Frajzyngier Endangered Languages Fund

To provide research trip funding for graduate and advanced undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of Linguistics at CU Boulder to support efforts to document endangered languages in world regions where linguistic diversity is threatened.

Professor Zygmunt Frajzyngier has made CU his academic home for over 50 years. A native of Poland, he and his family survived both the Nazi and Soviet regimes (events documented in his 2011 memoir The Roads of Exile). He is a world- renowned scholar of Afro-Asiatic languages and has published over 150 scholarly articles and 20 grammars of endangered Chadic languages. He conducted fieldwork in Cameroon, Chad, Northern Nigeria, Ghana, Russia and China for many years. He has graduated many PhD students, trained over 100 grad students in linguistic field methods, and was appointed a Humboldt Scholar in Germany. He put CU on the map as a center for the study of Afro-Asiatic languages. He has published books and journal papers with numerous graduate students, past and present, and, perhaps most critically, arranged for many graduate students to conduct extensive fieldwork in Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon. These trips could not have been accomplished without Zygmunt’s strong scholarly connections in those nations, experience and mentorship. He desires most of all for students to continue the work of documenting the extraordinary diversity of the Chadic family (over 150 languages, some with only a few hundred speakers) before those languages disappear. The Frajzyngier Endangered Languages Fund would provide funding for graduate and advanced undergraduate students who will carry on these documentation efforts through fieldwork in Africa and other regions of the world where minority languages face extinction.

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