Fieldwork and Language Documentation

Language Revitalization Working Group

The Language Revitalization Working Group critically examines theories, methodologies, and applications of language revitalization in a variety of world contexts. It provides a centralized venue for interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners of language revitalization to share, present, discuss, and improve their language revitalization efforts.

Survey updates

April 6, 2020

Zach O'Hagan sends the following updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Augmenting our activities with work that can be done from home, we've digitized 120 color slides from Harvey Carlson's 1984 fieldwork on Aikanã (isolate; Brazil). We also redigitized over 100 prints scanned at higher resolution. Carlson (d. 1994) received a BA from our department and also worked for many years in the Berkeley Language Center, whose recording studio is named in his honor. He was inspired to do fieldwork in Rondônia after taking a seminar titled Indian Languages of South America from visiting professor Aryon Rodrigues in the winter 1983 quarter.

Survey updates

March 23, 2020

Zach O'Hagan sends the following updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Christine Sheil (PhD 2016) archived a new collection of sound recordings of 18 elicitation sessions on Scottish Gaelic (Indo-European; Scotland), stemming from her dissertation fieldwork there in 2013 and 2014.
  • Wilson de Lima Silva (Arizona) archived a new collection on Ticuna (isolate; Brazil, Colombia, Peru), based on fieldwork in the Cidade de Deus neighborhood of Manaus, Brazil during his MA research at the University of Utah in 2004. There are sound recordings of elicitation, reading, and texts, as well as derivative materials like MA coursework and previously published booklets.
  • We archived a new collection of sound recordings and written materials related to Chungli Ao (Ao; India), which derive from the 2008-2009 graduate field methods course (Linguistics 240) co-taught by Alice Gaby and Lev Michael, with language consultant Moa Imchen. The students in the course were Alex Bratkievich, Daniel Bruhn (PhD 2014), Ramón Escamilla (PhD 2012), Lindsey Newbold, Hannah Pritchett, Marilola Pérez (PhD 2015), and Russell Rhodes. Prof. Gaby is now at Monash University in Melbourne. We're grateful to undergraduate student Ellis Miller, who's working as an LRAP apprentice in the Survey this semester, for making the content descriptions for the items in this collection.
  • Steve Parker (Dallas International University & SIL International) archived a new collection of field notes and sound recordings of Panobo/Huariapano (Panoan; Peru). Dating from 1991, these are the only known sound recordings of Panobo in existence, the language being thought to have no more first-language speakers. The consultant was Arquímedes Sinuiri Nunta.

Iquito-English Dictionary published

March 30, 2020

An Iquito-English Dictionary was recently published by Ediciones Abya Yala and Cabeceras Aid Project, compiled by Lev Michael and Christine Beier on the basis of the linguistic and cultural knowledge of Jaime Pacaya Inuma, Ema Llona Yareja, Hermenegildo Díaz Cuyasa, and Ligia Inuma Inuma. Ronald Sprouse played a key role in preparing the dictionary manuscript by further developing a script originally created by Berkeley grad Greg Finley to generate a LaTeX file from the FLEx XML database file. A blurb is available on the Calques site.

Survey updates

February 25, 2020

Zach O'Hagan sends the following updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Maziar Toosarvandani (PhD 2010) archived a new collection on Northern Paiute (Uto-Aztecan; CA, OR, ID, NV), based on 10 years of research with elders Grace Dick, Leona Cluette Dick, Morris Jack, Inez Jim, Elaine Lundy, Edith McCann, Harold Miller, and Jimmy Nez, and in collaboration with Molly Babel (PhD 2009) and Michael Houser (PhD 2010). The collection consists of 281 recordings of lexical and grammatical elicitation (as he writes, with a focus on "nominalization, clausal embedding, clause chaining, and aspect"), and texts. The project grew out of Andrew Garrett's 2005-2006 field methods course on the language.
  • Conor Daly (PhD Slavic 1991) archived a new collection on Ninilchik Russian, a variety spoken on the Kenai Peninsula and surrounding region of southern Alaska. Based on fieldwork in July and August 1985, the collection consists of conversations, interviews, and linguistic work with 25 people.
  • The five notebooks comprising Marvin Kramer's (PhD 2002) field notes from summers 1968 and 1969 on Kutenai (isolate; British Columbia, ID, MT) are now available (Kramer.002.001-Kramer.002.005). The consultants were Ambrose Gravelle, Catherine Gravelle, and Frank Whitehead. (Thanks to Alex Elias for assisting us in scanning these!)

Laparle, Scott publish in NELS 49

January 23, 2020

The proceedings of NELS 49 are now in print, featuring a paper each by Schuyler Laparle and Tessa Scott:

  • Laparle, S. 2019. Locative inversion without inversion. In NELS 49: Proceedings of the Forty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, vol. 2, eds. Maggie Baird & Jonathan Pesetsky, 199-208.   [preprint]
  • Scott, T. 2019. Clitic placement in Mam (Mayan) requires a host requirement. In NELS 49: Proceedings of the Forty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, vol. 3, eds. Maggie Baird & Jonathan Pesetsky, 117-126. [preprint]

Congrats both!

Bardagil awarded Rubicon grant

January 22, 2020
Postdoc Bernat Bardagil has recently learned that he has been awarded a Rubicon grant by the Dutch funding agency NWO for a postdoc at Ghent University with Jóhanna Barðdal. The project is entitled The subject in the Amazon. Grammatical relations in indigenous Amazonian languages. Congrats, Bernat!

Berkeley @ WCCFL 38

January 16, 2020

The program for the upcoming 38th annual meeting of the West Coast Conference in Formal Linguistics has just been released, promising the following presentations by current department members and alumni:

  • Tessa Scott: Two types of "composite" probes
  • Madeline Bossi: A morphological account of promiscuous agreement and *local > local in Kipsigis
  • Virginia Dawson: Disjunction is not Boolean: novel evidence from Tiwa
  • Nicholas Baier (PhD '18) and Gloria Mellesmoen: Spelling out object agreement in Central Salish
  • Maziar Toosarvandani (PhD '10): TBA (invited talk)

Congrats all!