Language and Cognition

Linguistics events this week (Feb 15-22, 2019)

February 15, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Linguistics & Near Eastern Studies special lecture - Friday Feb 15 - 254 Barrows Hall - 2pm 
    Lutz Edzard (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg): The morphosyntax of compounding in Semitic
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Peter Jenks (Berkeley): Anaphoric definites as anchored definites
  • Ling 47 ("Communication Disorders")  special event - Friday Feb 15 - Dwinelle 1229 - 4pm
    Viewing and discussion of the documentary When I Stutter
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Feb 20 - Dwinelle 1303 - 11-12:30PM 
    Practice talks for ICLDC: Julia Nee (Berkeley): Communication Based Instruction and Evaluation of Language Revitalization; Anna Berge (Alaska Native Language Center) and Edwin Ko (Berkeley): Interactive Maps, Place, and Context 
  • Philosophy Dept Work in Progress Talk - Wednesday Feb 20 - Moses 301 - noon-1
    Amy Rose Deal (Berkeley): Factivity and uncentered attitudes
  • Climate care tea/coffee hour - Friday Feb 22 - 3401 Dwinelle - 2-3pm
    Discussion of goal setting
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 22 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm
    Jorge Hankamer (Santa Cruz) & Line Mikkelsen (Berkeley): CP complements to D 

Linguistics events this week (Feb 8-15, 2019)

February 8, 2019

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • BLS Workshop: Countability Distinctions - Friday Feb 8 & Saturday Feb 9
    Join us for talks including keynotes by Suzi Lima (Toronto) and David Barner (UCSD)!  The complete program is available here
  • Phorum - Monday Feb 11 - 1303 Dwinelle - 12-1pm
    Georgia Zellou, Michelle Cohn, & Bruno Ferenc Segedin (UCD): Talking Tech: How does voice-AI influence human speech? 
  • Linguistics Colloquium - Monday Feb 11 - 370 Dwinelle -  3:10-5pm 
    Larry Hyman: The Fall and Rise of Vowel Length in Bantu
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Feb 13 - Dwinelle 1303 - 11-12:30PM 
    Andrew Garrett, Dmetri Hayes, and Ronald Sprouse: TBA 
  • SLUgS - Thursday Feb 14 - Dwinelle 1229 - 5-6pm  
    Viewing of Atlantis 
  • Linguistics & Near Eastern Studies special lecture - Friday Feb 15 - 254 Barrows Hall - 2pm
    Lutz Edzard (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg): The morphosyntax of compounding in Semitic
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Feb 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4:30pm
    Peter Jenks: TBA

Linguistics events this week (Nov 30-Dec 7, 2018)

November 29, 2018

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Nov 30 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm 
    Zach O'Hagan: Two sorts of contrastive topic in Caquinte
  • SLUgS Linguistics Symposium - Saturday Dec 1 - Dwinelle 370 - 8:30am-5pm
  • Linguistics Holiday Potluck - Monday Dec 3 - Dwinelle 1229 - 12 noon
  • Linguistics Department colloquium - Monday Dec 3 - Dwinelle 370 - 3-5pm
    Carlos Gussenhoven (Radboud University Nijmegen): Between phonetics and phonology: Of the beast and the untamed savage
  • Fieldwork Forum - Thursday Dec 6 - Dwinelle 1229 - 4-5:30PM 
    Quirina Geary (UC Davis): TBA
  • Syntax and Semantics Circle - Friday Dec 7 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-5pm 
    Noga Zaslavsky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Karee Garvin (UC Berkeley), Charles Kemp (University of Melbourne), Naftali Tishby (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), & Terry Regier (UC Berkeley): Color-naming evolution and efficiency: The case of Nafaanra 

In memoriam Sue Ervin-Tripp

November 28, 2018

Psycholinguist and professor emerita Sue Ervin-Tripp passed away earlier this month. Dan Slobin writes, "We have lost a major founder of both psycho- and sociolinguistics, a distinguished researcher, and a splendid human being.  She will be much missed." The campus news obituary can be read here.  

QP fest 2018!

November 22, 2018

QP Fest will be held on Monday, November 26, in Dwinelle 370, from 3-5pm. (Note the rescheduled date!)

