Fieldwork and Language Documentation

CLA updates

March 12, 2023

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

We've accessioned a new collection of materials related to the winter-spring 1980 Berkeley graduate field methods course on Lakota (Siouan; US), with consultants Eva (Martin) Brown (1909-1996), previously a consultant for the 1974-1975 course, and Mary (Afraid of Enemy) McDaniel (1917-1992), and instructor Wallace Chafe (1927-2019). Mrs. McDaniel was a granddaughter of Solomon Afraid of Enemy, who fought at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 and survived the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890; she was also the great-granddaughter of the Oglala Sitting Bull (d. 1877). The single notebook in the collection was recovered at an estate sale at the former home of Knud Lambrecht (PhD 1986) in Alameda in 2019!

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. Links in the Language column are to archival collections in the California Language Archive (CLA). 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 CLA. We will...

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 Spring 2023, we will meet (roughly) every other week, on Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. (PST) in a hybrid format: if you're on campus you can join us in-person, and if you're not, you can join via Zoom. Additional/...

Hyman publishes in Studies in African Linguistics

February 21, 2023

Congrats to Larry Hyman, whose article "Deverbal nominalization in Runyankore" has just appeared in Studies in African Linguistics (though published as part of the last issue from 2022). Click here for the PDF.

O'Hagan speaks at Texas Linguistics Society

February 16, 2023

Zachary O'Hagan is in Austin to attend the 22nd meeting of the Texas Linguistics Society February 17-18, giving a keynote presentation titled "The Ashaninka Archival Collection of Gerald Weiss: Value in Legacy Documentation and Priorities in Preservation."

Publication of first two volumes of Amazonian Languages: An International Handbook

January 31, 2023

The first two volumes of Amazonian languages: An international handbook were officially published on January 30. Edited by Patience Epps and Lev Michael, these two volumes present grammatical descriptions of all reasonably well-attested linguistic isolates of the Greater Amazonian region. Volume I covers Aikanã to Kandozi-Shapra, and Volume II covers Kanoé to Yurakaré. (A chapter in Volume III will summarize what we know about the more poorly-attested isolates and small language families known only from colonial-era materials.)

Linguists currently or formerly affiliated with Berkeley contributed significantly to these volumes:

Introduction (freely available online): Patience Epps (UT Austin) and Lev Michael

Aʔɨwa: Christine Beier and Lev Michael

Cholón: Astrid Alexander-Bakkerus (University of Amsterdam) and Kelsey Caitlyn Neely (Endangered Languages Documentation Programme; Berkeley PhD 2019)

Muniche: Lev Michael, Stephanie Farmer (Berkeley PhD 2015), Greg Finley (Meta, Berkeley PhD 2015), Karina Sullón Acosta (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos), Christine Beier, Alejandrina Chanchari Icahuate (Munichis, Peru), Donalia Icahuate Baneo (Munichis, Peru), and Melchor Sinti Saita (Munichis, Peru)

Mỹky: Bernat Bardagil (University of Groningen; Berkeley postdoc 2017-2020)

Omurano: Zachary O'Hagan (Berkeley PhD 2020)

Taushiro: Zachary O'Hagan

Warao: Andrés Romero-Figueroa (Universidad Católica Andrés Bello) and Konrad Rybka (University of Leiden; Berkeley postdoc 2015-2018)

In addition, Zachary O'Hagan was the editorial assistant in the first several years of the project.

The next volumes in the series will focus on the small language families of Greater Amazonia, and the final volumes, on the large language families of the region.

CLA updates

January 22, 2023

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

Shweta Akolkar has accessioned the new collection Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Documentation Materials (Indo-Aryan; India, Bangladesh), based on a collaboration with Uttam Singha and other speakers. The collection represents a kind of archival collection that has come to exist originally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consisting of audio and/or video recordings of Zoom calls where notes are shared onscreen and later bundled with the same recording files as PDFs.

