News

September 4, 2019

Larry Hyman has a new paper in Schuhschrift: Papers in Honor of Russell Schuh, available open access through eScholarship here. The paper is entitled `Synchronic vs. diachronic naturalness: Hyman & Schuh (1974) revisited'.

August 30, 2019

In addition to all the publications that are listed here, here, here, and here, Berkeley linguists have been up to so much more!

  • This summer Amy Rose Deal completed her first book, entitled A theory of indexical shift: meaning, grammar, and crosslinguistic variation. It will appear in late 2019 or early 2020 with MIT Press. The larger project from which the book springs is a study of the compositional semantics of different types of attitude reports crosslinguistically. A new manuscript on this topic, entitled Uncentered Attitude Reports, is available here
  • As part of the High Art Project, Emily Drummond climbed Yosemite's iconic El Capitan this summer. The group performed three concerts on the wall over three and a half days, in a variety of genres (classical, jazz, folk, pop) all accompanied on electric guitar!
    Emily Drummond on El Capitan
  • Wesley dos Santos was in Brazilian Amazonia for a 3-month fieldwork trip with the Kawahiva groups Juma, Karipuna and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau. He offered a workshop on the writing system of the language (photo below with participants), gave a talk at Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (Belém, Brazil) on Kawahiva Reported Speech (Tupi-Guarani), and participated in a workshop held in Rio de Janeiro for projects funded by Unesco and Museu do Índio to create digital dictionaries for Brazilian Indigenous languages.
     Kawahiva writig workshop
  • Larry Hyman spent a month in Paris (May 21-June 20) attending the annual business meeting of the France-Berkeley Fund, relaxing in his favorite city, and giving two talks: "The fall and rise of vowel length in Bantu" (University of Paris 3) and "Tonology of Luganda Noun Phrase Constituents at a Workshop on Nominal Expressions in the Bantu Languages" (LLCAN [Langues, Langages et Cultures d'Afrique Noir], CNRS, Paris). He thereafter rescued three "refugees" from the LSA Summer Institute at UC Davis. The rest of the summer he enjoyed the liberty of doing his research in Berkeley and preparing for his Fall courses, Linguistics 24, 140, and 290e.
  • Darya Kavitskaya gave a poster with Sharon Inkelas at the 3rd Phonetics and Phonology in Europe conference, held at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy, in June; the poster was entitled Cluster simplification in Russian-speaking children with SLI. Dasha also did some fieldwork on Crimean Tatar and recorded some Crimean Tatar words for a perception experiment on vowels, now under construction.
  • Edwin KoJulia Nee, Erica Carson Jr., Catherine O'Connor (Boston University), Brady Dailey, and Ethan Rimdzius (Boston University) hosted the second two-day Northern Pomo language camp at Redwood Valley Rancheria, where participants used the Northern Pomo Language Tools website to work on their Northern Pomo language skills . Ko and Nee also presented the results of the first camp at SSILA in July. This is a picture of camp organizers & participants:
    Northern Pomo summer camp
  • Over the summer Tyler Lemon traveled to the island of Timor in Indonesia to engage in linguistic fieldwork and documentation training through a project funded by the Documenting Endangered Languages program of the NSF and directed by Professors Peter Cole and Gabriella Hermon (University of Delaware).  Tyler was put on a team with two native speakers of Uab Meto (Timor-Babar, Austronesian) named Nona Seko and Yoakim Kenjam and lived in the village of Oelneke for 3 weeks to record speakers of the language.  The materials resulting from this project will be archived in Paradisec. Here is Tyler with his doumentation teammates Nona Seko (left, in blue and gold) and Yoakim Kenjam (right, in red):
     Lemon trip to Indonesia
  • Julia Nee worked with Rosita Jiménez Lorenzo to host a three-week Zapotec summer camp for kids in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. The camp involved both classroom activities (including games like Bingo) and field trips to important sites in the area (including the Zapotec ruins at Monte Albán). Here are some bingo boards created by students, and a picture of students documenting a particular type of cactus while on a field trip to "La Cuevita": 
    Zapotec summer camp, Oaxaca   zapotec bingo
  • Zach O'Hagan gave a talk in Lima in July at the conference Lenguas del Perú: Hacia un estado del arte. He spent time in La Merced, Satipo, and Atalaya finishing a monolingual book of Caquinte stories before traveling to the Caquinte community Kitepampani. At other points in the summer he was writing, curating a comparative lexical database of Arawak languages, working in the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, copy-editing parts of an upcoming handbook of Amazonian languages edited by Pattie Epps (UT) and Lev Michael, doing genealogy, and road-tripping, including with Virginia Dawson to install one Berkeley linguist in their new home in San Diego. Here is a picture of Zach with Caquinte speaker Antonina Salazar:
    Zach O'Hagan and Antonina Salazar
  • Eric Wilbanks presented his work at ICPhS in Melbourne and had a published paper appear in Glossa!
  • Eve Sweetser participated in a theme session on Figurative Language and Grammar at the Japanese Cognitive Linguistics Workshop, Aug 5-6 at Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan, with two co-authored papers: (1) Seiko Fuiji, Oana David, Paula Radetsky and Eve Sweetser, 'When metaphoric and literal meanings meet: CUT/BREAK verbs in English verb-particle constructions and Japanese compound verb constructions.'  (2) I-Hsuan Chen and Eve Sweetser, 'Metaphors, sentence structure, and CUT/BREAK verbs in Mandarin'. She also presented two papers at the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Aug 6-10 also at Kwansei Gakuin University.  (1) 'Embedded viewpoint and stance in gesture and speech: multimodal stance-stacking.'  (2) Schuyler LaParle and Eve Sweetser, 'War is war - or is it? - Different genres show different metaphors for cancer'.
  • Some Berkeley people are pictured at the 52nd International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia: Aimée Lahaussois (PhD 2002), David Peterson (PhD 1999), Jackson Sun (PhD 1993), Jim Matisoff (professor emeritus), David Bradley, Dominic Yu (PhD 2012):

