News

April 30, 2021

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

April 29, 2021

The Linguistics Department Honors Colloquium will take place on Monday, May 3, from 3 to 5 PM. The Zoom access code is 966 0052 6874.

The following students will present:

Teela Huff
Thesis title: LAMA: A Simple Tool for Sharing Audio-Linked Lexical Data
Prof. Lev Michael (Faculty Advisor)
Prof. Larry Hyman (Reader)

Sophia Stremel
Thesis title: The Syntax of English Parentheticals: An Adjunction Analysis
Prof. Line Mikkelsen (Faculty Advisor)
Prof. Peter Jenks (Reader)

Stacey Vu
Thesis title: The Phonetics of Iquito Tone
Prof. Lev Michael (Faculty Advisor)
Prof. Chris Beier (Reader)

Irene Yi
Thesis title: "Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in Mandarin 然后用中文完成": Towards Sociolinguistically-Aware Computational Models of Codeswitching Using Classification and Regression Trees (CART)
Prof. Gasper Begus and Prof. Isaac Bleaman (Faculty Co-Advisors)

Kevin Yu
Thesis title: Pragmatic Influences on Argument Word Order in Karuk Narrative Texts
Prof. Line Mikkelsen (Faculty Advisor)
Prof. Eve Sweetser and Prof. Isaac Bleaman (Readers)

Format: Each student will have 15 minutes to present and 5 for questions.

April 28, 2021

Isaac Bleaman will be giving an invited research talk (in English) and leading a workshop (in Yiddish) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, May 2-3, as part of a graduate research seminar on "The Yiddish Object." The title of his lecture is The Yiddish sentence: Social meaning reflected in grammatical variation and it is open to the public. The title of his workshop is Borokhovs yidishe filologye un di legitimkayt fun der yidisher shprakh 'Borokhov's Yiddish philology and the legitimacy of the Yiddish language.'

April 27, 2021

This Saturday at LSRL 51 (Linguistic Symposium of Romance Languages), Mairi McLaughlin (French) and Justin Davidson (Spanish and Portuguese) will be presenting a joint paper entitled "Translator style as a sociolinguistic variable: Variation in news translation from English to Romance."

April 26, 2021

Supplementing last week's list of updates from our graduating seniors, we've received the following news:

  • Cecelia Di Mino, who graduated in December 2019, will be starting an Ed.M. this fall at the Harvard School of Education, studying 'Human Development and Education.'

April 25, 2021

Here's the latest from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Zachary O'Hagan is in Boca Raton, Florida (April 29-May 3) to inventory and retrieve portions of a large linguistic and ethnographic archival collection deriving from the fieldwork of anthropologist Gerald Weiss (1932-2021), who worked in Ashaninka (Arawak; Peru) communities beginning in 1961.
  • Uriel Weinreich's (1966) lecture Current Questions in Semantic Theory, delivered at Berkeley the year before his death, is now available as part of the ongoing digitization of the Linguistics Lecture collection. The collection consists of over 140 lectures given primarily as part of departmental colloquia between 1960 and 1985.
  • We released a new collection of materials on Sereer (Senegambian; Senegal, The Gambia), from the 2012-2013 graduate field methods course. The consultant was Malick Loum, the instructor was Peter Jenks, and students were Nico Baier, Kayla Begay, Oana David, Erin Donnelly, Matthew Faytak, Jevon Heath, Jack Merrill, Kelsey Neely, Melanie Redeye, and Vivian Wauters.
  • We released a new collection of materials on Shanenawa (Panoan; Brazil), from Prof. Gláucia Vieira Cândido's research with speakers Maria Iraci Brandão and Militão Brandão. Wesley dos Santos, who was Prof. Cândido's student at the Universidade Federal de Goiás, facilitated the delivery of tapes, slides, and negatives for digitization in 2019.

April 23, 2021

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

April 22, 2021

Calques is happy to share the following updates from some of our graduating seniors in linguistics!

  • Alexandra Butler will be starting her MA in Linguistics at UC Davis in the fall.
  • Teela Huff will be starting her PhD in Linguistics at UCLA in the fall.
  • Sophia Stremel will be starting her PhD in Linguistics at UC Santa Cruz in the fall. She intends to specialize in syntax and its interfaces.
  • Irene Yi will be working as a postbaccalaureate researcher in the Historical Linguistics Lab at Yale.

Congratulations, all!

A new online Iquito-English Dictionary was recently published by Lev Michael, Christine Beier, Jaime Pacaya Inuma, Ema Llona Yareja, Hermenegildo Díaz Cuyasa, and Ligia Inuma Inuma in Dictionaria, an open access journal dedicated to disseminating digital dictionaries in CLLD format. This new dictionary is basically a digital version of the dictionary published by Abya-Yala press in 2019, with an expanded grammar sketch and corrections of minor errors.

