Welcome to the Berkeley Linguistics Department! With the first linguistics department to be established in North America (in 1901), Berkeley has a rich and distinguished tradition of rigorous linguistic documentation and theoretical innovation, making it an exciting and fulfilling place to carry out linguistic research. Its original mission, due to 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.

In the Spotlight

Phonology Laboratory

Flowers photographed on a Phonology Lab hike.

The Phonology Laboratory (Keith Johnson, Director; John Ohala, emeritus Director) is a research and teaching laboratory within the Linguistics Department. The lab is equipped with instrumental and software resources for acoustic, perceptual, and articulatory phonetic research. Home to a thriving group of visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows, and student researchers, research in the phonology lab is sponsored by federally funded research projects on speech production and perception. The lab hosts a weekly talk series (Phonetics and Phonology Forum) and publishes an Annual Report.

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