Calques 4.17

January 27, 2017

Calques 4.17 (January 27, 2017)

Newsletter, Department of Linguistics, UC Berkeley

BLS Awesomeness | Newly Published | Talks and Events

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

BLS Awesomeness

The 43rd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society begins next Friday, February 3, continuing through Sunday, February 5. The roster of invited speakers includes the following awesome linguists:

  • Norma Mendoza-Denton (UCLA), "The Interpretation of Non-Native Speakers in U.S. Police Encounters"
  • Omer Preminger (Maryland), "Privativity in Syntax"
  • Keren Rice (Toronto), "Are there substantive featural universals in phonology?"
  • Natalie Schilling (Georgetown), "Reading between the (dialect) lines: What small communities have to tell us about inter-regional, intra-community, and intra-individual dialect variation and change"
  • Sarah Thomason (Michigan), "What Else Happens to Languages in Contact?"

with paper sessions on computational linguistics and psycholinguistics, language contact, languages of the Americas, morphology, phonetics, phonology, pragmatics, prosody, semantics, and syntax. The full schedule is here.

Newly Published

Amalia Skilton, "Assertive questions in Máíhɨ̃ki", Journal of Pragmatics 109 (2017) 121-136 (

  • "This paper considers the use of assertive questions—utterances which have the form of questions, but are heard as assertions—in conversation and narrative in Máíhɨ̃ki (Tukanoan, Peru). Máíhɨ̃ki assertive questions are syntactically identical to polar questions, but are pragmatically treated as declaratives of the opposite polarity. Speakers employ assertive questions as the conventional means for several grammatical and interactional ends. I show that the class of actions done by assertive questions in this language is uniquely characterized by the presence of a threat to the speaker's positive face. Crucially, the facework properties of assertive questions arise from their preference structure, not from their syntax."

Talks and Events

  • Friday, January 27
  • Monday, January 30
  • Wednesday, February 1
    • 5–6: Palatography Demonstration (Society of Linguistics Undergraduate Students, 1229 Dwinelle)
  • Thursday, February 2
    • 12:30–2: Rosa Vallejos (New Mexico), "On the challenges of letting a language tell its own story" (Fieldwork Forum, 1229 Dwinelle)
    • 2-3: Keren Rice (Toronto), "Gots’udi nį́dé Dene xedə́ t’áodéʔa: Indigenous Language Resilience in Canada" (Thomas Garden Barnes Lecture in Canadian Studies, 223 Moses Hall)
    • 3–4:30: Omer Preminger (Maryland), TBA (Syntax & Semantics Circle, 1229 Dwinelle)
  • Friday, February 3