Language and Social Context

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. 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 Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. We will continue to update it as we learn more.

The course in its present guise began in the 1948-1949 academic...

Kaplan and Cutler win Five Minute Linguist

January 12, 2022

Congratulations to Jennifer Kaplan and Cecelia Cutler (CUNY Graduate Center), whose presentation "I’m Tawkin’ Here: Why don’t New Yorkers sound like Noo Yawkas anymore?" won first prize in the Five Minute Linguist competition at this year's meeting of the Linguistic Society of America! Read all about it here.

Bleaman published in Journal of Sociolinguistics

December 9, 2021

Congratulations to Isaac Bleaman, whose article "Minority language maintenance and the production-prescription interface: Number agreement in New York Yiddish" has just been published in the Journal of Sociolinguistics. The early view is available here, or contact Isaac for a PDF.

Guébie (Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast) - Language Snapshot

Hannah Sande

Guébie (also known as Gaɓogbo) is a Kru language spoken by about 7,000 people in the Gagnoa prefecture in southwest Côte d’Ivoire. Guébie people are primarily subsistence farmers, growing cassava, rice, corn, and plantains. Many also grow cocoa and rubber for profit. In the past 20 years there has been an influx of outsiders settling in Guébie villages, new roads have been developed which lead to easier access to nearby cities, and new schools have been built where French is taught and use of Guébie is not allowed. For these reasons, among others, French and Bété, the local language of...

Nouchi as a distinct language: The morphological evidence

Hannah Sande

In this paper I argue that Nouchi, a relatively young Ivoirian contact variety, is and should be treated as a full-fledged language distinct from French and its other source languages. Nouchi, an emerging language spoken in Côte d’Ivoire since that late 1970’s (Ayewa 2005), has been treated in the literature as a slang vocabulary or an urban youth dialect of French. Though Nouchi began as a lingua franca among uneducated youth in urban centers, it is now the preferred language of Ivoirians in Abidjan and the surrounding areas of Côte d’Ivoire (Kube-Barth 2009). This paper focuses on...

Theory and description in African linguistics

Emily Clem
Peter Jenks
Hannah Sande

This collection contains 36 papers presented at the 47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics at UC Berkeley from March 23-March 26, 2016.1 This meeting of ACAL coincided with a special workshop entitled “Areal features and linguistic reconstruction in Africa”, and we are glad to include four papers from that workshop in this collection as well. Collectively, these papers add a sizable body of scholarship to the study of African languages, including valuable new descriptions of African languages, novel theoretical analyses of them, and important insights into our...

Berkeley linguists @ NWAV 49

October 14, 2021

The following (current and former) Berkeley linguists will be presenting at New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 49, hosted by UT Austin and taking place online from October 19 to 24, 2021. Several of the presentations have already been pre-recorded and links are provided below. (Follow this story on our website for updates.)

Isaac L. Bleaman, Katie Cugno, and Annie Helms: "Increased intelligibility (but not formality) in Zoom interviews" [presentation] Irene Yi (BA 2021): "Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in Mandarin 然后用中文完成": Towards Sociolinguistically-Aware Computational Models of Codeswitching Using Classification and Regression Trees (CART) Jennifer Kaplan and Cecelia Cutler: "Attitudinal Effects on Back Vowel Fronting Among Young Adults in New York City" Justin Davidson and Mairi McLaughlin: "(Semi-)Spontaneous Translation as Sociolinguistic Production: The Social Underpinnings of Variation in News Translation from English to French" [presentation] Aurora Martinez Kane and Ben Papadopoulos: "Catalana, Cantaora, or Reggaetonera? Rosalía and the Linguistic Performance of Persona" [presentation] Mingzhe Zheng and Jie Liu: "One-ge person or One-wei person: Exploring the use of Mandarin classifier across time" Naomi Lee and Laurel MacKenzie (BA 2006): "The English particle verb alternation shows gradient sensitivity to compositionality"

Congrats, all!

Nanti self-quotation: Implications for the pragmatics of reported speech and evidentiality

Lev Michael

This paper describes two quotation strategies employed by speakers of Nanti, one involving grammaticalized quotatives and another involving complement-taking verbs of saying, and examines the consequences of the pragmatic differences between these strategies for two key questions in the study of evidentiality: first, the importance of degree of grammaticalization in delimiting ‘evidentials’; and second, the importance of the analytical distinction between epistemic modal and ‘source of information’ evidential meanings. Nanti use of the two quotation strategies is specifically...