Postgraduate Research Student
Before arriving at Liverpool, Jessica completed a BA English Language and Linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire and, more recently, a MA Linguistics at the University of Manchester where she was awarded a Master’s Bursary by the Philological Society. Outside of her studies, Jessica cultivates her interests in ecolinguistics by acting as Membership Officer and Book Reviews Editor for the International Ecolinguistics Association.
"Kiel povas Esperanto helpi aliajn minoritatajn lingvojn? Stám a veder! How can Esperanto help other minority languages? Let’s find out! A sociolinguistic enquiry into the vitality of Esperanto and Modenese.”
In her research, Jessica aims to survey the level of vitality of both Esperanto and Modenese. While the latter is a variety of the endangered Gallo-Italic language spoken in the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy, the former is a language developed in 1878 by Polish ophthalmologist Zamenhof. Though, as a project, Esperanto failed to fulfil its creator’s aspiration to become the new lingua franca, the vibrant Esperantist community now boasts a substantial number of members with, crucially, some speakers using Esperanto in caregiver-child interactions. Through a combination of ethnographic field work and traditional sociolinguistic methods, primary data will be collected and analysed to shed light on issues around language ideology and how the active maintenance of Esperanto may help design new tools to maintain other minority languages. By fully transcribing, annotating, and translating the data, the study will also contribute to the documentation of an endangered language, on one hand, and an artificial language, on the other hand. Ultimately, Jessica’s objective is to archive the data and make them accessible to whomever interested so that the records of both languages may serve myriads of scopes across a multitude of disciplines.
Buchanan Graduate Teaching Fellowship