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 PhonLab 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

Gasper Begus, Assistant Professor. Phonology, phonetics, computational linguistics, historical linguistics, Indo-European.

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

Isaac L. Bleaman, Assistant Professor. Sociolinguistic variation, language contact, language maintenance, and language change.
Research Profile

Amy Rose Deal, Associate Professor. Syntax, semantics, fieldwork, Nez Perce.
Research Profile

Susanne Gahl, Professor. Psycholinguistics; language production and comprehension; aphasia.
Research Profile

+ Andrew Garrett, Professor. Historical linguistics; Indo-European; Karuk, Yurok, and California Indian 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, Associate Professor. Syntax, semantics, phonology, fieldwork; Moro and other Niger-Congo languages; Thai, Mandarin, and other East and Southeast Asian languages.
Research Profile

Keith Johnson, Professor. Linguistic phonetics, phonetic neuroscience, psycholinguistics.
Research Profile

Susan S. Lin, Assistant Professor. Articulatory phonetics, speech perception, sound change.
Research Profile

+ Lev D. Michael, Professor. Anthropological linguistics, language typology, Amazonian documentary, descriptive, and comparative linguistics, language contact, grammar and interaction, prosodic systems and verbal art, language endangerment and revitalization.
Research Profile

+ Line Mikkelsen, Associate Professor. Syntax, semantics, morphology, Danish and other Germanic languages, Karuk and other languages of California, philosophy of language.
Research Profile

Terry Regier, Professor. Language and cognition; semantic variation and universals; computational linguistics.
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

Hannah Sande, Assistant Professor. Phonology, morphology, and their interface; prosody; language documentation and description; African languages, especially languages of Côte d'Ivoire.

Eve E. Sweetser, Professor. Semantics, syntax, historical linguistics, Celtic languages, speech act theory, metaphor theory, semantic change, grammaticalization, grammatical meaning, gesture.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Sherry L. Hicks, Lecturer. American Sign Language.

Emeritus Faculty

Leanne Hinton, Professor Emeritus. Language revitalization of Native American languages.
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

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

LingMajorAdvisor@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Services Adviser

Belén Flores

Phone: 510-643-7224

ling-gsao@berkeley.edu

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