August 28, 2019

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

  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Aug 29 - 1303 Dwinelle - 3:40-5p
    Summer fieldwork updates.
  • Language Revitalization Working Group - Thursday September 5 - Dwinelle 3401 - 1-2pm  
    Introductions, semester planning, framing language revitalization (Reading: Hinton 2018 "What is language revitalization")
    *New group! Contact Martha Schwarz for more information*
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Sept 4 - 1229 Dwinelle  - 9:30-11a
    Teela Huff and Nick Carrick (UC Berkeley):
    The Xavante Documentation Project
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Sept 6 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30 
    Round robin -- bring us a short update on your syntax/semantics related recent thinking!

August 26, 2019

Keith Johnson was a member of a team (together with UCB Post-doc Matthias Sjerps, and UCSF Post-doc Neal Fox, and UCSF faculty Edward Chang) who have just published a new paper on "Speaker-normalized sound representations in the human auditory cortex" in Nature Communications.

Congrats to Meg Cychosz, who has been awarded the 2019 Raymond H. Stetson Scholarship in Phonetics and Speech Science by the Acoustical Society of America!

Meg also found out this summer that she has received a postdoc position at the Center for Comparative and Evolutionary Biology of Hearing (working with Rochelle Newman and Jan Edwards). So she will moving back to DC/Maryland in summer 2020 to start work on a new project studying kids with cochlear implants.

August 25, 2019

Congrats to Madeline Bossi and Eric Wilbanks, whose papers have each appeared this summer in Glossa!!

Bossi's paper is entitled V1 in Kipsigis: Head movement and discourse-based scrambling, co-authored with Michael Diercks.

Wilbanks' paper is entitled Sound change and coarticulatory variability involving English /ɹ/, co-authored with Bridget Smith, Jeff Mielke, and Lyra Magloughlin.

The Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 23 have now been published, containing the following papers by faculty, students, and/or alumni: 

  • Pranav Anand & Maziar Toosarvandani (PhD 2010)
        Now and then: Perspectives on positional variance in temporal demonstratives
    . pdf
  • Ruyue Agnes Bi (BA 2018) and Peter Jenks
        Pronouns, null arguments, and ellipsis in Mandarin Chinese pdf
  • Emily Clem (PhD 2019)
        Attributive adjectives in Tswefap: Vague predicates in a language with degrees. pdf
  • Virginia Dawson and Amy Rose Deal
        Third readings by semantic scope lowering: Prolepsis in Tiwa. pdf
  • Amy Rose Deal and Vera Hohaus
        Vague predicates, crisp judgments. pdf
  • Rachel Etta Rudolph (PhD 2019, philosophy)
        A closer look at the perceptual source in copy raising constructions. pdf

Congrats all!

Congrats to professor emerita Leanne Hinton, who has been awarded the 2019 International Guardians of Culture and Lifeways “Honored One” Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums!

Congratulations to Amalia Horan Skilton (PhD 2019), who has filed her dissertation and begun a 2-year NSF-funded postdoctoral fellowship for her project entitled "Documenting multimodal language development in an indigenous Amazonian community". During the postdoc, Amalia will split her time between UT Austin, working with Pattie Epps and others, and MPI Nijmegen, working with Caroline Rowland and others in the new Language Development department.

Larry Hyman recently authored an LSA online tribute to Victoria A. Fromkin (Berkeley BA 1944). You can read it here.

May 10, 2019

For this final 2018-2019 edition of Calques, here's a look at what some linguists will be up to this summer!

  • Andrew Cheng will be presenting his dissertation research on bilingual Korean Americans three times this summer: at the Acoustical Society of America in Louisville, KY in May (where Meg Cychosz will also be presenting a paper, as well as recent alumnus Matthew Faytak); at the International Circle of Korean Linguistics in July in Melbourne, Australia; and at the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences in August in Melbourne, Australia (where numerous Berkeley linguists will be in attendance!).
  • Virginia Dawson will be giving an invited talk entitled “Paths to exceptional wide scope: choice functions in Tiwa” at TripleA 6 (The Semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian Languages) at MIT, June 1.
  • This week Amy Rose Deal is in Oslo for the annual meeting of Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW), where together with Patrick Grosz (University of Oslo) she co-organized the syntax/semantics workshop (Anaphora at the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface in endangered and understudied languages). Later in the summer she will continue her fieldwork on Nez Perce, and travel back to Europe to teach a short course on Agree at the University of Bucharest and to give an invited talk at the British Academy conference The Alphabet of Universal Grammar
  • Wesley dos Santos will be leaving soon for a 12-week field research trip involving three different Kawahiva communities living in the states of Rondônia and Amazonas, Brazil. He has also signed off a one-year contract with Unesco and Museu do Índio (Brazil, Rio de Janeiro) to produce a 600-word multimedia dictionary within the Salvaguarda do Patrimônio Linguístico e Cultural de Povos Indígenas Transfronteiriços e de Recente Contato na Região Amazônica. As part of the contract, he will be attending a workshop to be held at the Museu do Índio, Rio de Janeiro, on June 4-6. He also plans to give a talk at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi on The historical development of an enclitic marker in Tupi-Guarani family in August.
  • Susanne Gahl plans on spending part of the summer in Germany, in her role as a Mercator fellow on the 'Spoken Morphology' project.
  • Dmetri Hayes' paper "What just happened? Evaluating retrofitted distributional word vectors" has been accepted for presentation at the 2019 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (NAACL-HLT), to be held in Minneapolis, June 2-7. It will be published in the conference proceedings.
  • Larry Hyman will be in Paris May 20-June 20. He will be speaking at the Workshop on Nominal Expressions in Bantu Languages (talk title: Tonology of Luganda Noun Phrase Constituents), consulting with fellow Bantuists and Bistrots, and attending the annual business meeting of the France-Berkeley Fund on June 12. He then will spend the rest of the summer in Berkeley working on Luganda, Lusoga, Lulamogi and Lunyole (the 140 field methods class language this semester), hence any language that starts with Bantu class 11 lu- (!).
  • A group of Cal linguists will be attending the LSA institute this summer in Davis:  faculty members Keith Johnson, Terry Regier, and Susan Lin;  graduate student Ruth Rouvier; and undergraduates Amelia Fineberg, Wanqing (Psyche) He and Leslie (LaLa) Speights-Barhatkov.  
  • Edwin KoJulia Nee, Cathy O'Connor (PhD 1987), and Erica Carson, Jr. will be implementing the second Northern Pomo Language Camp at Redwood Valley Rancheria in June.
  • Julia Nee will travel to Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico to document language revitalization activities, including a twenty hour language learning camp for kids, in July and August.
  • Emily Remirez is serving as the Social Science and Humanities advisor for the SURF program in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships, supporting and mentoring fellows working towards senior theses. 
  • Eric Wilbanks will be spending his summer teaching LINGR1B, studying for his qualifying exam, and heading to Melbourne to give a talk in the special session on Social Priming in Speech Production and Perception at the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences.

