Guillem Belmar Viernes is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Linguistics. He holds a BA in Translation and Interpreting from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, an MA in Hispanic Linguistics and Language Science from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, and an MA in Multilingualism from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Guillem focuses his work on minoritized languages, a field he studies from different perspectives. He is particularly interested in studying and collaborating in processes of language revitalization and how these contest different minorization processes around the world, contribute to collective healing and empower communities. He is currently working with the Mixteco diaspora community in California to document varieties, create materials in these languages, and research ways to implement linguistic resources that could help Mixteco interpreters navigate the different varieties of Mixtec spoken in California.
He maintains a diverse range of academic interests beyond these projects. In his MA theses he explored topics as diverse as the acquisition of English phonology in bilingual Catalan-Spanish speakers as well as the motivation, attitudes and language use of new speakers of West Frisian. In 2018, together with Sara Pinho (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), he won the Leeuwarder Courant Awards in Fryslân (the Netherlands) for their research on the intelligibility of West Frisian for Dutch speakers and how this could be applied to the revitalization of this minoritized language (see a short video presenting this research here). He is also very interested in the role of social media technology in language revitalization processes (see a short video report of an attitude survey here), and with co-author Maggie Glass (University of Limerick) built a new framework to analyze virtual communities as breathing spaces for minoritized languages (see the academic article here). This interest led him to join the COST Action Lithme.
He has taught languages at different levels, as well as several guest lectures and some community workshops (watch a community workshop on the use of social media in language revitalization). He has also collaborated with numerous organizations for the promotion of several languages, including Wikitongues, Global Voices Catalan, OSCEC Estremaúra, Afûk, Jalò tu Vua and MICOP among others. More recently, he has collaborated with the COVID no-mb and the COVID-19 multilingual, translating and editing versions in different European minoritized languages (see different infographs here) and Mixtec varieties. In addition, he maintains the #europeminoritylanguages project on Facebook (/europeminoritylanguages), Twitter (@EuroMinLang) and Instagram (@EuroMinLang).
Listen to Guillem talking about Remote Fieldwork during COVID-19.
Listen to Guillem talking about minorization and sociolinguistics (in Catalan).