CLA updates

January 15, 2023

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

Toward the end of December, we released our first newsletter! If you are on the ling-dept email list, you received it, but consider subscribing individually. We digitized an important VHS recording of Milton "Bun" Lucas telling stories in Kashaya (Pomoan; CA) in 1993. Mr. Lucas was also the language consultant for the 1989-1990 graduate field methods course. We accessioned the John H. Davis Collection of Materials on the Sliammon Language, currently consisting of 1,369 pages of original field notes on ʔayajuθəm, also known as Mainland Comox (Salishan; WA, British Columbia). The notes were donated by linguist John Davis in November, and feature work with speakers Mary George, Noel George Harry, and Tommy Paul, among many others. In the future, we will digitize reel-to-reel tapes, combine them with those already in the John H. Davis Collection of Sliammon Sound Recordings, and merge them into this collection. We accessioned the Heather Hardy Collection of Tolkapaya Yavapai Language Materials, consisting of field notes, dissertation notes, and lexical file slips related to this Yuman language of Arizona. The materials were donated by Heather Hardy in August 2021, and feature work with speaker Molly Fasthorse. In the future, we will digitize cassette tapes, and add them as another series to this collection. Prof. Hardy began working with Mrs. Fasthorse as part of a UCLA graduate field methods course in the mid-1970s. We accessioned three collections related to Berkeley field methods courses taught by Richard Rhodes from the late 1980s: Tigrinya 1987-1988, with speaker Tesfai Haile (graduate course) Vietnamese 1988-1989 (graduate course) Lakota 1989, with speaker Faye Moreno (undergraduate course)

South American Nasality Workshop held in December

January 8, 2023

The second workshop for the NSF-funded South American Nasality Project was held in Berkeley December 12-16 at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza. Eleven participants from nine universities (pictured below) reported on preliminary results from phonetic fieldwork with speakers of ten Amazonian languages, while the project PIs (Faytak, Lapierre, and Michael) led discussions on various aspects of methodology and workflow. Originally slated for December 2020, both fieldwork and the workshop were delayed by two years by the COVID-19 pandemic, so all were enthusiastic to get the project back on track!

2nd South American Nasality Workshop

Physically present (L to R): Lorena Orjuela (UT Austin), Marina Magalhães (Universidade de Brasilia), Jorge Rosés Labrada (University of Alberta), Thiago Chacon (Universidade de Brasilia), Myriam Lapierre (University of Washington), Kelsey Neely (ELDP), Wilson da Silva (University of Arizona), Matt Faytak (SUNY Buffalo), Wesley dos Santos (UC Berkeley); Projected (L to R): Lev Michael (UC Berkeley), Adam Singerman (Syracuse University)

CLA updates

December 19, 2022

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

At the beginning of December, CLA manager Zachary O'Hagan returned from Salt Lake City with a car full of 22 boxes of materials related primarily to Kiliwa (Yuman; Mexico), Mandan (Siouan; North Dakota), and Shoshone (Uto-Aztecan; western US), donated by Mauricio Mixco (PhD 1971), Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Utah. We accessioned small collections related to the 2001-2002 field methods course on Leggbo (Cross River; Nigeria) with speaker Imelda Udoh and instructor Larry Hyman (here), and to the 2003-2004 course on Yucatec Maya (Mayan; Mexico, Belize) with speaker Santos Nic and instructor Leanne Hinton (here). We digitized nine of Walter Dyk's (BA 1928) original (1931) notebooks of texts in Washo (isolate; California, Nevada; see catalog items 2014-21.003.016 through 2014-21.003.024). Dyk gave the notebooks to William Jacobsen, Jr. (PhD 1964), in whose collection they appear. Dyk was born in Halberstadt, Germany in 1899. After Berkeley, he received an MA from the University of Chicago under Edward Sapir (1931), and a PhD from Yale University (1933) after Sapir went there, working with the Wishram language of Oregon. The texts are by (at least) Haltie Charlie, Roma James, and Blind Mike.