Fieldwork and Language Documentation

Siouan Languages Working Group (SLWG)

When? Saturdays 10:00AM-11:30AM (Pacific time)

Where? Spring 2022 via Zoom

What? We are a cross-institutional working group dedicated to the exploration of the cultures and linguistic complexities of the Siouan languages, such as Crow, Hidatsa, Quapaw, Lakota, and Tutelo-Saponi. We focus on anthropological and linguistic literature (generally one reading per week), and we give particular emphasis to comparative and diachronic analyses of Siouan grammar. We also serve as a workshop space to assist with new analyses of languages in the...

dos Santos presents at SSILA

January 26, 2022

Wesley dos Santos presented at the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) last Sunday, January 23. The slides for his talk, "For a Realis and Irrealis Account of Ko and Po in Kawahíva," are available here.

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, the Townsend Center...

CLA updates

January 16, 2022

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

Anna Lewington has archived two cassettes of sound recordings of stories, songs, and music in Matsigenka (Arawak; Peru), from fieldwork conducted for her (1985) MA thesis "The Implications of Manioc Cultivation in the Culture and Mythology of the Machiguenga of South Eastern Peru" (St. Andrews). Justin Spence (PhD 2013) has added over 220 new file bundles to the collection Materials of the Hupa Language Documentation Project (see items 821-1044, from 2009-2010; and 1484-1497, from October to December 2021). The materials stem from a longtime collaboration with speaker Verdena Parker. See Calques from October 8, 2021 for more details!

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...

Lapierre files dissertation

January 9, 2022

Congratulations to Myriam Lapierre, who filed her doctoral dissertation last month:

"Towards a Theory of Subsegmental and Subfeatural Representations: The Phonology and Typology of Nasality"
Committee: Sharon Inkelas, Lev Michael (co-chairs), Larry Hyman, Darya Kavitskaya, Susan Lin

Managing Lexicography Data: A Practical, Principled Approach Using FLEx (FieldWorks Language Explorer)

Christine Beier
Lev Michael

In this chapter, we describe a methodology and workflow for developing lexical resources for underdocumented languages in the context of language documentation projects dedicated to one or both of the following goals: (1) to create and distribute a dictionary to a user community; and (2) to create a multipurpose extensible lexical resource that forms an integral part of a language docu- mentation and is interdependent with other components of the project, including a text corpus and grammatical analyses. In particular, we describe a...

Covert hyperraising to object

Amy Rose Deal

I argue in this paper that Nez Perce has covert hyperraising to object: the DP in the highest A-position of a finite embedded clause covertly moves into an object position in the matrix VP. Implications of the Nez Perce facts include the following: The distribution of hyperraising cannot be regulated purely in terms of Activity (Chomsky 2001), but it cannot be regulated purely in terms of Intervention (Halpert 2016), either. CPs that are transparent for hyperraising may be opaque for other phi-Agree (viz complementizer agreement, A scrambling). My analysis follows Chomsky's 2001...

Who has more? The influence of linguistic form on quantity judgments

Gregory Scontras
Kathryn Davidson
Amy Rose Deal
Sarah E. Murray

Quantity judgment tasks have been increasingly used within and across languages as a diagnostic for noun semantics. Overwhelmingly, results show that notionally atomic nouns (Who has more cats?) are counted, while notionally non-atomic nouns (Who has more milk?) are measured by volume. There are two primary outliers to the strict atomicity-tracking pattern. First, some nouns, like furniture, show primarily cardinality-based results in some studies, indicating atomicity, but nevertheless show systematic non-cardinality judgments in other studies, with comparison based instead on value...

Do all languages make countability distinctions? Evidence from Nez Perce.

Amy Rose Deal

At first glance, Nez Perce looks like a language lacking any correlate of the traditional mass-count distinction. All Nez Perce nouns behave like canonical count nouns in three ways: all nouns combine with numerals without an overt measure phrase, all NPs may host plural features, and all NPs may host adjectives like big and small. I show that Nez Perce nevertheless makes two countability distinctions in noun semantics. A sums-based (cumulativity) distinction is revealed in the interaction of quantifiers with plural; a parts-based (divisiveness) distinction is revealed in...