It may be Finals Week, but the events keep coming: 

May 9, 2019

Alumna Thera Crane (PhD 2011), currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Academy of Finland project “Stability and Change in Language Contact: The Case of Southern Ndebele (South Africa)", has received an additional 5-year research grant from the Academy of Finland to work on modality and multilingualism in South Africa. Congrats, Thera! 

Congrats to grad students Andrew Cheng and Erik Hans Maier, who have just received Outstanding GSI Awards! 

Next Friday, May 19, Emily Clem will defend her dissertation, entitled Agreement, case, and switch-reference in Amahuaca. The defense will take place from 10am-1pm in Dwinelle 1229. All members of the department are invited to attend.
Abstract:
This dissertation probes the nature of the syntactic operation of Agree through the lens of the morphosyntax of Amahuaca, an endangered Panoan language of the Peruvian Amazon. I explore the language's system of split ergative marking, arguing that case marking in Amahuaca is the result of agreement with multiple functional heads. This leads to a distinction between abstract and morphological ergative (and nominative) case. I also analyze the extensive system of switch-reference marking, demonstrating that the system has the typologically unusual property of tracking the reference and abstract case of all arguments of the verb, not only subject. I argue that this system arises through adjunct complementizer agreement that probes both the adjunct and matrix arguments directly. In analyzing the case and switch-reference systems of Amahuaca, I demonstrate that the empirical facts can be most straightforwardly accounted for if we assume 1) that some probes are insatiable, agreeing with all goals in their search space, and 2) that Agree is narrowly cyclic, with each instance of Merge defining a new cycle of Agree. 
The following papers and abstracts have been accepted for presentation at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, to be held in Montreal, July 25-27, and will be published in the conference proceedings:
  1. Efficient use of ambiguity in an early writing system: Evidence from Sumerian cuneiform, by Noah Hermalin and Terry Regier.
  2. Evolution and efficiency in color naming: The case of Nafaanra, by Noga Zaslavsky, Karee Garvin, Charles Kemp, Naftali Tishby, and Terry Regier.
  3. Semantic categories of artifacts and animals reflect efficient coding, by Noga Zaslavsky, Terry Regier, Naftali Tishby, and Charles Kemp.
  4. Season naming and the local environment, by Charles Kemp, Alice Gaby, and Terry Regier.
  5. "Natural concepts" revisited in the spatial-topological domain: Universal tendencies in focal spatial relations, by Alexandra Carstensen, Noah Hermalin, Terry Regier, and George Kachergis.
A paper entitled "Communicative need in color naming", by Noga Zaslavsky, Charles Kemp, Naftali Tishby, and Terry Regier has appeared in the journal Cognitive Neuropsychology
Terry Regier visited the computational linguistics group at the University of Toronto, April 22-24, and gave a talk there.

May 7, 2019

During this year's Big Give, 30 donors gave a total of $5,741 toward the audiotape digitization costs of $12,000, equalling 48% of the amount needed.  This left about $7K still to raise on our crowdfunding page.
To date, 8 donors have given a total of $475 (7% of the remaining balance) and thus 52% of our goal has been reached.  Thank you!!