Welcome!

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

Karuk dictionary and texts

Klamath River.

The Karuk dictionary and text project, led by Andrew Garrett and Line Mikkelsen, aims to create comprehensive and usable online research, teaching, and learning tools for Karuk, an indigenous language of northern California with fewer than a dozen first-language speakers. We have made an interactive online version of a dictionary created by Bill Bright and Susan Gehr, and are augmenting it with audio recordings from current fieldwork. We are also digitizing and annotating published texts and integrating these with the online dictionary, and creating practical descriptions of Karuk grammar. The next phase is the creation of a Karuk treebank (parsed syntactic corpus). This will contain published texts and unexamined audio material from earlier fieldwork by a variety of scholars. The Karuk treebank will also be integrated with the online dictionary, yielding a unparalled, open-access resource for endangered language work.

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