April 21, 2021

Tabitha Bell, a linguistics major at UC Berkeley, is receiving Honorable Mention for the KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize for her work to create a better future for children and youth. She will be honored at an award ceremony hosted by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Wed., April 28, from 4-5:30pm. The event will feature a keynote by Donald K. Tamaki, Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP: "Am I an American or Not? The Perils to Democracy When Racism Shouts Louder Than Facts, the Rule of Law, and the Constitution." Click here to register. More details on the event and Tabitha's work are available here. Congratulations, Tabitha!

Congrats to Gašper Beguš on the publication of his article "CiwGAN and fiwGAN: Encoding information in acoustic data to model lexical learning with Generative Adversarial Networks" in Neural Networks! Click here to download the article (Open Access).

April 19, 2021

The 2020-2021 colloquium series continues on Monday, April 26, with a talk by Gabriela Caballero (UC San Diego), held via Zoom from 3:10-5pm. The talk is entitled "Lexical-grammatical tone interactions in San Juan Piñas Mixtec: Phonological representation and orthographic implications," and the abstract is as follows:

There has been a long tradition of documentation of the highly complex and diverse tonal systems of Mixtec language varieties (Oto-Manguean; Mexico) since Pike’s (1944, 1948) seminal work. But while most previous research has focused on lexical tone, interactions between lexical and grammatical tone in these languages have been relatively understudied in comparison (cf. Palancar et al. 2016 on Yoloxóchitl Mixtec). Based on ongoing research conducted with Claudia Juárez Chávez, Michelle Yuan and students (UC San Diego), this talk presents an analysis of the tone system in San Juan Piñas Mixtec (SJPM), a previously undocumented variety, focusing on lexical-grammatical tone interactions. We analyze SJPM grammatical tone as involving concatenation of floating tonal morphemes in a layered hierarchical structure, where tonal overwriting/avoidance of lexical tone by grammatical tone results from dominance properties of tonal exponents (Rolle 2018) and general tonal processes. We argue lexical tone in SJPM involves three tonal primitives (/H/, /L/, and /M/) and that lexical-grammatical tone patterns contribute evidence for tonal representation: some, but crucially not all, surface [M] tones are underspecified. This contrasts with analyses of other Mixtec varieties where [M] is uniformly analyzed to be underspecified as /∅/ (Daly & Hyman 2007, Carroll 2015). Finally, grammatical tone patterns may also be determined by the tonal representation of root morphemes, as evidenced by a pattern of non-local tone association in roots that sponsor floating tones. This talk concludes by considering the implications that the tonal analysis of SJPM has for the orthographic representation of the language in the development of resources for language reclamation led by Claudia Juárez Chávez, our native speaker collaborator.

April 16, 2021

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

April 13, 2021

Congrats to Yevgeniy Melguy and Keith Johnson on the publication of their article in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America!

Melguy, Y.V and Johnson, K. "General adaptation to accented English: Speech intelligibility unaffected by perceived source of non-native accent," Acoust. Soc. Am. 149 (4), April 2021, 2602-2614. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0004240.

April 12, 2021

Isaac Bleaman consulted for a feature story on the Hasidic community and COVID-19 published in The Atlantic last week. Click here to read the article.

April 11, 2021

Join us for the 2021 virtual Cal Week, taking place from April 24 to 30! Each year we enjoy meeting alumni, prospective students, and friends at Cal Day — to introduce ourselves or renew old acquaintances. We hope to return to this tradition of meeting face-to-face next year (not least so we can send the kids away with an ultrasound image of their tongue, or a spectrogram of their voice). This year, though, we are happy to highlight Prof. Peter Jenks's video on "What is Linguistics" and Prof. Larry Hyman's video on "Language Myths - the Freshman Seminar." Check them out here!

April 9, 2021

Matt Faytak (PhD 2018) reports that, after a 2 year post-doc/lecturer position at UCLA, he has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at SUNY Buffalo, and will start this August. Congrats, Matt!

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

April 8, 2021

Myriam Lapierre will start a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington in fall 2021. Congratulations, Myriam!

The Society of Linguistics Undergraduate Students (SLUgS) is excited to invite you to our Fifth Annual Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium that’s taking place on April 10 and 11 (Sat & Sun) from 10am to 3:45pm PT! The conference will feature undergraduate researchers in linguistics from across the country, who will be presenting on a range of topics from third language acquisition of Hindi, the syntax of English parentheticals, to glottal stop production in Yemba. We are also honored to feature a keynote presentation by Professor Eve Sweetser – you definitely don’t want to miss out!

Everyone is welcome regardless of major and background! You’ll be able to join the meeting via https://tinyurl.com/berkeleysymposium21. Hope to see you there!