Moscow, 21/4 Staraya Basmannaya Ulitsa
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The School of Linguistics was founded in December 2014. Today, the School offers undergraduate and graduate programs in theoretical and computational linguistics. Linguistics as it is taught and researched at the School does not simply involve mastering foreign languages. Rather, it is the science of language and the methods of its modeling. Research groups in the School of Linguistics study typology, socio-linguistics and areal linguistics, corpus linguistics and lexicography, ancient languages and the history of languages. The School is also developing linguistic technologies and electronic resources: corpora, training simulators, dictionaries, thesauruses, and tools for digital storage and processing of written texts.
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I am a master’s student in linguistics at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris. In July 2015 I joined a field expedition in the Republic of Adygea (North Caucasus) organised by linguists of the Higher School of Economics and the Russian State University for the Humanities for their students. The expedition was aimed at describing a dialect of the Kabardian language.
My internship was not part of any specific programme. I had the chance to participate in this expedition thanks to contacts between its organisers and one of my teachers in France. It all began during my last year of undergraduate programme in Russian studies, when I took a strong interest in field linguistics and asked my teacher in language description if there were any possibilities to join an expedition. My teacher brought me into contact with one of the organisers of the expedition, and this is how I ended up being part of the project. It represented an incredible opportunity: not only was it a chance to get an insight into field research in a region that I was interested in, but, in addition, it was specifically organised for novices like me and it was an occasion for practising my Russian.
During the expedition, each of us worked individually with the informants (or “consultants”) on a theme they chose and gave a presentation about the results of their research. In addition to the abundant literature about Kabardian that we had to read in preparation of the expedition, we were given few instructions about work methods, so I had to learn by doing. This experience was highly enriching and even exceeded my expectations. It made me want to pursue studies in Caucasian languages and field linguistics.