Fieldwork and Language Documentation

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!

Elias publications

January 16, 2020

Congrats to first-year student Alexander Elias, whose paper "Are the Central Flores languages really typologically unusual?" is to appear in a book called Austronesian Undressed: How and Why Languages Become Isolating (eds David Gil and Antoinette Schapper), and whose paper "Kabyle Double Consonants: Long or Strong?" will appear in McGill Working Papers in Linguistics!

Alexander has also recently learned that his MA thesis Lio and the Central Flores languages has been nominated for two prizes, the Leiden University Thesis Prize and the Jan Brouwers Thesis Prize!

O'Hagan publishes in IJAL

January 13, 2020

Congrats to Zach O'Hagan, whose paper A Phonological Sketch of Omagua, co-authored with Clare Sandy (PhD 2017), has now been published in the International Journal of American Linguistics!

Survey updates

December 4, 2019

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

  • Madeline Bossi archived a new collection on Scottish Gaelic (Celtic; Scotland), based on her 2019 fieldwork, including sound recordings of elicitation sessions and texts, field notes, and photographs.
  • Zachary O'Hagan added 9 new file bundles to his extant collection on Caquinte (Arawakan; Peru), based on a short field trip in July, including sound recordings of elicitation sessions and video recordings of traditional stories.
  • Wesley dos Santos added 25 new file bundles to his extant collection on Kawahiva (Tupí-Guaraní; Brazil), based on fieldwork on three varieties, Juma, Karipuna, and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, from 2017 to 2019. The audio and video recordings include elicitation sessions, many texts and conversations, and songs, alongside field notes, photographs, and electroglottagraphy (EGG) work!  
  • Nicholas Rolle (PhD 2018) archived a new collection on Esan (Edoid; Nigeria), based on many years of research, including in-situ fieldwork, that began in a Toronto field methods course over a decade ago! The collection includes sound recordings of elicitation sessions and texts, field notes (still done with a Livescribe Smartpen), and photographs. He also added 15 new file bundles to an extant collection on Izon (Ijoid; Nigeria).
  • Jack Merrill (PhD 2018) archived a new collection on Kobiana (Senegambian; Senegal, Guinea-Bissau), based on fieldwork in Senegal in 2016, including sound recordings of elicitation sessions, field notes, and photographs.
  • Steve Parker (SIL International; Dallas International University) archived over 300 pages of original field notes on Chamikuro (Arawakan; Peru) based on fieldwork with some of the last native speakers of the language in 1985, 1987, and 1993.

Rosenblum colloq

November 15, 2019

The 2019-2020 colloquium series continues this coming Monday, Nov 18, with a talk by Daisy Rosenblum (UBC). Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled Nouns, Noun Phrases, and other Referential Resources in Kʷak̓ʷala, and the abstract is as follows:

This paper explores the status, constituency and distributive patterning of Kʷak̓ʷala Noun Phrases in a corpus of recently recorded spontaneous interaction, and examines them alongside other referential resources available to speakers. Kʷak̓ʷala – along with other Wakashan languages, and neighboring Salishan languages – has challenged some of our ideas about how categories such as ‘Noun’ and ‘Verb’ work in grammar. However, while lexical roots in Kʷak̓ʷala and other Wakashan languages may not easily sort themselves into self-evident ‘Noun’ and ‘Verb’ categories (cf. Bach 1968, Jacobsen 1979, Kinkade 1983; Demirdache & Matthewson 1995; inter alia), syntactic predicates and arguments are clear within conversational data, and Kʷak̓ʷala lexical argument phrases align well with our expectations of ‘NP’ as a category. In considering how lexical reference in Kʷak̓ʷala relates to other referring resources in the language, such as (so-called) ‘lexical suffixes,’ I also ask what we can understand from examining bilingual speakers’ translations of their Kʷak̓ʷala into English, and explore how Kʷak̓ʷala lexical reference compares with patterns of Preferred Argument Structure and other information management constraints found cross-linguistically (cf. Chafe 1984; DuBois 1987). Examining these and other questions for Kʷak̓ʷala allows a nuanced and emergent analysis of what is meant by the category ‘Noun Phrase’ in Kʷak̓ʷala, identifies functions NPs serve in Kʷak̓ʷala grammar in use, and informs our understanding of how to develop useful materials for teachers and learners engaged in Kʷak̓ʷala revitalization.

Hyman publishes in ACAL

November 11, 2019

Congrats to Larry Hyman, whose paper Number and animacy in the Teke noun class system, co-authored with Florian Lionnet (PhD '16) & Christophère Ngolele is just out in African linguistics across disciplines: Selected papers from the 48th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Read it here!

O'Hagan and Michael publish in LIAMES

November 7, 2019

Congrats to Zach O'Hagan and Lev Michael, whose paper (with Natalia Chousou-Polydouri) entitled Phylogenetic classification supports a Northeastern Amazonian Proto-Tupí-Guaraní homeland has been published in the open-access journal LIAMES: Línguas Indígenas Americanas.

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 fall 2019, we will meet every other week, on Thursdays from 1-2 in Dwinelle 3401.

López wins MA thesis award

October 22, 2019

Congrats to first-year grad student Wendy López, who has just been named winner of the 2019 Wigberto Jiménez Moreno Prize for best Linguistics Master's Thesis by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia! Wendy's award-winning thesis is entitled Mecanismos morfosintácticos de cambio de valencia y diátesis en el nuntajɨɨyi (Sierra Popoluca).

Group in American Indian Languages (GAIL)

The Group in American Indian Languages (GAIL) meets periodically each semester and brings together individuals interested in indigenous languages of the Americas for a potluck dinner and presentation. News about recent and upcoming events can be found below, and a list of past talks can be found here. If you would like to receive periodic emails updating you about our activities, join the Friends of the Survey email list by writing to scoil-ling@berkeley.edu.