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Master's Linguistics Personal Statement, Chinese Minority Languages

Updated: Jan 23

I love languages, learning, sharing, and exploring culture through the written word. Thus, graduating in Linguistics is a most natural choice for me. XXXX University is my first choice among Master’s Degree Programs in this area for various reasons, from your program's sheer excellence to the intellectual and cultural resources of the surrounding area. I hope to earn the MA Degree in Linguistics at UXX because I feel I am the best fit for your program.

I enjoy listening to the lines of characters in a film in a completely unknown language. The study of languages has always attracted me like a magnet, especially it's logic and order, resembling the aesthetics of mathematics in the rules of grammar and syntax. Throughout my studies for graduate and undergraduate degrees, I was drawn to the universities that offered courses in ancient languages to feed my passion in this area. The study of language has always been central to my academic life, and this will enable me to excel in Linguistics at the UX.

Studying History has helped to enhance my writing abilities and frame my value system, allowing me to think creatively about the relationship between linguistic and social realities. Studying History alongside Linguistics gives one a glimpse of the glamour of diverse historical events and languages of the world. I graduated with a dual degree in the French language with a certificate of DELF and a dissertation “Les études sur la relation interactive entre la réforme et la révolution-----une comparaison entre la Révolution française et la Révolution de 1911”. Another highlight was my participation in academic competition with my classmates, for which we wrote a project: Between History and Reality: British Historians' Political "Ideals" in Athenian Democracy in the Victorian Era: centering on George Grote. I proactively took part in the research tasks of collecting and classifying documents and decoding the text content. Ultimately, we were presented with the third prize for scientific research achievement.

I completed intensive courses in Latin and old Greek courses virtually every academic year throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies; one major highlight in 2013 was my participation in the Beijing Latin Intensive Summer Course. During my Master’s Program, after attending the one-year Elementary Greek course at Renmin University and struggling with Xenophon’s Anabasis, I spent three semesters learning Ancient Greek at Peking University. Despite being a bit discouraged by Plato’s Apology, I was surprised to enjoy translating the extracts from Xenophon’s Symposium. I could adequately use Herbert Weir Smyth’s Greek Grammar by the end of the course. I also completed one semester of extracurricular German and hoped to return to my studies in German at the Goethe Institute.

I have always been puzzled over the concurrence of “avoir, are ” and “être” in French auxiliaries. It turned out that Michael Allan Jones presented a plausible argument that those who pick “être” as auxiliaries are mostly “unaccusative intransitive” verbs in Foundations of French Syntax. This is one of the times that my inquiry of linguistic elements compelled me to resort to linguistics spheres.

I studied and taught for one month as a volunteer at the Linguistics Institute of China. The course included four parts: Phonetics, Phonology, Syntax, and Semantics gave me a complete understanding of general linguistics. I studied classic linguistic textbooks, enhanced my knowledge of the broad gambit of aspects and issues in linguistics theory, and became involved in cutting-edge issues and debates in theoretical linguistics. Studying the “notoriously” difficult K&K is tough. Still, I managed to work out simple deductions following the professor’s instructions and master some of the basic phonological concepts such as “underlying representation and surface representations” and “distinctive features.” The further understanding of semantics corresponds to my innermost desires for logic and reasoning. I was thrilled to have translated an English sentence for the first time with logical notation ∀x ( (WIZARD(x) ∧¬x=V) → MORTAL(x) ). This experience has deepened my understanding of linguistics studies and helped to facilitate my personal and academic adaptation to a more advanced course,

I look forward to a complete immersion in theoretical linguistic studies with keen anticipation. I hope to conduct research projects relating to Chinese minority languages, donate myself to their preservation and linguistic diversity, and record miracles in the history of human civilization.

Thank you for considering my application to the Masters in Linguistics Program at UX.

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