Fieldwork and Language Documentation

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.

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  

Bardagil travels

September 22, 2019
Postdoc Bernat Bardagil has had a busy few months. This week he is serving as an external examiner in the doctoral qualification for Edson de Freitas Gomes at the UFPA (Universidade Federal do Pará), for the dissertation Aspectos morfossintáticos em mẽbengokre: transitividade e marcação de argumentos. Earlier in September, he took part in the AGGREGATION Working Meeting at the University of Washington, with Emily Bender's project. Over the summer, he ran the first Escola de Língua Manoki Watjuho Ja'a in the village of Cravari, where a team kick-started a process to revitalize Manoki among a large group of young people in the community. He also more generally did fieldwork over the summer with Mỹky-Manoki, will continue to do some more with the same language and with Panará during the fall.

WSCLA 23 proceedings published

September 22, 2019

The Proceedings of WSCLA 23 (Workshop on Structure and Constituency in the Languages of the Americas) have recently been published, containing the following papers by department members and recent alumni:

Congrats all!

Berkeley @ CCILA IX

September 9, 2019

The program for the 9th Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA IX) has just been released, promising the following presentations by current department members and recent alumni:

  • Zachary O'Hagan: Complex Temporal Relations in Caquinte: The Case of =ta and =ja
  • Wendy Liz Arbey López Marquez: Los aplicativos en el popoluca de la Sierra
  • Myriam Lapierre, Tessa Scott, Karee Garvin: Morphologically conditioned (sub)segmental subtraction in Mam
  • Kelsey Neely (PhD '19): Metrical phonology in the verbal domain in Yaminawa (Pano, Peru)
  • Amalia Horan Skilton (PhD '19): Demonstratives and reaching space in Ticuna

Congrats all!

Research group meetings & talk series this semester

September 5, 2019
Calques has been made aware of the following research groups and talk series meeting this semester:
  • Experimental Phonology Working Group  --  meeting on Mondays, 10:30-11:30am, in Dwinelle 1226. The first meeting will be Monday, September 9. Contact Jesse Zymet for more information.
  • Fieldwork Forum  -- meeting on Thursdays, 3:40-5:00pm, in Dwinelle 1303. Organized by Edwin Ko, Emily Drummond and Wesley dos Santos. More info on the website: Fieldwork Forum
  • Gesture and Multimodality Group -- meeting certain Fridays, 9-11am. Contact Eve Sweetser for more information.
  • Group in American Indian Languages -- meeting dates and times TBD; contact Zach O'Hagan for more information.
  • Language Revitalization Working Group  -- meeting Thursdays 1-2pm, in Dwinelle 3401. More info on the website: Language Revitalization Working Group
  • Metaphor Group -- meeting times TBD; contact Eve Sweetser for more information.
  • Phorum  -- meeting Mondays 12-1pm, in 1229 Dwinelle. Organized by Emily Grabowski and Yevgeniy Melguy. More info on the website: Phorum
  • Society of Linguistics Undergraduates Students (SLUgS) -- meeting certain Thursdays 5pm
  • Sociolinguistics lab -- meeting on certain Tuesdays, 3:30-5pm, in Dwinelle 1229. The first meeting will be Tuesday, September 10. Contact Isaac Bleaman for more information.
  • Syntax & Semantics Circle  -- meeting on Fridays, 3-4:30pm, in Dwinelle 1303. Organized by Tessa Scott & Schuyler Laparle. More info on the website: Syntax and Semantics Circle

Survey updates

September 5, 2019

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

If you have questions about the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages and its digital catalog the California Language Archive (CLA), don't hesitate to email us at, or talk to Andrew Garrett (Director), Ronald Sprouse (IT), or Zachary O'Hagan (GSR). We collect analog and digital materials on languages of the Americas, as well as from all Berkeley-affiliated researchers, irrespective of region of the world. Our holdings include over 450 collections, with approximately 19,000 items and 32,500 digital files, consisting of paper materials (field notes, file slips, etc.), audio and video recordings, photographs, a stuffed American goldfinch, and more! Much of it is born-digital or has been digitized. You can take the initiative with your own archiving, using our pre-archive interface. Here are some other news items since we last reported in April.

  • The Survey/CLA is now on Instagram! Follow us @surveycla. Our account profiles the speakers of indigenous languages represented in our collections. (You can also follow us on Facebook at Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, where announce new collections and other pertinent news.)
  • We hosted visits to the archive from people representing Karuk, Nez Perce, Northern Paiute, Pomo, Salinan, and Washo language groups.
  • We rescued from a book giveaway a reel-to-reel tape from the graduate linguistic field methods course on Mongolian taught in 1967-1968 by Karl Zimmer (1927-2019). The recording was produced in what is now the Berkeley Language Center Recording Studio. If you can help us identify the speaker of Mongolian heard on the recording, please email us at
  • We made public three short recordings of Newari (Tibeto-Burman; Nepal) from Mary Haas's 1961-1962 field methods course with speaker Sushila Joshi.
  • Emily Clem (PhD 2019) archived audio recordings and slides from her dissertation defense from May 2019, available here.
  • We accessioned the collection Time-aligned Annotations of Bodega Miwok Sound Recordings (Miwokan; CA). These annotations, transcription with glossing, were made in ELAN by Andrew Cowell (CU Boulder) based on Catherine Callaghan's (PhD 1963) recordings of the language with speaker Sarah Ballard (1881-1978) in 1960.
  • We accessioned a collection of sound recordings and field notes from the LSA Linguistic Institute's field methods course on Kashaya (Pomoan; CA), taught by Pamela Munro (UCLA) at Berkeley 10 years ago. The language consultant was Anita Silva.
  • We accessioned a collection of four recordings (with transcription) of lexical elicitation of Bodega Miwok, made by Richard Applegate (PhD 1972) with Sarah Ballard in 1974.
  • We digitized and made public new materials related to Nez Perce (Sahaptian; northwest US). Most are digital images of Series 2 and Series 4 of the Haruo Aoki Papers on the Nez Perce Language, consisting of the original transcriptions, translations, and annotations of the stories that feature in Aoki and Walker's (1989) "Nez Perce Oral Narratives." Also available are Marcus Ware's (1959) recordings with speaker Corbett Lawyer, which include lists of words, phrases, and sentences.
  • Kelsey Neely (PhD 2019) archived audio and video recordings and slides from her dissertation defense from October 2018, available here. She also added 50 ELAN annotation files (transcription with Spanish translation) to her collection Materials of the Yaminawa Documentation Project.