Linguistics

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

Housing the first linguistics department established in North America in 1901, UC Berkeley has a rich and distinguished tradition of rigorous linguistic documentation and theoretical innovation, thus making it an exciting and fulfilling place to carry out linguistic research. The department's original mission, from the anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and the Sanskrit and Dravidian scholar Murray B. Emeneau, was the recording and describing of unwritten languages, especially American Indian languages spoken in California and elsewhere in the United States. The current Department of Linguistics continues this tradition, integrating careful, scholarly documentation with cutting-edge theoretical work in phonetics, phonology, and morphology; syntax, semantics, and pragmatics; psycholinguistics; sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics; historical linguistics; typology; and cognitive linguistics.

Much of the research is potentially interdisciplinary and/or involves the careful documentation of individual languages, language families, and their histories. The department has always had a strong commitment to the study of American Indian languages, and it also has special strengths in African, Asian, and European languages. Many of the faculty and graduate students participate in the activities of the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Studies, where they interact with scholars from a number of other disciplines including Psychology, Anthropology, Philosophy, Computer Science, Education, etc.

Facilities

The Phonology Lab is a research and teaching laboratory within the department. Research focuses on documenting and explaining sound patterns in language.

The Survey of California and Other Indian Languages is a research center within the department supporting the documentation, study, and revitalization of the indigenous languages of California and the Americas. The center maintains a major archive of field notes and other documentary materials, accessible in 1311 Dwinelle Hall and cataloged in the California Language Archive (CLA); some material is digitized and available online. The center also curates the collection of linguistic field recordings from the Berkeley Language Center, many of which can be listened to on the CLA website.

The department has its own noncirculating library containing thousands of books, decades of journal subscriptions, and copies of (nearly) every linguistics dissertation completed at UC Berkeley as well as many dissertations from other institutions.

Undergraduate Programs

Linguistics: BA, Minor

Graduate Program

Linguistics: PhD

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Courses

Linguistics

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Christine Beier, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Language endangerment, documentation, and revitalization; Amazonian languages.

Amy Rose Deal, Associate Professor. Meaning, grammar, endangered languages, Native American languages, semantics, syntax, word structure, language universals, language variation, Nez Perce language.
Research Profile

Susanne Gahl, Associate Professor. Linguistics, psycholinguistics, linguistic structure, language production, aphasia and related language disorders.
Research Profile

+ Andrew Garrett, Professor. Linguistics, English, California, language change, Indo-European languages, historical linguistics, northern California Indian languages, linguistic structure, typology, ancient Greek, Latin, Irish, Oceanic languages.
Research Profile

Larry M. Hyman, Professor. Linguistics, phonological theory, typology, African languages, the Niger-Congo family, especially the comparative and historical study of the Bantu language family.
Research Profile

Sharon Inkelas, Professor. Morphology, phonology, reduplication, child phonology.
Research Profile

Peter S. E. Jenks, Assistant Professor. Syntax, semantics, linguistics, linguistic theory, Thai, sudanese languages, African languages, Southeast Asian languages.
Research Profile

Keith Johnson, Professor. Phonetics.
Research Profile

Susan S. Lin, Assistant Professor. Phonetics, articulatory phonetics, ultrasound speech research.
Research Profile

+ Lev D. Michael, Associate Professor. Linguistic typology, Amazonian languages, anthropological linguistics, language contact and areal typology, language documentation and description.
Research Profile

+ Line Mikkelsen, Associate Professor. Morphology, syntax, semantics, Germanic and California languages.
Research Profile

Terry Regier, Professor. Computational methods, language and thought, semantic universals.
Research Profile

Richard Rhodes, Associate Professor. American Indian languages, lexical semantics, lexicography, Algonquian languages, Ojibwe, Mixe-Zoquean languages, mixed languages, Michif, Sayula Popoluca.
Research Profile

Eve E. Sweetser, Professor. Subjectivity, syntax, semantics, cognitive linguistics, historical linguistics, Celtic languages, speech act theory, semantic change, grammaticalization, gesture, metaphor, iconicity, viewpoint, construction grammar, semantics of grammatical constructions.

Lecturers

Sherry L. Hicks, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Leanne Hinton, Professor Emeritus. Linguistics, sociolinguistics, American Indian languages, language loss, language revival.
Research Profile

Gary B. Holland, Professor Emeritus. Historical linguistics, Indo-European linguistics, poetics, early Indo-European languages, linguistic typology, historical syntax, history of linguistics.
Research Profile

Paul Kay, Professor Emeritus. Linguistics, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, pragmatics, syntax, semantics, lexicon, grammar, color naming, lexical semantics, grammatical variation, cross-language color naming, the encoding of contextual relations in rules of grammar.
Research Profile

George P. Lakoff, Professor Emeritus. Mathematics, literature, philosophy, cognitive linguistics, the neural theory of language, conceptual systems, conceptual metaphor, syntax-semantics-pragmatics, the application of cognitive linguistics to politics.
Research Profile

Robin T. Lakoff, Professor Emeritus. Linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, comparative syntax of Latin and English, the relation between linguistic form, social and psychological context; language gender; discourse strategies, discourse genres, politics of language.
Research Profile

Ian Maddieson, Professor Emeritus. Linguistics, phonetic and phonological universals, articulatory and acoustic phonetics, African, Austronesian, South-East Asian and Sino-Tibetan languages.
Research Profile

+ James A. Matisoff, Professor Emeritus. Linguistics, Japanese, Southeast Asian languages, Tibeto-Burman, Thai, Chinese, field linguistics, Yiddish studies, historical semantics, psychosemantics, language typology, areal linguistics.
Research Profile

John J. Ohala, Professor Emeritus. Linguistics, experimental phonology, phonetics, historical phonology, ethological aspects of communication, speech technology, automatic recognition of speech, diverse behavioral phenomena.
Research Profile

William S-Y. Wang, Professor Emeritus. Evolution, psycholinguistics, language change, phonology, Chinese linguistics, language engineering, experimental phonetics.
Research Profile

Karl E. Zimmer, Professor Emeritus. Linguistics, history of linguistics, Turkish, word formation.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Linguistics

1203 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-2757

linginfo@berkeley.edu

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Department Chair

Keith Johnson, PhD

1218 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-4087

Fax: 510-643-5688

keithjohnson@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Adviser

Martine Alexander

Phone: 510-642-2757

martinea@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Services Adviser

Belén Flores

Phone: 510-643-7224

belenhf@berkeley.edu

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