Uriagereka receives the Euskadi Research Prize

2001/06/22 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia

The linguist Juan Uriagereka received yesterday the Euskadi Research Prize 2001 for his research on the basic fundamentals involved in the creation of the language.

The 41-year-old linguist has a broad resume. A graduate in Anglo-Germanic Philology from the University of Deusto and a doctor from the University of Connecticut in the United States, he is now a full professor at the University of Maryland. His research has led him to receive numerous awards and his contributions are valued by linguists from all over the world.

The work carried out by Juan Uriagereka and the research team at the University of Maryland has allowed clarifying aspects of the relationship between languages and the brain. According to them, linguistic structures are not only in the left hemisphere, but there is a temporary dimension.

According to the linguist, all languages have the same internal structure and although phonetically there are notable differences between languages, there are semantic no differences. In addition, if we analyze phonetics there are some universal characteristics, such as, for example, that all languages have at least three vowels: a, e and u (for example, Arabic only has those three, while Dutch has more than twenty). As for semantics, all languages have words for almost everything.

At the award ceremony held in Lehendakaritza, Uriagereka spoke about the importance of languages that are disappearing. Apparently, of the thousand languages spoken today, only one will last. In addition to the situation of the Basque language, he spoke of the Roma language. In his opinion, it is a language to protect, since, in percentage, in the Basque Country there are as many gypsies as Basque.

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