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. In 2021-2022, we are co-sponsored by the Center for Race & Gender and the Townsend Center...

CLA updates

September 12, 2021

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

Wesley dos Santos added recordings of 78 texts in Juma and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau (Tupian; Brazil) to his collection of Kawahiva language materials, principally stories told by Mandei Juma, with some conversations with Aruká Juma and Awip Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau. The California Language Archive hosted a visit by Susan Albright, Heidi Barlese, Nicholas Cortez, and Candace Gonzalez, sponsored by the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, to consult archival materials related to Northern Paiute (Numic, Uto-Aztecan; CA, OR, ID, NV). They worked with original notes written by native speaker Gilbert Natchez (c1882-1942) from the 1910s (e.g., here), other papers associated with Walter L. Marsden (1858-1913), recordings by Margaret Wheat (1908-1988), notes and recordings by Sydney Lamb (PhD 1957), and recordings by Michael Nichols (PhD 1974). The group also visited the Bancroft Library.

CLA updates

September 6, 2021

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

Christine Beier and Lev Michael archived a new collection related to their fieldwork in 2008 and 2010 with rememberers of Aʔɨwa (isolate; Peru) Delia Luisa Andi Macahuachi and María Estrella Clavoy. The collection consists of sound recordings of elicitation sessions, field notes, photographs, and transcriptions in TextGrids. Some file bundles were designed specifically to be referenced in their chapter on the language in Epps and Michael's (forthcoming) Amazonian Languages: An International Handbook.

CLA updates

August 30, 2021

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

Anthropologist Fernando Santos-Granero (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) archived a new collection related to his fieldwork with speakers of Yanesha' (Arawak; Peru) between 1977 and 1984. The collection consists of over 75 sound recordings of interviews, stories, myths, and songs, together with many photographs. Transcriptions and translations will be added at a later date. We released a new collection of recordings and field notes from the 2020-2021 graduate field methods on Paraguayan Guaraní (Tupian; Paraguay) taught by Lev Michael, with language consultants María Gómez and Irma Ovelar. We reorganized materials related to the 1983-1984 graduate field methods course on Hopi (Uto-Aztecan; Arizona) into a new collection. The class was taught by Leanne Hinton, with language consultants Roy Albert and Bob Namoki. Esther Ramer (PhD Ancient Greek & Roman Studies 2021) archived a sound recording (with transcription and translation) of a story, 'The Settling of MacDowell Lake,' told by Albert James, and transcribed and translated by Ivan Ramer. We digitized Yuen Ren Chao's (1967) lecture Dimensions of Fidelity in Translation, the 54th Annual Faculty Research Lecture, sponsored by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate and hosted by Chancellor Roger Heyns.

Graduate Field Methods Course History

This page summarizes the history of graduate instruction in linguistic field methods at Berkeley, with information about academic year, language(s), consultant(s), and instructor(s), when known. The information has been reconstructed from archival course catalogs, which occasionally do not reflect the ultimate instructor of record, and in consultation with Linguistics faculty, graduate students, alumni, and records in the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. We will continue to update it as we learn more.

The course in its present guise began in the 1948-1949 academic...

FForum 2020-2021

Fall 2020 Schedule 2020.09.02 Welcome back!

Join us via Zoom for the first FForum meeting of the semester, where we will catch up on summer developments. All are welcome!

2020.09.09 Christine Beier and Lev Michael (UC Berkeley)

Mobile tonal melodies in Iquito: analysis, elicitation, and texts

This talk focuses on the analysis of mobile tonal melodies in Iquito and methodological issues that we faced in developing this analysis. Iquito mobile melodies are tonal melodies whose position is affected by the presence of...

