Fieldwork and Language Documentation

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. 

Survey updates

September 13, 2020

Updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

Survey updates

September 6, 2020

Updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Larry Hyman and Thera Marie Crane (PhD 2011), now at the University of Helsinki, archived a new collection of sound recordings and field notes on Nzadi (Bantu, Democratic Republic of the Congo), from the fall 2008 undergraduate field methods course and a study group the following term. Simon Nsielanga Tukumu, a Jesuit priest then working toward an MA at the Graduate Theological Union, was the consultant, and the students in the class were Christina Agoff, Ian Coffman, Chad Hegelmeyer, John Keesling, José María Lahoz, Dillon Mee, Getty Ritter, Massoud Toofan, Salgu Wissmath, and Lue Yee Tsang. They also published a grammar in 2011! The project was featured in SFGate at the time.

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

August 15, 2020

Updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Emily Drummond has archived a new collection of materials on Nukuoro (Polynesian, Micronesia). This is a diverse set of 125 file bundles beginning in 2015 and including audio recordings of elicitation sessions, oral narratives, and conversational texts; field notes; transcriptions; and photos and videos documenting cultural and other practices. The primary speaker contributors are Mina Lekka, Johnny (Soni) Rudolph & Ruth (Analidele) Rudolph, with many others.
  • Florian Lionnet (PhD 2016), now a faculty member at Princeton, has archived a new collection of materials on Cèmuhî, Nemi, and Paicî (Kanak, New Caledonia). This is a collaboration with consultants Anna Gonari, Hélène Nimbaye, Moïse Pwaili, Michel Tutugoro, Jean-Claude Vaiadimoin, and Aman. The collection includes sound recordings and associated ELAN/TextGrid files of phonological elicitation on tone and coarticulation, and for measurements of oral and nasal airflow.
  • We released linguistic materials on Cupeño (Uto-Aztecan, California), made by Berkeley alum (BA 1960) and anthropologist Jane Hill (1939-2018) in collaboration with speakers Roscinda Nolasquez, Frances Bosley, James Brittian & Venturo Leir, primarily during fieldwork from 1962 to 1964 for Hill's PhD dissertation A Grammar of the Cupeño Language (UCLA 1966). Divided into five series, the core of the collection is 11 scanned notebooks filled with elicitation on grammar and vocabulary and with transcriptions of texts, alongside 11 digitized reel-to-reel tapes. Some of the recordings were copied to cassettes that accompanied Hill & Nolasquez's (1973) Mulu'wetam: The First People: Cupeño Culture, Mythology, and Cupeño Language Dictionary.
  • We released a new collection of materials on Falam Chin (Kuki-Chin, Myanmar), from the 2007-2008 graduate field methods course. The consultant was Ni Luai Thang, the instructor was Alice Gaby, and students were Amy Campbell, David Kamholz, Dominic Yu, Heather Todd, Justin Spence, Michael Ellsworth, Ramón Escamilla & Russell Rhodes.
  • We released a new collection of materials on Garifuna (Arawakan; Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua), from the 2011-2012 graduate field methods course. The consultant was Dr. Philip Timothy Palacio, the instructor was Lev Michael, and students were alums Chundra Cathcart, I-hsuan Chen, Emily Cibelli, Shinae Kang, Eric Prendergast, Christine Sheil, Tammy Stark & Elise Stickles.
  • We released a new collection of materials on Turkmen (Turkic; Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), from the 2013-2014 graduate field methods course. The consultant was Nazik Aytjanova, the instructor was Dasha Kavitskaya, and students were Sarah Bakst, Antony D'Avirro, Matt Goss, Herman Leung, Auburn Lutzross, Jonathan Manker, Orchid Pusey & Katie Sardinha.
  • We released new collections of materials on San Pedro Necta Mam & Todos Santos Cuchumatán Mam (Mayan, Guatemala), from the 2018-2019 graduate field methods course. The consultants were Wendy Ruiz (San Pedro Necta) & Brenda Calmo Jerónimo, Gerardo Gerónimo Lorenzo & Rudy Pablo (Todos Santos), the instructor was Lev Michael, and students were Martha Schwarz, Schuyler Laparle, Tyler Lemon & Wesley dos Santos.

Survey updates

May 20, 2020

Updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Teresa McFarland (PhD 2009) has archived a new collection of field notes, sound recordings, and photographs related to Filomeno Mata Totonac (Totonac-Tepehuan; Veracruz, Mexico), from dissertation fieldwork spanning 2003 to 2009, with additional interviews done by Berkeley undergrads in 2015. We digitized 95 minidiscs (about 135GB), which document a rich research project on many aspects of phonology and morphosyntax, alongside many texts. Each file bundle represents a day, and includes page number references to the field notes and indications of transcriptions of texts.