Fieldwork and Language Documentation

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.

CLA updates

November 13, 2022

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

In the last month, we've hosted three visits by Indigenous researchers: Richenda Ervin and Jonathan Geary (Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians), who visited twice (photo here); and Anthony Macias, Jessica Chaves, and Kim Carver (Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of Stewarts Point Rancheria; photo here). We've accessioned a new collection of materials related to the 1974-1975 Berkeley graduate field methods course on Lakota (Siouan; US), with primary consultant Ruby (LaPointe) Swift Bird (1927-2004) and Eva (Martin) Brown (1909-1996), both Oglala women from Pine Ridge (South Dakota), and instructor Wallace Chafe (1927-2019). The materials -- donated by Kenneth Whistler (PhD 1980), a student in the class -- include extensive in-class and secondary notes, compiled term papers, and lexical file slips. This course had a strong impact on other enrolled students, such as Robert Van Valin, whose dissertation became Aspects of Lakhota Syntax (PhD 1977). Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for other kinds of updates!

CLA updates

October 9, 2022

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

Larry Hyman and Mwambi Mbûûi (Graduate Theological Union) have archived a new collection of materials related to their ongoing collaborative study of Tiania (Bantu; Kenya). The materials are notable for including drafts of several descriptive pieces co-authored by Prof. Hyman and Mr. Mbûûi in the early months of the project (some already published), alongside recordings of sessions conducted on Zoom, typed notes, and database files. Their collaboration began in the fall 2021 Berkeley undergraduate field methods course, which also included Cynthia Zhong (BA 2022), some of whose notes and recordings are also included here. Madeline Bossi has added 34 new file bundles to her archival collection Kalenjin Field Materials (see items 2019-26.153 through 2019-26.187). The audio recordings of elicitation sessions and texts cover the period from April through August of this year, including in-situ fieldwork in Kenya in June. Speakers represented in the new items are Lydia Chebet Bett, Sharon Chemtai, Ezra Cheruiyot, Linus Kipkoech, Chepkemoi Ronoh, and Kiplangat Yegon.

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...

CLA updates

September 12, 2022

Here's the latest from the California Language Archive:

Allegra Robertson has archived a new collection of materials related to her first summer of fieldwork with speakers of Yánesha' (Arawak; Peru) in June and July of this year. Many speakers are represented, in sound recordings of traditional stories, explanatory texts, grammatical and lexical elicitation, and transcription sessions, together with scanned field notes and photographs.