Co-directors' Message

LangSci co-directors Drs Guofang Li and Bryan GickWelcome to the Language Sciences Institute at UBC!

Humans are the only species in the world blessed with the gift of language. Language weaves its way into every aspect of human life and the scientific study of language provides insight into who and what we are at the deepest levels. 

In 2015, the Language Sciences Institute at UBC was created with a mission to foster conversations and collaborations across different language-related fields. From helping to support vitalization of Indigenous and endangered languages and shaping bilingual education policy to understanding how the brain controls speech and how computers synthesize it, our field is constantly expanding to address grand challenges of our time

From the start, our network of researchers has consistently demonstrated the impact of their multidisciplinary work, receiving recognition through publications and grants spanning dozens of disciplines. Many of these projects have been fueled by seed funding or matched with grants from LangSci. In 2021, LangSci was recognized as a Global Research Excellence (GReX) Institute, one of only three at UBC. 

As we embark on our eighth year, we are asking ourselves: how can we turn our research wealth into tangible social impact? With this in mind, the Synergy Program was introduced in 2024. It aims at connecting industry and community partners with like-minded academic researchers and students, pooling resources and expertise towards finding practical solutions to real-world problems.

We are also mindful of keeping Language Sciences an open conversation for all, facilitating equity, inclusiveness, and diversity through our activities. We do through many initiatives, such as running open film screenings open to a wide audience, offering community outreach and an interdisciplinary undergraduate course, hosting talk series with a wide range of leading scholars and hosting an annual research day that celebrates students’ success. 

But Language Sciences isn't just about us. It’s about you – someone who is captivated by the power of language and sees its potential to address questions that define our world. 

Whether you are looking for partners in a cross-disciplinary project, struggling to put a grant application together, or are just fascinated about language and want to learn more, we are happy to be your companion along the way. 

Come talk to us, and co-create the next chapter for Language Sciences! 

Language Sciences Institute co-directors Professors Bryan Gick and Guofang Li

First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that UBC’s campuses are situated within the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh, and in the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and their peoples.

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