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Giving to the Department of Linguistics

Why give?

Although the University of New Mexico fully supports the Department of Linguistics, state funds are limited. Our department's faculty and students are regularly engaged in projects and programs that need further, external support.

Scholarships: Students are the life blood of any university department. Students in the Department of Linguistics face limited funding opportunities. Each year we see excellent prospective students choose other universities for their study, simply because they are offered more attractive scholarships. We want to increase the number of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Linguistics.

The Phyllis Perrin Wilcox Endowed Scholarship supports students in the Department of Linguistics who are majors in the B.S. Degree in Signed Language Interpreting. The scholarship recognizes the work of Dr. Phyllis Wilcox, who established the interpreting program at UNM.

The Robert Young Endowed Scholarship supports students in the Department of Linguistics who are engaged in the study of Native American linguistics. Please help us honor Dr. Young and his pioneering work on Diné by giving to the scholarship fund.

The Steven Menefee Graduate Fund for Indigenous Language Revitalization honors Steven Menefee, who was a doctoral student in linguistics before he passed away, by supporting graduate students studying linguistics at the University of New Mexico who share his scholarly passion for preserving at-risk indigenous languages.

Endangered Languages: New Mexico is a culturally and linguistically diverse state. This rich diversity is a part of our charm and heritage. Unfortunately, many of the native languages spoken in New Mexico are in danger of becoming extinct because the young people in the community do not learn to speak the language. Our faculty are working with New Mexico native communities, tribes, and pueblos to develop dictionaries and training materials so that we can preserve our state's linguistic endowment.

Signed Language Interpreting: This year we were fortunate to receive external funding to support a young Native American student who is a major in our B.S. Degree in Signed Language Interpreting. With your gift, we can continue such support to our students, who will in return provide much-needed professional interpreting services to our state.

Technology: Computers are an important tool of the modern linguist. We use computers to collect, store, and analyze databases of language, called corpora. Our faculty help computer scientists develop systems that understand speech (such as the systems you use when making airline reservations). Computers are used to prepare dictionaries; computer technology is even applied to the development of multimedia dictionaries of American Sign Language. Keeping up with the latest in technology strains our limited resources. Additional outside funds help us provide the latest technology to our students and faculty.