Insight Grant Award Winners

Two Department of Linguistics Faculty awarded SSHRC Insight Grants

31 October 2014

The Department of Linguistics is pleased to announce Dr. David Beck and Dr. Benjamin V. Tucker have each been awarded an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The goal of the Insight program is to build knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world by supporting research excellence in all subject areas eligible for funding from SSHRC.

Dr. Beck along with co-applicants, Greg Kondrak (UofA, Computing Sciences), and Yvonne Y.Lam (UofA, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies) won the award for their project titled Upper Necaxa Totonac in context: exploring the past, present, and future of Northern Totonac. The objective of this research is the continued documentation of Upper Necaxa Totonac (UNT), an endangered Totonacan language of the Sierra Madre Oriental in Puebla State, Mexico, and the expansion of this project to selected sister languages in the Northern Totonac area. Like many minority languages of the world, UNT is in danger of extinction and its disappearance would be a major loss for speakers and scientists alike.

Dr. Benjamin V. Tuckers' project title is The spoken English lexicon: massive auditory lexical decision. This project will help answer the following questions: How do humans recognize speech? How do factors such as native language, age, and dialect have an effect on the way in which words are recognized? A common concern among people as they get older is age related decline; in other words, does our cognitive ability decline with age?

Congratulations David and Ben!