Somerville College is proud to announce that our Senior Research Fellow Professor Aditi Lahiri has been named this week as one of four leading Oxford researchers to be awarded major European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grants to fund her pioneering research in Linguistics.

This is the fifth time that Professor Lahiri is the recipient of a prestigious ERC grant, as well as the third time that she receives advanced grant funding – a record for Oxford. The award also comes in a highly competitive year, when just 14% of applications were successful from a total of more than 1,700 proposals sent from all across Europe and other territories.

Of the four ERC grants awarded to Oxford researchers, Professor Lahiri’s grant is notable for being the only one awarded to a non-STEM discipline. The awards are worth up to €3.5 million (£2.9 million) over five years and will allow the researchers to build teams and develop their pioneering work.

I am extremely grateful and deeply honoured that my peers believe in this line of research in linguistics.

PROFESSOR LAHIRI

Professor Lahiri is the founder of Oxford’s Department of Linguistics, and will receive her award for a study of pertinacity. Professor Lahiri’s contention is that, while natural languages change in time, phonology is pertinacious and changes in existing phonological systems are strictly limited. To examine the principle of Pertinacity, comparable phonological processes internal to individual languages as well as influences due to borrowing between languages will be examined across Germanic and Indo-Aryan language families, combining classical historical research with psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic experimentation and computational speech recognition.

Commenting on her award, Professor Lahiri said, ‘I am extremely grateful and deeply honoured that my peers believe in this line of research in linguistics and have supported advanced grant funding for me for the third time. I sincerely hope we will be able to retain ERC funding in this country for the sake of the next generation in humanities when academic prospects in general are so bleak.’

Speaking of the award, Somerville College’s Principal Jan Royall commented, ‘I’m very proud indeed to be able to congratulate Professor Aditi Lahiri on the award of a fifth prestigious grant from the ERC.’

Professor Lahiri

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