Volya Kapatsinski Candidate Statement 2018

I grew up in Russia and was interested in linguistics from a young age. However, linguistics is a broad field that encompasses cultural, social, structural, and cognitive perspectives on language. My academic trajectory has taken me from the cultural side of this spectrum to the cognitive side. I started out interested in linguistic anthropology and the relation between language change and cultural change, then drifted into quantitative studies of language change in progress, then cognitive explanations for recurrent changes, and finally into the study of the cognitive processes assumed by such explanations. My current research brings together computational learning theory, language acquisition and historical linguistics to explain why language change around the world follows certain recurrent trajectories. The interdisciplinary nature of my academic experience has made me familiar with a broad range of research traditions, methods and publication venues, from sociolinguistics to cognitive science. I have reviewed articles for 19 journals, ranging from “Cortex” to “Language Variation & Change”. This breadth may serve me well on the FPC and the Library Committee. It may also help me contribute to the work of the Senate, especially as the university continues to develop and re-evaluate criteria for research productivity and research excellence.

Leave a Reply