorum is a lively weekly talk and discussion series, coordinated by graduate students and attended by students, visitors and faculty. Phorum features presentations on all aspects of phonology and phonetics by Berkeley linguists and out-of-town visitors. Go to this semester's schedule.

Word meanings across languages are sometimes viewed as reflecting a universal conceptual repertoire - or, at the other extreme, culturally varying linguistic convention. This project, headed by Terry Regier, explores a third possibility: that there are better and worse ways of partitioning semantic space for the purposes of communication, and that systems of word meanings across languages tend to reflect near-optimal partitions of such a space. This idea can in principle account for both universal tendencies and some degree of linguistic convention.

Sharon Inkelas and Gabriela Caballero (PhD 2008) are developing a theoretical production model of morphology, called Optimal Construction Morphology, whose aim is to predict the optimal combination of morphological constructions that can produce a word of a given target meaning in a given language. OCM builds on earlier theories such as Lexical Morphology and Phonology, A-Morphous Morphology, Paradigm Function Morphology, and Construction Grammar, synthesizing the contributions of realizational, item-based and cyclic morphological theories in novel ways.

Klamath RiverThe Karuk dictionary and text project, led by Andrew Garrett and Line Mikkelsen, aims to create comprehensive and usable online research, teaching, and learning tools for Karuk, an indigenous language of northern California with fewer than a dozen first-language speakers.