Language Revitalization

Language Revitalization Working Group

The Language Revitalization Working Group offers a space to critically examine theories, methodologies, and applications of language revitalization in a variety of world contexts. Additionally, we provide a centralized venue for interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners of language revitalization to share, present, discuss, and improve their language revitalization efforts.

In Fall 2023, we will meet every other Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. (PST) in a hybrid format: if you're on campus you can join us in-person, and if you're not, you can join via Zoom. Additional/...

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. Links in the Language column are to archival collections in the California Language Archive (CLA). 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 CLA. We will...

Group in American Indian Languages (GAIL)

The Group in American Indian Languages (GAIL) meets periodically in order to bring together individuals interested in Indigenous languages of the Americas for a potluck dinner and presentation. News about events can be found below, and a list of other 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


Leonard colloquium

September 10, 2023

The 2023-2024 colloquium series begins on Monday, September 18, with a talk by Wesley Y. Leonard (UC Riverside), rescheduled from last fall. The talk will take place in Dwinelle 370 and synchronously via Zoom (passcode: lxcolloq) from 3:10-5pm. The title of the talk is "Engaging Native American Protocols for Decolonizing Linguistics Pedagogy," and the abstract is as follows:

Although there is an increasing focus on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in the field of Linguistics, members of Native American and other Indigenous communities remain underrepresented—and often report feeling unwelcome. A recurring concern is that Linguistics, despite a strong disciplinary interest in Indigenous languages, is not accountable to Indigenous histories, protocols, and ways of experiencing language. A wider issue is that colonization is endemic, and academic norms (including whose worldviews guide curriculum) have developed accordingly. For both points, a question emerges about what linguists can or should do in response.

In this colloquium, I examine this question through the norms of how Linguistics is or could be taught, focusing in particular on introductory courses—those in which students are most likely to learn about the field for the first time—and how these courses can engage Native American worldviews and protocols, such as a focus on relationships (relationality) and protocols of honoring those relationships (relational accountability). I argue that doing so when framing core concepts, selecting and presenting examples, and discussing social issues such as language endangerment, naturally supports JEDI for members of Native American and other Indigenous communities, while also improving linguistics pedagogy in general.

Scott's research featured by UCB Social Science Matrix

August 30, 2023
Recent Berkeley Linguistics PhD Tessa Scott and her work with the Mam language community (spoken in Guatemala and diaspora communities in Mexico and the US) are featured in this article from the Social Science Matrix: Congrats, Tessa!

Scott files dissertation

August 16, 2023

Congrats to Tessa Scott on her dissertation Pronouns and agreement in San Juan Atitán Mam, filed in May! Tessa has accepted a position as a postdoctoral fellow with the UC Berkeley Future of Higher Education Postdoctoral Fellowship Program starting in September. She will be working in the office of the Dean of the College of Letters and Science on undergraduate education policy and advising. In this position she will also continue her research and work on Mam. We look...

Peck featured in California Magazine

January 18, 2023

Julia Peck was featured in an article on Ladino language revitalization in California Magazine, a publication of the Cal Alumni Association. Check it out here!

DE-ILR welcome event and application

October 3, 2022

You are invited to a welcome party and information session for the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization, taking place on Wednesday, October 12, from 4-5pm in Dwinelle 370. For more information, including about the 2022 deadline to apply for the DE, see this flyer.

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...