Welcome to the Institute of Linguistics at Academia Sinica (ILAS), the highest and most preeminent academic institution in Taiwan.
The Academia Sinica was founded in 1927 to undertake fundamental research in sciences and humanities. Over the years, the academy has expanded from its initial 5 research institutes to a total of 31 research institutes and centers. The Institute of Linguistics was formally the Division of Linguistics of the Institute of History and Philology (1927-1997). The spin-off of the Division took place in 1997 as the Preparatory Office for an independent institute; the Institute was officially established 2004.
I have served at this institute from August 2014 until the present. The institute is absolutely filled with incredibly talented people, and shows it through outstanding academic performance. I have the honor of being recommended by my esteemed colleagues and our director as the head of the institute, and hope to continue our great heritage and selfless spirit. I also hope to continue working with my fellows to create a research institute with true vision, a lively, prominent institute that can serve as a leader in the academic world. In accordance with this, I would like to share the following expectations and encouragements with you, my esteemed readers.
1: Open-minded views, collaborative goals
At the moment, the language institute has 18 researchers with a variety of different specialties and fields of expertise. Therefore, it is inevitable that each person will have differences in their positions; however, I hope that through good communication and management, we will all be able to put our personal needs to the side in favor of accomplishing our communal goals. If we can all keep an open mind and focus on our mission of developing a creative, vital linguistics institute, I am confident we can succeed and what’s more, gain international recognition for our efforts.
2: Unitedly displaying our remarkable style
Our researchers should not only be focused on publishing papers, as if the number of dissertations or articles one writes is the only important factor in our field. Instead, we should all be focused on the quality of our research, especially on the topics that may demonstrate continuity and prospective visions. We should give attention to areas our field might develop into in the future, and ensure our work will still be viable in the years to come. What’s more, we should produce unique results that are capable of making new breakthroughs that will allow our researchers to become important experts in their field. Veteran researchers have the important role of sharing their experience and depth of knowledge with their colleagues; the less experienced among us should humbly learn from them, and energetically pursue the latest developments. In this way, our entire institute can continue to produce amazing results.
3: Local activities with the world in mind
Other than Mandarin, the Min Nan and Hakka languages are our local tongues that are the most widely spread on our island of Taiwan. Despite this, it seems that comparatively little research has been done on them, and their visibility on the world stage is also very low. The Academia Sinica is the largest research institute in the nation, and we can take advantage of it. Although Min Nan and Hakka are certainly popular languages locally, and we have a responsibility to win more international attention for them, we also cannot fail to continue promoting the other languages in our purview, such as the Austronesian aboriginal languages of Taiwan, the Tibeto-Burman languages, and other such lesser-known languages. Our research target for all of these languages is the same: to integrate them into the various cross-linguistic systems of the world, compare them, and help to further illustrate the shared heritage and differences in culture our languages can reveal. At the same time, this will also help us succeed in publishing the results of our studies in the world’s most prestigious journals, and thereby have the influence we so richly deserve.
4: Cross-community conversation with a human-oriented perspective
As a member of the highest scientific research organization in the country, we cannot simply stay cloistered in our ivory tower. We must continue to communicate with the outside, transforming even the most difficult and abstruse questions into something easy for anyone to understand. We must also continue to perform self-evaluations, determining what benefit our research truly brings to the world. Performing such philosophical exercises and contemplating how we affect society as a whole can help us to realize the value of our research and academic publications.