Eli Asikin-Garmager, a doctoral student in linguistics at the University of Iowa, recently earned a grant from the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program. The Cedar Falls native is only the fourth UI graduate student to receive the prestigious fellowship in the last decade.
The fellowship provides opportunities for doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in foreign languages and area studies.
Asikin-Garmager traveled to Indonesia in January and is spending eight months of his Fulbright-Hays research on Sasak—a language spoken on Lombok Island in Eastern Indonesia. While Sasak is spoken by 2.5 million people, there is relatively little documentation of the language.
While he is conducting research 10,000 miles from home, Asikin-Garmager believes Iowans can benefit from a better understanding of the Sasak language.
“Documentation of a wider range of languages helps us better understand the diversity found in human language,” Asikin-Garmager says. “Since languages vary greatly, such work can expand our understanding of how we use and process language in general.”