Fulbright award for Batista i Roca Fellow
Mr Albert Ventayol-Boada, Bye-Fellow and holder of the Batista i Roca Fellowship at Fitwilliam College, has been awarded a Fulbright doctoral award to study in the US.
The funding will enable Mr Ventayol-Boada to pursue a PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
His research will focus on the description of under-documented Siberian languages in the Russian Federation. Siberia is home to two of the world's language extinction hotspots.
The rate at which languages are disappearing has increased dramatically in recent years, with linguists estimating that between 50% and 90% of all languages currently spoken throughout the world will not make it to the end of the century. Their extinction represents a dramatic loss of vital knowledge in order to better understand language, its processing and its impact on other cognitive abilities.
UCSB has a long-standing tradition in language documentation, but also in Cognitive Science. With his research Albert hopes to bridge the gap between the two and test the adequacy of some of the theories within the cognitive paradigm that so far have been mostly only applied to Romance and Germanic languages.
Albert said: "Receiving this scholarship is a tremendous opportunity for me to progress in my academic career as a linguist. I think that institutions are becoming more aware of linguistic diversity and the threats it faces and therefore see the need to act upon this tendency of language shift. I'm looking forward to moving to the US and strengthening the collaborations between Europe and America."