Historical and Areal Linguistics

Hyman colloquium

February 7, 2019

The 2018-2019 colloquium series continues this coming Monday, February 11, with a talk by our own Larry Hyman. Same time as always, same place as always: 3:10-5 p.m., 370 Dwinelle Hall. The talk is entitled "The Fall and Rise of Vowel Length in Bantu", and the abstract is as follows:

Although Proto-Bantu had a vowel length contrast on roots which survives in many daughter languages today, many other Bantu languages have modified the inherited system. In this talk I distinguish between four types of Bantu languages: (1) Those which maintain the free occurrence of the vowel length contrast inherited from the proto language; (2) Those which maintain the contrast, but have added restrictions which shorten long vowels in pre-(ante-)penultimate word position and/or on head nouns and verbs that are not final in their XP; (3) Those which have lost the contrast with or without creating new long vowels (e.g. from the loss of an intervocalic consonant flanked by identical vowels); (4) Those which have lost the contrast but have added phrase-level penultimate lengthening. I will propose that the positional restrictions fed into the ultimate loss of the contrast in types (3) and (4), with a concomitant shift from root prominence (at the word level) to penultimate prominence (at the intonational and phrase level). In the course of covering the above typology and historical developments in Bantu, I will show that there are some rather interesting Bantu vowel length systems that may or may not be duplicated elsewhere in the world.

Bardagil Mas in Brazil

February 7, 2019
Postdoc Bernat Bardagil Mas is currently in Brazil for fieldwork with Mỹky and Panará until mid-March. He sends the following update on his activities there: February 11-15: he will co-teach a language course for indigenous teachers with Aline da Cruz at the Federal University of Goiás (Núcleo Takikahakỹ de Formação Superior de Professores Indígenas) February 15: he will give an invited talk at the Núcleo de Tipologia Linguística at the University of Brasilia, "As línguas jê e a exponência do caso ergativo" March 12: he will give an invited talk at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, in Belém, "A morfologia do caso nas línguas jê" Recently published by Bernat, in collaboration with Charlotte Lindenbergh, is a Linguistics in the Netherlands paper entitled "Realigning alignment - The completeness typology applied to case marking in Jê languages".

Survey updates for January 2019

February 2, 2019

Some new updates from the Survey of California and other Indian Languages regarding activities for 2019 so far:

Chris Beier & Lev Michael archived an initial 13 file bundles related to Iquito (Zaparoan; Peru), including over 8 hours of audio recordings of 59 texts from the early years of their research (2002-2005). Zach O'Hagan added 63 file bundles from 2018 fieldwork to his collection on Caquinte (Arawak; Peru), including over 39 hours of audio and video recordings of stories, interviews, elicitation, and other interactions. Vivian Wauters (MA 2012), now a graduate student in horticultural science at the University of Minnesota, archived 22 file bundles related to Arabela (Zaparoan; Peru), including over 36 hours of audio recordings of elicitation and some texts, field notes, and a FLEx database. Three boxes of lexical file slips (here, here, and here) of Atsugewi (Palaihnihan; California) created by Len Talmy (PhD 1972) have been digitized and are available. An unpublished manuscript on historical Tucanoan linguistics, written by Alva Wheeler (PhD 1970) as a term paper for a seminar taught by Mary Haas, has been digitized and is available. Jorge Rosés (Alberta) & Erin Hashimoto (Alberta) archived "Time-aligned Annotations of Makah Narratives" (Wakashan; Washington), which combines speakers Ralph LaChester and Mabel Robertson's (1965) recordings of the language made with William Jacobsen (PhD 1964) with handwritten transcriptions of them, making them more accessible to users in ELAN and SayMore.

McLaughlin talks, travels

November 21, 2018

Mairi McLaughlin (affiliated faculty of the Linguistics Department, and Associate Professor of French) writes to share news of recent talks and travels. McLaughlin is currently an Oliver Smithies Visiting Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford, in which capacity she has recently presented talks entitled Historical Newspapers and Language Change and Historical French News Discourse. She also recently spoke at Oxford on Anglicisms in Romance: A New Perspective (given as the Clara Florio Cooper Memorial Lecture), and at Cambridge on The Historical French Press and Language Change. The photo below is from a lecture given at Oxford.

Mairi McLaughlin lecture, Oxford

Michael in Brazil and Mexico

November 28, 2018

This coming week Lev Michael will be in Florianópolis, Brazil, where he will be giving a plenary talk entitled Captive-taking and language contact in Amazonia at the 10th meeting of Associação Brasileira de Estudos Crioulos e Similares. Before the December 5 talk, he'll be giving a mini-course (Dec 3-4) at the same conference, entitled ''El contacto lingüístico en la Amazonía: Áreas, procesos y metodologías" (Language contact in Amazonia: Areas, processes, and methodologies).

In previous travel, talk and class news, on November 8 Lev gave a 'conferencia magistral' at the Centro de Estudios Antropológicos of UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) entitled La gramaticalización impulsada por la cultura: el caso de las evidenciales reportativas en el idioma nanti (Culture-driven grammaticalization: The case of Nanti reportative evidentials), and on November 9 he gave a class for faculty members at UNAM and other affiliated universities entitled "Temas y metodologías en la lingüística antropológica" (Topics and methodologies in Anthropological Linguistics).