Survey updates

August 16, 2021

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

Madeline Bossi archived a new collection related to her work on Kipsigis and Tugen (Southern Nilotic; Kenya) with speakers Linus Kipkoech and Robert Langat (Kipsigis) and Nicholas Kipchumba Koech (Tugen). A major portion of the collection consists of video recordings of elicitation sessions conducted on Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic. José Armando Fernández Guerrero archived a new collection of recordings, transcriptions, and translations of stories in the Ja'a variety of Kumiay (Yuman; Mexico, US) told by Yolana Meza Calles (some on Zoom). The stories were published as Ja'a Kumiay: Jwañow Tipey Aam in the Survey's Publications in Language Maintenance and Reclamation, together with a coloring book, Tipey Aam Awilk Tañorj. Susan Steele archived a new collection of sound recordings of Luiseño (Uto-Aztecan; California) and Ichishkíin (Sahaptian; Pacific Northwest), together with over 2200 pages of field notes of Luiseño spanning the 1970s to '90s. Speakers Villiana Hyde (1903-1994, Luiseño) and Hazel Miller (c1917-1989, Ichishkíin) are featured. We released a new collection related to the 2017-2018 field methods course taught by Lev Michael on the San Juan Atitán variety of Mam, with speaker Henry Sales. (See here for a summary of the department's field methods classes since its inception.) Justin Spence (PhD 2013) added 185 new file bundles to the collection Materials of the Hupa Language Documentation Project (see 427-599, 1416-1429). The materials stem from a longtime collaboration with speaker Verdena Parker and others, and include sound recordings of elicitation sessions, (re-)transcription and translation of texts (many of them told by others and/or archived previously), discussions of cultural topics, and more. Larry Hyman and Florian Lionnet (PhD 2016) archived a new collection of recordings, field notes, and a draft lexicon of Teke (Bantu; Congo, Gabon) from their work in 2016 and 2018 with speaker Christophère Ngolele. Hannah Pritchett (MA 2009) archived a small new collection of recordings and photographs from an exploratory field trip in 2009 to work with speakers of Koho (Austroasiatic; Vietnam) and Chru (Austronesian; Vietnam). We digitized papers from a graduate seminar that Leanne Hinton taught on Aikanã (isolate; Brazil) in fall 1992 (here and here). The course was based on the documentary materials collected by Harvey Carlson (1954-1994, BA 1985), who received a President's Undergraduate Fellowship to do fieldwork in Brazil in 1984, facilitated by visiting professor Aryon Rodrigues (1925-2014), who had taught a course on South American indigenous languages in winter 1983. We digitized more of Series 1 and Series 2 of the Laura Buszard-Welcher Papers on the Potawatomi Language (Series 1: here and here; Series 2: here, here, here, and here), consisting of Buszard-Welcher's (PhD 2003) notes and Charles Hockett's transcriptions of Potawatomi (Algonquian; Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario) stories from the 1930s and '40s. We digitized three volumes of papers on indigenous languages of the Americas written at Harvard and collected by Karl Teeter (1929-2007, PhD 1962) during his early years there (here, here, and here). Authors include Berkeley linguists such as Robin Lakoff and Alan Timberlake, among others such as Ives Goddard and the late Michael Silverstein (1945-2020).

O'Hagan and Survey featured in Berkeley News

August 15, 2021

An article featuring Zachary O'Hagan and the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages appeared in Berkeley News in late May 2021, just after Calques went on summer break. Click here to read it!

Survey updates

May 9, 2021

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

We have updated our Languages of California page(s), thanks to the efforts over the course of this semester of Allegra Robertson, who is finishing a semester as Graduate Student Researcher in the archive. In this role Allegra has been instrumental in cataloguing and making publicly available collections related to Kawaiisu (Uto-Aztecan; California), Kiliwa (Yuman; Baja California), Lulamogi (Bantu; Uganda), Sereer (Senegambian; Senegal, The Gambia), and Tswefap (Grassfields; Cameroon), and in preparing other forthcoming collections related to Abo (Bantu; Cameroon) and Totela (Bantu; Zambia, Namibia). On Monday and Tuesday of this week, 10 boxes of papers related to Gerald Weiss's study of Ashaninka (Arawak; Peru, Brazil) language and culture arrived at the Survey, in addition to some 75 tape recordings spanning the early 1960s to 1980 brought back by Zachary O'Hagan from Boca Raton last week. In addition to field diaries and lexical file slips, the papers include everything from notes on cosmology to transcriptions of recordings to detailed identification of biological specimens, alongside some 5000 slides and photographs. Here is an example of the good quality of one of the tapes, a song sung by an Ashaninka woman named Rosa circa 1963.

Survey updates

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.