UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


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Coordinated Research in the Experimental Morphosyntax of South Slavic Languages (EMSS)


Coordinated Research  

in the Experimental Morphosyntax 

of South Slavic Languages  



Funding Source: Leverhulme Trust (2014 - 2018)  

Research Head: Andrew Nevins

The combinatorial possibilities provided by the unique number and gender morphology of the South Slavic languages create a rich array of morphosyntactic variability both within and across speakers in this language area.  While a long dialectal tradition classifies local varieties in terms of lexical items (specifically, words for ‘what’), the present project aims to leverage experimental psycholinguistic research as a means of charting the morphosyntaxes of these languages. 

The research builds on the methodology developed for Slovenian by the experimental morphologists, Andrew Nevins and Lanko Marušič, to be applied in parallel at six partner institutions using elicited production and comprehension tasks.  The network’s activities will yield research broadly applicable to understanding the effects of word order, topicality, prosody, and inflection on the choice of agreement controllers, and will bring clarity to incommensurable current descriptions of these phenomena based on non-experimental methods.

The network envisions a set of coordinated endeavours through research meetings, on-site expertise transfer, and digital resource sharing.  To foster a new set of collaborative partnerships the network addresses questions in geographically-based variation alongside morphosyntactic theory through the use of parallel research cooperation in experimental methods.