Castleberry Peace Institute Faculty win NSF Grant with Linguistics Department | Castleberry Peace Institute

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April 29, 2017

Castleberry Peace Institute Faculty win NSF Grant with Linguistics Department

Professors James Meernik, Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute and Kimi King of the Department of Political Science have been awarded a National Science Foundation grant with Professor Shobhana Chelliah of the Department of Linguistics at the University of North Texas. The NSF grant will fund a conference on the relationship between conflicts and the loss of language. Many conflict zones around the world are located in regions where speakers of rare and endangered languages have been dislocated and have become refugees or internally displaced persons. As populations disperse it becomes increasingly difficult to preserve languages and cultures while individuals live a precarious existence in foreign countries or in refugee camps. As well, government programs that seek to establish a dominant language often fuel civil war and political violence. The conference will bring together linguists who study endangered languages and political scientists who study conflict to better understand the relationship between the politics of language and civil war and help develop practices that can help address many of the challenges involved in preserving cultures and language amidst the violence of war.