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I'm Julio Song, a final-year linguistics PhD at Cambridge (UK) studying syntactic categories and their formal flexibility. When I introduce my research, I usually get reactions like 'that is too broad' and 'which categories more specifically', and I had always felt a bit uneasy to say what interested me was indeed 'category' on a broad, abstract level -- until I met Category Theory.
I've only started learning CT this year (upon a random conversation with a math PhD), but the more I understand, the more I realize it's exactly the kind of universe I want to settle in, for a major issue in my work is layered levels of category abstraction, and CT provides a tool to formulate precisely that! This came as a surprise, as I had naively assumed the application of CT in linguistics was confined to type-based semantics (and perhaps NLP), never expecting it to play a role also in (narrow) syntax, where the main interest is in hierarchical structure rather than compositionality (now I know CT is equally powerful in conveying both).
A second surprise in my learning journey is that Applied Category Theory is already a flourishing subdiscipline. This is exciting because the extensiveness of CT makes it almost a 'theory of everything', and reaching out to more areas is no doubt a step towards realizing this potential. Pupils of CT are fortunate, as we have such a nice community and super helpful online platforms like Azimuth. I found my way here a bit late but will try to catch up and am surely looking forward to learning a lot from all of you!