The schedule is as follows: 

    • Introduction (3:10-3:15)
    • Tessa Scott: "Conjoint/disjoint in Ndengeleko: A head movement alternation" (3:15-3:35) 
    • Karee Garvin: "Positional effects on timing and coordination of segments within the syllable" (3:35-3:55) 
    • Yevgeniy Melguy: "Talker ethnicity and listener expectation in the perception of foreign-accented speech" (3:55-4:15) 
    • Mini-break (4:15-4:20)
    • Noah Hermalin: "Ambiguity and efficiency trade-offs in Sumerian cuneiform" (4:20-4:40) 
    • Myriam Lapierre: "A phonological analysis of Panãra" (4:40-5:00) 

BLS workshop announced

November 1, 2018

In place of the general meeting of BLS this February, there will be a workshop on the topic of countability distinctions. Here is the call for papers:

BLS Workshop: Countability Distinctions

08-Feb-2019 - 09-Feb-2019 

Countability distinctions and mass nouns are a topic of long-standing interest in semantics, grammar, and the philosophy and psychology of language. Recent work on this topic has pushed our understanding forward in three separate but related directions: 

  1. There is more than one type of countability distinction relevant to natural language: nouns like furniture are different from nouns like sand both in how quantity judgments are carried out (Barner and Snedeker 2005) and in which types of adjectival modification are possible (Rothstein 2010, Schwarzschild 2011). 
  2. A semantics for mass nouns can be given that captures the many grammatical parallels between water and furniture without ascribing the same status to the minimal elements in their denotations (Chierchia 2010, Landman 2011). 
  3. The crosslinguistic picture on countability distinctions is more nuanced than originally thought: there are languages where all nouns combine with numerals in apparently similar ways (Lima 2014, Deal 2017), and in languages where classifiers are necessary to mediate noun-numeral combinations, there nevertheless exist countability-related distinctions among nouns diagnosable by quantity judgments and adjective distribution (Cheung, Li, and Barner 2010, Rothstein 2010). 


For this workshop, held in place of the general meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, we invite submissions for talks on all aspects of countability distinctions in natural language. Submissions may address questions including, though not limited to, the following: 

- What are the ways in which countability distinctions are manifested in particular languages? 
- Are morphosyntactic differences in the distribution of count versus mass nouns traceable directly to their semantics, or to their syntax, or to both? 
- What do countability distinctions show us about nominal semantics? What do they teach us about nominal syntax? 
- How should we choose among theories of mass noun semantics (or syntax) currently on the market? 
- Are countability distinctions a language universal? Which distinctions are subject to variation (if any), and which (if any) are not? 
- How are countability distinctions represented psychologically, and acquired by children? 

Invited speakers (confirmed): 
David Barner (UC San Diego) 
Suzi Lima (University of Toronto) 

Conference website: http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/bls/ 
Contact: blsworkshop@berkeley.edu 

Organizing Committee: 
Emily Clem, Virginia Dawson, Amy Rose Deal, Paula Floro, Peter Jenks, Tyler Lemon, Line Mikkelsen, Tessa Scott, Yi-Chi Wu

Call for Papers: 

Submission deadline: November 30, 2018 

Abstracts should be submitted in PDF format via EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=blsw1 

Abstracts should not exceed two pages in length (12-point type, Times New Roman, single line spacing, 1 inch margins) including examples and references. 

Submissions must be anonymous and are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract per author or two joint abstracts per author. 

Reviews and notifications of acceptance will be returned to authors by mid-December. 

Sweetser, Regier on the Origins & Nature of Language

November 1, 2018

On-going this semester is a Learning in Retirement course, offered through the Berkeley Retirement Center, entitled The Origins and Nature of Language. The course lecture this week was delivered by Eve Sweetser, and next week's lecture will be given by Terry Regier: 

  • Eve Sweetser: Why are Languages so different?    Slides   Audio Link with Slides
  • Terry Regier: What are the consequences of linguistic diversity for perception and thought?
    Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 2-4 pm, Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Building

Congrats, Eve and Terry!

Berkeley linguists @ LSA 2019

October 3, 2018

The program for this year's LSA annual meeting has been released, and Berkeley linguistics will be represented in 14 talks and posters (plus an organized session) by students, faculty, and very recent alumni: 

Congrats all!

Gahl named Mercator Fellow

October 4, 2018

Congrats to Susanne Gahl, who has just been named a Mercator Fellow by the DFG (German Research Foundation)! The fellowship lasts for three years and will support a collaboration with Ingo Plag and others at Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf.