People: Survey affiliates and Americanist linguists
Andrew Garrett (Director) is Professor of Linguistics and Nadine M. Tang and Bruce L. Smith Professor of Cross-Cultural Social Sciences. As a Californianist he has done linguistic fieldwork, archival work, and consulting work with the Hupa, Karuk, Northern Paiute, Rumsen Ohlone, and Sierra Miwok languages, but he mainly focuses on Yurok and Karuk (in northern California). His Yurok projects include articles on descriptive and historical linguistics, contributions to the tribal language program (including a practical dictionary compiled with Juliette Blevins and Lisa Conathan), ongoing work on Yurok texts, and a digital text and lexical archive. In Yurok grammar, Garrett is especially interested in relations between lexical and morphological structures on the one hand, and between lexical and syntactic patterns on the other. His Karuk projects, in collaboration with Line Mikkelsen and several graduate students, include a database of texts and research on the language's interesting syntactic patterns. More generally, he studies the dialectology of languages of the west coast and the emergence of the distinctive California linguistic profile. Outside California, Garrett also worked on Indo-European historical linguistics, especially Anatolian, Greek, and Latin, and general problems of language change and linguistic reconstruction.
Leanne Hinton (Director Emerita) teaches courses on American Indian languages as well as sociolinguistics and general linguistics. She has done research on various languages of the Southwest, Mexico, and California. Over the past decade, much of her research and consulting has been focused on endangered languages and language revitalization. Three recent books by her in this area include Flutes of fire: Essays on California Indian languages (Heyday Books, 1994), The green book of language revitalization in practice (ed. with Ken Hale, Academic Press, 2001), and How to keep your language alive: A commonsense approach to one-on-one language learning (Heyday Books, 2002).
Lisa Conathan (Consulting Archivist) received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Berkeley in 2004. Currently she is an archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. As an archivist she worked to improve preservation of and access to the documentation of endangered languages. She is also working to implement Berkeley's Breath of Life Workshop on a national scale in order to facilitate the use of primary sources to learn indigenous languages. At Yale, she catalogs the literary archives of Eastern European poets (including Joseph Brodsky and Czesław Miłosz) and is active in undergraduate research education. Prior to becoming an archivist, she carried out field work on Arapaho and Yurok and directed a three-year Arapaho documentation project supported by the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Programme.
Ronald Sprouse (Programmer) has worked as a linguist and programmer on a number of language documentation projects in addition to his work with the Survey. He served as Technical Director of the Ingush and Chechen projects that resulted in the publication of two dictionaries; in support of these projects he conducted fieldwork with Ingush and Chechen consultants, worked on lexical databases, and created a web-based system for collecting and annotating interlinear text. He was also a significant contributor to the Turkish Electronic Living Lexicon project, a lexical database of transcribed audio recordings for studying Turkish morphophonemics, for which he created a web-based search interface and tools for investigating the statistical properties of morphophonemic alternations in the data.
Nico Baier (Graduate Student Researcher) is a graduate student in linguistics at Berkeley. He has worked on Montana Salish and Karuk. His work on Montana Salish includes linguistics analysis, a small amount of field work during the summer of 2010, and work on the Montana Salish dictionary project. His work on Karuk is ongoing with Andrew Garret, Line Mikkelsen, and several other graduate students. The project includes work to expand the online corpus of Karuk texts and the Karuk dictionary created by William Bright and Susan Gehr, and the creation of a Karuk treebank. He has also worked with speakers and learners of Sierra Miwok during the 2012 Breath of Life Workshop at UC Berkeley. More generally, he is interested North American languages, language documentation, description, and revitalization, Morphological theory, and the Syntax-Morphology interface, especially the implications of complex morphological systems for that interface.
Lev Michael (Assistant Professor of Linguistics) carries out ethnographically-informed linguistic research in several communities in Peruvian and Ecuadorean Amazonia, and has worked with speakers of with speakers of Andoa (Zaparoan), Aʔɨwa (isolate), Iquito (Zaparoan), Kashibo-Kakataibo (Panoan), Máíhɨki (Tukanoan), Matsigenka (Arawak), Muniche (isolate), Nanti (Arawak), Omagua (Tupí-Guaraní based contact language), and Záparo (Zaparoan). As an anthropological linguist, his interests include the social instrumentality of deictic evidential categories (especially evidentiality), the formal structure and social function of verbal art, language contact and historical linguistics in Amazonia, language typology, language documentation and grammatical description, and the practice and politics of language revitalization. His blog on Amazonian languages and societies can be found here.
Line Mikkelsen (Associate Professor of Linguistics) works with Andrew Garrett and a team of graduate and undergraduate students on the Karuk language of Northern California. Project goals include linguistic documentation and analysis and the creation of resources for community language programs. Since 2010, we have been creating an online archive of Karuk texts and audio recordings and integrating these with the Karuk dictionary created by William Bright and Susan Gehr. In 2011, Garrett and Mikkelsen received an NSF-DEL grant to create a treebank (a syntactically parsed corpus) of Karuk. The treebank will be overlaid on the existing morphological and lexical parsing and integrated with the dictionary, creating an integrated research and language learning resource. As a syntactician, Mikkelsen is particularly interested in Karuk word order, about which very little is known, verbal and nonverbal predication, the internal organization of noun phrases, and subordination.
Richard Rhodes (Associate Professor of Linguistics) conducts research on topics relating to American Indian languages, particularly those of the Algonquian family, including bringing insights gained in fieldwork to bear on typology and on analytic issues in better studied languages. He has done extensive fieldwork on the Ottawa dialect of Ojibwe which is spoken in Michigan and southern Ontario, and on Métchif, a language of the northern plains consisting of French and Cree elements. He has also done fieldwork on Sayula Popoluca, a Mixe-Zoquean language of southern Mexico. His most important work is the Eastern Ojibwe-Chippewa-Ottawa Dictionary which incorporates two dialects of Ojibwe. He has written extensively on the syntax of Ojibwe, on topics of Ojibwe ethnohistory, and on the lexicography of American Indian languages.
Amy Campbell is a graduate student at Berkeley. Her research interests are focused on morphology, syntax, and Athabaskan languages. Along with several other Berkeley graduate students, she is currently working on expanding the documentation and description of Hupa (Pacific Coast Athabaskan) in a project funded by the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project. Presentations and publications include: "Meaning targets in syntax and morphology: A study of Hupa agreement" (NELS 40), "Rethinking perfectivity in Hupa" (2009 Athabaskan Languages Conference), and "Ditransitivity in Hupa" (in Andrej Malchukov, Martin Haspelmath, and Bernard Comrie, eds. Studies in Ditransitive Constructions, Mouton de Gruyter, 2010).
Erin Donnelly is a graduate student in linguistics. She primarily works on Choapan Zapotec, an indigenous language of the Sierra Norte in Oaxaca, Mexico. Erin is currently writing a dictionary of Choapan Zapotec, which began with the Project for the Documentation of the Languages of Mesoamerica. Documentation of Choapan Zapotec is lacking, and so Erin's goals beyond a finished dictionary are descriptive in nature. More broadly, Erin is interested in phonology and historical linguistics (especially within the large Oto-Manguean family), and the linguistic area of Mesoamerica.
Stephanie Farmer is a graduate student in the linguistics department at Berkeley. Her experience with languages of the Americas includes summer fieldwork on Muniche, a recently extinct isolate formerly spoken in the Loreto province of Peru. With data from three elderly semispeakers, she helped to produce a thematic dictionary and a pedagogical grammar for the community of Munichis.
Lindsey Newbold is a graduate student in the linguistics department at Berkeley. She is part of a group of Berkeley students working with one of the last fluent speakers of the Hupa language, and contributes to the online Hupa dictionary and text collection. She is currently working on word order and information structure in Hupa. She also does fieldwork on Kuna, a Chibchan language of Panama, focusing on text collection and affix order.
Zachary O'Hagan is a graduate student in the Linguistics Department, and received his B.A. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011. In 2010 and 2011 he carried out fieldwork with five elderly speakers of Omagua (Tupí-Guaraní), a highly endangered language of Peruvian Amazonia, and is currently part of a five-member team writing a descriptive grammar of the language. His undergraduate honors thesis was a partial reconstruction of Proto-Omagua-Kokama grammar. Zach has also undertaken exploratory fieldwork on Yameo (Peba-Yaguan, extinct) and Omurano (unclassified), as well as begun incipient work on Kakinte (Arawak) in the southern Peruvian community of Kitepámpani. At Berkeley he has worked under Lev Michael parsing a large corpus of Matsigenka (Arawak) texts. Zach's interests include language documentation, description and contact, the regional history of northwest Amazonia, historical-comparative linguistics, morphosyntax and phonology, particularly prosodic systems.
Clare Sandy is a graduate student in the linguistics department at Berkeley. She is part of a team that carries out fieldwork on Omagua, a highly endangered language of the Peruvian Amazon, and is currently working on grammatical description and analysis of that language. She also works on Karuk, and has worked with Sierra Miwok and Mono speakers and language learners during the Breath of Life workshop. In addition to language documentation and revitalization, her interests include phonology, morphology, and language change.
Katie Sardinha is a graduate student in the linguistics department at Berkeley. She works on Kwak'wala, a Northern Wakashan language spoken on the central coast of BC. Her general theoretical interests lie in the areas of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, and her Kwak'wala research is mainly focused on issues related to argument structure. She is also interested in areal and historical linguistics of the NW Coastal area generally, and syntactic change within Wakashan particularly. Katie also has an interest in fieldwork methodology and creative language teaching tools and has developed Story-builder, a visual story-telling card set which can be downloaded from her website, www.story-builder.ca.
Justin Spence is a graduate student in linguistics at Berkeley. Together with other students in the department, he is currently working with a speaker of Hupa to document and describe her language. Since 2009 he has been collaborating with the Kawaiisu Language and Culture Center to develop a practical reference grammar for their language revitalization program. Spence is especially interested in issues surrounding access to archival language documentation for both academic and heritage audiences, and he relies heavily on archival materials in his own research on dialect contact phenomena in the Pacific Coast Athabaskan languages. Prior to joining the linguistics program at Berkeley in 2007, he worked on a variety of language documentation and revitalization projects in Aboriginal communities of Australia's Northern Territory.
Tammy Stark is a graduate student in the linguistics department at Berkeley. She has carried out field work on Omagua and Yanesha, indigenous languages of the Peruvian Amazon. She also forms part of a team of students and faculty members working to produce grammatical and pedagogical materials for the Karuk language of Northern California.
John Sylak is a graduate student in linguistics at Berkeley. His experience with languages of the Americas began with studying Imbabura Quichua (spoken in Ecuador) in the 2009-2010 Field Methods course. In the summer of 2011, he participated in fieldwork on the Maijiki language (Orejón; Western Tukanoan) spoken in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon. Sylak developed an interest in California's native languages through participating in the 2010 Breath of Life workshop. His dissertation research centers around post-velar consonants and the phonetics-phonology interface. This topic grows out of his long-standing interest in languages with large consonant inventories. As part of that interest, John has done research on the phonology of Nuxalk (Bella Coola; Salish), and continues to work on languages of the Northeast Caucasus, especially Chechen and Lak.
Vivian Wauters is a third-year graduate student in the linguistics program at Berkeley. She has conducted fieldwork on Omagua, an endangered Tupí-Guaraní language spoken in the Peruvian Amazon, as well as Sápara and Arabela, both endangered languages of the Zaparoan language family, spoken in Ecuador and Peru, respectively. Currently, Vivian is part of teams that are working on phonological reconstructions of the Tupí-Guaraní and Zaparoan language families. She is also working collaboratively on a grammar of Omagua.
