Linguistics Field Research Lab


We are faculty and students dedicated to the teaching and research of underdocumented and endangered languages. We are currently engaged in research projects on: Moro (Kordofanian), Choguita Rarámuri (Uto-Aztecan), Ja'a Kumiai (Yuman), Huastec Nahuatl (Uto-Aztecan), Cahuilla (Uto-Aztecan), Hmong (Hmong-Mien), Gua (Guang, Kwa), Teotepec Eastern Chatino (Oto-Manguean) and Kazakh, Krygyz, Uzbek and Uyghur (Turkic).

We are also committed to linguistic description and collaborative language documentation projects whose products serve both academic linguists and indigenous communities.

For more information, you can contact the lab directors: Gabriela Caballero and Sharon Rose

Many of our research projects have arisen through our Field Methods/Fieldwork classes:

  • 2005, 2006: Moro (Kordofanian; Sudan)
  • 2010: GiTonga (Bantu; Mozambique)
  • 2011: Purépecha (isolate; Mexico)
  • 2012, 2013: Ixpantepec Nieves Mixtec (Oto-Manguean; Mexico)
  • 2015: Bari (Nilotic; Sudan)
  • 2016: Ja'a Kumiai (Yuman; Mexico)
  • 2018: Koalib (Rere - ŋ̀rɛ́ɛ́ɽɛ̀) (Kordofanian; Sudan)/ San Juan Piñas Mixtec (Oto-Manguean; Mexico)

Find out about who we are, our working group, our projects and recent news and events below.

News and Events

The recent Annual Meeting in Phonology 6 was held at UC San Diego. It featured a "Methods in phonological data collection and analysis of underdocumented languages workshop" with three tutorials, funded by the National Science Foundation

Gabriela Caballero & Lucien Carroll presented "Underdocumented language data corpus construction" featuring Kwaras, the searchable web interface tool they co-developed with Russ Horton that links WAV audio files and time-aligned annotations produced with ELAN.

Marc Garellek presented "Electroglottography for voice analysis", and showed how it can be used for fieldwork. Michael Obiri-Yeboah helped out with the demonstration featuring EGG measures of ATR distinctions in Gua.

Bert Remijsen (U. of Edinburgh) presented a tutorial on "Investigating underdocumented tone systems" featuring languages of South Sudan.

New Undergraduate Course in Linguistic Fieldwork!

  • The newly created LIGN 139: Field Methods class was taught in Spring quarter of 2018 by visiting professor Justin McIntosh. Students in the class worked in collaboration with a native speaker of San Juan Piñas Mixtec (Tu'un Savi; Oto-Manguean). Student evaluations were very positive and we hope to offer it again in the near future.

Upcoming and recent presentations:

  • Gabriela Caballero & Austin German. 2019. Grammatical tone patterns in Choguita Rarámuri (Tarahumara). Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, NYC.
  • Gabriela Caballero. 2018. Direccionalidad y localidad en el condicionamiento de alomorfos en Tarahumara Central. Sound Systems of Latin America 3, UMass, Amherst.
  • Adam McCollum. 2018. Gradient morphophonology: Evidence from Uyghur vowel harmony. Annual Meeting on Phonology. UC San Diego.
  • Peter Jenks & Sharon Rose. 2018. The puzzle of Moro case marking. Oral presentation at World Congress of African Linguistics 9, Mohamed V University, Rabat, Morocco.
  • Michael Obiri-Yeboah & Sharon Rose. 2018. Prosodic domains in Gua vowel harmony. 11th Linguistic Association of Ghana Annual Conference, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
  • José Armando Fernández Guerrero. 2018. La afirmacioón en el ch'ol: Enclíticos =ÄCH y =KU. Oral Presentation at the 5th Formal Analysis in Mayan Linguistics (FAMLiV). Antigua, Guatemala.
  • José Armando Fernández Guerrero. 2018. Mirativity and Mirative 'Flip' in Ch'ol. Poster presented at the 5th Formal Analysis in Mayan Linguistics (FAMLiV). Antigua, Guatemala.
  • Gabriela Caballero. 2018. Construction-based tone patterns in Choguita Rarámuri. Oral presentation at Tonal Aspects of Language (TAL) 2018, Berlin.
  • Gabriela Caballero & Marc Garellek. 2018. Multidimensional tonal realization and prosodic variation in Choguita Rarámuri (Tarahumara). Poster presented at LabPhon 16, Lisbon.
  • Adam McCollum. 2018. Locality, transparency, and Uyghur backness harmony. 26th Manchester Phonology Meeting. University of Manchester.
  • Michael Obiri-Yeboah & Sharon Rose. 2018. Domains in Gua vowel harmony. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America.
  • Andrés Aguilar. 2017. La realización de rasgos laríngeos en el kumiai de Ja'a. VIII Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America, University of Texas, Austin.
  • Gabriela Caballero & Qi Cheng. 2017. Marcación de persona en el kumiai de Ja’a: composicionalidad, homofonía y neutralización. VIII Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America, University of Texas, Austin.
  • Gabriela Caballero. 2017. Tono y estructura morfológica en el rarámuri de Choguita (Tarahumara). VIII Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America, University of Texas, Austin.
  • Matthew Zaslansky. 2017. Northern Azerbaijani Sesqui-Causative Constructions (poster). The 3rd Workshop on Turkish, Turkic and Languages of Turkey, .
  • Gabriela Caballero (in collaboration with Austin German). 2017. Tone and inflection in Choguita Rarámuri (Tarahumara): implications for the typology and theory of morphological tone. University of Chicago, Linguistics Department Colloquium.
  • Gabriela Caballero & Vsevolod Kapatsinski (U of Oregon). 2017. How agglutinative? Searching for cues to meaning in Choguita Rarámuri (Tarahumara) using an amorphous model. Invited presentation for the Workshop on Morphological Typology and Linguistic Cognition, LSA Summer Institute, Kentucky.

Fieldwork 2018 - where were we?

  • Mexico - Gaby, Qi and Andrés worked on Ja'a Kumiai, and Gaby & Lucien were back in Choguita. José Armando was in Chiapas working on Ch'ol.
  • Ghana - Michael carried out documentation work on Gua in Boso, Ghana.
  • Azerbaijan - Matt worked on Avar and Lezgian and learned Azerbaijani in Azerbaijan
  • San Diego - the Field Methods/Fieldwork graduate class worked with Taitas Kanda, a speaker of Rere (Koalib). Klaus Kim (BA 2019) is now writing his honors thesis on the pronominal marking system.


We're located in the Applied Physics and Math Building, room 2452

Email: Gabriela Caballero (gcaballero at ucsd dot edu) and Sharon Rose (sxrose at ucsd dot edu)

Mailing address: UCSD Linguistics Department, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0108