last nameBarić
first nameIna
main domainsyntax
based inBosnia
emailbaric.ina @ gmail.com
hostelneeds 1 bed in the hostel
self-description"Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations." (Edward Sapir) Ever since I was a child, my parents have been worried about my fascination with words and writing. A four-year-old obsessively rewriting her sisters’ homework instead of playing outside is not every parent’s dream. Soon my teachers set me a diagnosis – they said I was a “language freak.” I cannot help but analyze everything people say or write. Since I simply enjoy making new discoveries about the language and nuances of meaning, I take notes about my own and other people’s grammar mistakes, as well as (un)intentional semantic and syntactic ambiguities. I try to spend more time reading books on language acquisition and instinct rather than numerous novels prescribed in my syllabi. All of that helps me improve my knowledge and sharpen my linguistic senses. I have always wanted to study the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language. However, knowing how “well-organized” the department of my maternal language on my faculty is, I decided to go for the English language and literature. I am in the final year of my undergraduate studies, and have not repented – I only wish I did not have to spend so much time dealing with literature. That way I could completely devote myself to the study of linguistics. I attend Spanish classes, and am particularly interested in the Spanish grammar. Therefore, I have recently been spending a considerable amount of time examining the comparative grammar of English and Spanish. I have also participated in several seminars dealing with the problematics of foreign language teaching and comparative language studies. I hold classes in BCS and English to primary- and high-school students and foreigners, which greatly enhances my chances to learn something new and check how thorough my true understating of those languages is. My voluntary work as an instructor at SOS Children’s Villages provides me with an opportunity to carefully study children’s progress of acquiring languages, and unconscious development of their language skills. During my studies, I have enjoyed listening to my professors giving classes in morphology, the study of language, English grammar, phonetics, contemporary English language and morphosyntax. However, what made me more determined in my decision to enroll in a Masters Degree in English Linguistics this September were my syntax classes, as well as the subject dealing with Noam Chomsky’s language theories. Seeing my professor’s passion for the English and BCS syntax, I started realizing there had to be an inherent passion for language studies, since many of my colleagues find the study of language puzzling and tiresome, and interest in linguistics odd. I have just finished writing my BA thesis in phonetics. Being interested in many fields of language study, especially syntax and semantics, it is true I would like to learn everything this very moment, but since that is clearly not possible, I would like to attend your syntax classes. It is generative grammar, and especially generative syntax, that lies at the core of my interest. The reason behind my inclination toward this branch of linguistics is my tendency to compare and contrast linguistic features of different languages in order to grasp the universal rules shared by all natural languages. For me, each new feature of generative grammar learned indicates I am a step closer to understanding how human mind operates when producing utterances. A missed opportunity to listen to brilliant linguistic minds such as Dr. Hazel Pearson and Dr. Márta Abrusán would be a great disappointment! Professor Abrusán is a person with such linguistic affinities that I see as part of my future linguistic considerations. Her book on weak island semantics is something I look forward to reading, and the fact that her main fields of interest are syntax, semantics and pragmatics make her the person I would truly be honored to meet and listen to in person. I enjoy interacting with a diverse group of people, and am strongly determined to devote myself to studying linguistics. Thus, your summer school would open new doors for me, and enable me to make new contacts, discover new information and gain knowledge, all of which would be of great significance for a highly motivated and aspiring student such as me. It would be supercilious to say I am a brilliant, gifted student – the only thing I can assure you of is that I am hardworking and capable of achieving much in the fields of my interest, as I have proved repeatedly during the course of my undergraduate studies. I cannot say I firmly believe I was born to study languages or impact the world of linguistics; nevertheless, I know that through hard work and incessant questioning I will be able to come closer to understanding the true essence of our language instinct, which will give me a sense of fulfillment. This summer school would help me find my linguistic identity, and finally fit in some kind of a language society, since I am but a beginner. However, I am not afraid of not knowing – I am afraid of not being given a chance to find out. Kindest regards, Ina Barić

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