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Faculty Fellow

Lenore Grenoble

John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Linguistics and Humanities Collegiate Division University of Chicago


Lenore Grenoble specializes in the study of language contact and shift in Indigenous settings, with particular attention to the Arctic. Her work is empirically driven, and her current interests focus on language usage in multilingual settings, with particular attention to Arctic Indigenous language communities. She is presently involved in several collaborative projects that investigate the linguistic, social and cognitive causes and outcomes of contact and shift, coupled with questions about the impact of urbanization and climate change, on Arctic Indigenous language vitality. Alongside these projects, she is involved in research into language revitalization and how to create long-term sustainable language practices. Her current field and documentation work is centered in the Russian Far North and Arctic, and in Greenland. Grenoble is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). In 2018 she held the Fulbright Arctic Distinguished Chair, Norway. She has received grants from the NSF Program in Linguistics and the Program in Documenting Endangered Languages.

Featured Project

Emotion Construction Without a Sense of the Body

Project Team:

2018 – 2020


The Language of Kim

The Language of Kim

Studying “Kim,” an individual with a radically limited sensory palate, researchers formalized a new method of understanding the link between linguistic encoding of sensory perception and actual perception.

This project adopted a field linguistic approach to interrogate the subjectivity of human experience in the absence of a typical sensory palate. The research, drawing on insights from neurobiology and linguistics, centered on a remarkable individual, Kim, whose sensory world is radically...

Project Team: