Cornell PhD candidate Carol-Rose Little has had a long-standing fascination with languages of other cultures. “I’ve had an interest in languages since I knew other languages existed in the world,” Little said. “During my undergraduate time (at McGill University), I started working with a community out in Eastern Canada and that’s what really opened my eyes to how my love of language can be beneficial to communities that are trying to preserve their language.”
Little went on to earn a master’s degree from Cornell’s linguistics department, and now spends her time researching and preserving Ch’ol, a Mayan language spoken by around 220,000 people in Southern Mexico. Little works with speakers to document and analyze its linguistic features by recording, transcribing and translating the language. Little’s research focuses on the structure of Ch’ol grammar and how context affects the interpretation of sentences.
Little attributes the success of her research to the guidance provided by Cornell’s linguistics department.