William F. Weigel received his Ph.D. in linguistics at Berkeley in 2005. He currently works as a consulting linguist for the Wiyot Tribe in Humboldt County, California and for several Yokuts language programs in central California. His main interests are language revitalization, language contact, and grammatical relations. He also works on the historical phonology of Yiddish. In previous incarnations, Bill has been a lawyer, a short-order cook, a bicycle messenger, and a wood-mold specialist.
Ramon Escamilla (Ph.D. 2012) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Central Arkansas. He has been involved in fieldwork on Hupa since September 2007. In June 2009, he participated in a field trip to the Peruvian Amazon to work with speakers of Katsakati (also 'Andoa,' Zaparoan), and is currently reconstructing Proto-Zaparoan from field data and other sources. He also works on Chungli Ao (Tibeto-Burman) with colleagues. Other interests within linguistics include Japanese, discourse analysis and issues of language and power.
Erin Haynes (Ph.D. 2010) is a Test Development Specialist at Indigenous Languages for Second Language Testing, Inc. While a graduate student at Berkeley, she worked primarily with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation in central Oregon, where three indigenous languages are spoken: Wasco (Kiksht), Northern Paiute (Numu), and Sahaptin (Ichishkin). She has done various projects there, mostly involving language material archiving and sociolinguistic research. Her dissertation research focused on the phonetic/phonological acquisition of Northern Paiute by adult learners in Warm Springs, and she concurrently worked on an online audio dictionary for the tribes. She has also done field work on Mono Lake Paiute, a language spoken at the Bridgeport Indian Colony in eastern California.
Hannah Haynie (Ph.D. 2012) is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Linguistics at Yale. She is interested in language ecology and linguistic geography. She has worked on Southeastern Pomo and is currently engaged in research on the Eastern Miwok languages. Her general interests include historical linguistics and syntactic theory, and she takes a special interest in the application of quantitative and technological tools to linguistic questions. Recent projects include a computational assessment of California language phylogenetics, a GIS study of spatial patterns in languages of the Amazon and the Caucasus, and ongoing dissertation work on the linguistic geography of California's Sierra Nevada.
Reiko Kataoka (Ph.D. 2011) is a Research Associate in the Department of Linguistics at Stanford. She is interested in phonetics, speech perception, and synchronic and diachronic phonology — in particular the role of phonetic constraints and speech perception in shaping synchronic sound patterns and diachronic change. Her dissertation investigated the physical, physiological, and cognitive mechanisms of sound change. She is also interested in descriptive phonetics. She has done field work in Mono Lake Northern Paiute, and subsequently engaged in analyzing phonetic correlates of the three-way stop contrast in another dialect of Northern Paiute. She also has strong interest in language revitalization projects. She has participated in previous Breath of Life California Indian Language Restoration Workshops (2004, 2006, 2008), working with members of Chumashan, Ohlone, Maidu, Nisenan, and Konkow languages.
Maziar Toosarvandani (Ph.D. 2010) is a American Council of Learned Societies Faculty Fellow in the Linguistics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He works with speakers of Mono Lake Paiute, a variety of Northern Paiute spoken in eastern California. He is collaborating with Michael Houser and Molly Babel (University of British Columbia) to produce an online dictionary and text database for the language. His theoretical interests lie in the areas of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. In addition to his dissertation work on association with focus — the semantic interaction of certain lexical items with focus — he pursues questions in a number of empirical domains, including ellipsis, nominalization, and complex predicates. This theoretical work is informed by his fieldwork on Northern Paiute, as well as his study of the Iranian branch of Indo-European, in particular the Persian language and the Dari language (spoken by the Zoroastrians of Iran).