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

The Department's Award-Winning Staff

The Linguistics Department is supported by four outstanding staff members. Department Manager Paula Floro, a UC Berkeley graduate, has been with the department since 1996. She oversees the programmatic and operational needs of the department, including the budget, external grants, faculty and staff appointments, and department infrastructure and space. Floro serves on a number of important campus committees and working groups representing the Department, Division and/or College. Paula has received both an individual and a group Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award and several campus “Spot” and Achievement awards for exceptional performance.

Staff Graduate Advisor Belén Flores has been with the department since 1993. She advises current and prospective graduate students, and assists with admissions, funding, teaching assignments, and degree requirements. Flores is also the department's visiting scholar coordinator, answering visa questions and handling other needs of our international visitors. Belén has received the Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award, as well as “Spot” awards for performance excellence. Several Linguistics Ph.D. dissertations have been fondly dedicated to her.

Staff Undergraduate Advisor Martine Alexander joined the department in 2013. The holder of an M.A. (in Higher Education Administration/Student Affairs) from Stanford University and a B.A. (in French with Education Minor) from UC Berkeley, Alexander has extensive experience in Student Affairs, having served as Program Manager for Scholarships & Student Engagement with Cal Alumni Association, Student Life /Academic Advisor, and in Undergraduate Admissions.  Martine advises Linguistics majors about course selection, graduation requirements, the honors program, etc.  She also oversees many other facets of the undergraduate experience and has received several “Spot” awards for work with the Linguistics Research Apprentice Practicum (LRAP), the Linguistics Department Commencement ceremony and SLUgS, the undergraduate society.

Information Systems Analyst Ronald Sprouse, a graduate of Pomona College with an M.A .in Linguistics from UC Berkeley, provides technical support to students, faculty and visitors in the department, to the Phonology and Psycholinguistics laboratories, to the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages and to the California Language Archive. Sprouse also plays a key role in the externally funded research projects of students and faculty. He has received several campus “Spot” awards for his work with various special projects.

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