Hyman travels, publishes on Benue-Congo

November 13, 2018
In the days ahead Larry Hyman will be traveling first to the University of British Columbia, where he will present "In search of prosodic domains in Lusoga" and attend workshops on Kinata and Medumba, and then to Ghent University for the International Conference on Reconstructing Proto-Bantu Grammar, at which he will present "Causative and Passive H tone: Spurious or proto?" Continuing the African languages theme, Larry also has three new papers in the newly published book East Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns, and verbs. The book is open access and can be downloaded in its entirety here. Larry's three chapters are entitled: “Bantoid verb extensions”. In John Watters (ed.), Eastern Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns, and verbs, 175-199. Berlin: Language Science Press. “Third person pronouns in Grassfields Bantu”. In John Watters (ed.), Eastern Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns and verbs, 201-223. Berlin: Language Science Press. “More reflections on the nasal classes in Bantu”. In John Watters (ed.), Eastern Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns and verbs, 225-238. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Cal Alonquianists gather in Edmonton

October 30, 2018

The 50th Algonquian Conference took place last weekend in Edmonton, Alberta, featuring four talks by Berkeley faculty or alumni:

Rich Rhodes: Morphological transitivity in Ojibwe Amy Dahlstrom (PhD '86): A Meskwaki construction in narrative texts: independent pronoun + full NP David Costa (PhD '94): Verb negation in Indiana Miami Jerome Biedny, Matthew Burner, Andrea Cudworth, & Monica Macaulay (PhD '87): Classifier Medials Across Algonquian: A First Look

Berkeley authors are depicted below!

Cal faculty & alumni at the Algonquian Conference 2018

Linguistics events this week (Oct 26-Nov 2, 2018)

October 25, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

California Universities Semantics and Pragmatics (CUSP) 11 - Saturday and Sunday Oct 27 and 28 - Dwinelle 370
CUSP will feature semantics and pragmatics talks all day Saturday, as well as Sunday morning, with speakers from across the state! Phorum - Monday Oct 29 - Dwinelle 1303 - 12-1pm
Sarah Bakst and Caroline A. Niziolek (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Self monitoring in L1 and L2: a magnetoencephalography study Climate Committee - Monday Oct 29 - Dwinelle 1229 - 3-4pm and 4-5pm
For everyone, from 3pm to 4pm, we will have a discussion of the 'impostor phenomenon', facilitated by Dr. Amy Honigman from UC Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). For graduate students only, from 4pm to 5pm, Dr. Honigman will talk about the mental health and wellness services that are available for grad students and how to access them. Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Nov 1 - Dwinelle 1303 - 4-5:30PM
Catalina Torres (University of Melbourne): TBA Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 2 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
Amy Rose Deal: Clausal complementation vs. “relative embedding”: On knowledge and happiness in Nez Perce

Linguistics events this week (Oct 19-26, 2018)

October 18, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Oct 19 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
Susan Steele: The architecture of inflection Syntax and Semantics Circle - Monday Oct 22 - Dwinelle 1229 - 11-12:30pm [note special time and place!]
Ashwini Deo (Ohio State): The emergence of split-oblique case systems: A view from the Bhili dialect continuum (Indo-Aryan) Phorum - Monday Oct 22 - Dwinelle 1303 - 12-1pm
Eleanor Glewwe (UCLA): Complexity bias and substantive bias in phonotactic learning Linguistics Department Colloquium- Monday Oct 22 - Dwinelle 370 - 3:10-5 pm
Ashwini Deo (Ohio State): Marathi tense marking: A window into the lexical encoding of tense meanings Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Oct 25 - 554 Barrows Hall - 4-5:30PM [note special location!]
Line Mikkelsen, Beth Piatote, Sean Brown, and Lou Montelongo (UC Berkeley): The Many Lives of Indigenous Languages SLUgS - Thursday Oct 25 - Dwinelle 1229 - 5-6pm
Living catalogue: brief overview of linguistics electives for Spring 2019

Cal @ Sound Systems of Latin America

October 17, 2018

This weekend features la tercera conferencia sobre Sistemas de Sonido de Latino América (SSLA3) -- Sound Systems of Latin America III -- at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Berkeley linguistics will be represented in five presentations by students, faculty, and '08 alumni:

Yuni Kim (PhD '08): “La relación entre ortografía e investigaciones fonológicas: Algunas posibilidades en amuzgo. Can phonological research contribute to Amuzgo orthography development – and vice versa?” [invited talk] Myriam Lapierre and Lev Michael: “Nasal harmony in Tupí-Guaraní: A comparative synthesis” Christian DiCanio (PhD '08) and Richard Hatcher: “Does Itunyoso Triqui have intonation?” Gabriela Caballero (PhD '08): “Direccionalidad y localidad en el condicionamiento de alomorfos en Tarahumara Central” Myriam Lapierre (University of California, Berkeley): “Word-initial [I] epenthesis in Panará: A prosodic analysis”

Congrats, all!