From the USC Viterbi Magazine: More Than Words

| November 1, 2021

Every two weeks a language dies. Lina Brixey, a member of the Choctaw Nation and a USC Viterbi Ph.D. candidate, is determined hers will not be next.

Jacqueline Brixey, USC Viterbi Ph.D. candidate, computer science (Photo/Aaron Balana)

Thousands of languages are teetering on the edge of extinction. In fact, of the estimated 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, nearly half are likely to vanish in this century, according to UNESCO. For Lina Brixey, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, it’s personal.

A linguistics graduate and polyglot who speaks French, Spanish and Portuguese, Brixey didn’t start learning Choctaw until she moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to pursue her Ph.D. in computer science at USC Viterbi. “I always came back to one question,” Brixey said. “Why don’t I speak my own language?”

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Published on November 1st, 2021

Last updated on May 16th, 2024

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