Professor Tania Kouteva

“What exactly is…?”
On five counter-to-fact grammatical categories
August - October 2015

Tania Kouteva photoWho is Tania Kouteva?

Tania Kouteva holds a professorship in English linguistics at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. She is renowned worldwide for her expertise in grammaticalization. Furthermore, she is specialized in the influence of language contact in grammaticalization processes and she has expertise in language typology. Kouteva joined the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University, hosted by Professor Pieter Muysken.

What is her research project about?

While in Nijmegen, Tania Kouteva investigated a number of semantically elaborate grammatical categories in detail, i.e. grammatical categories that relate simultaneously to multiple conceptual-semantic domains. Such categories are challenging not only with respect to their analysis, but also with respect to their origin, including the basic issue of why such complex categories should exist at all. Kouteva focused on indigenous Amazonian and other South American languages.

Why was she nominated?

Nominator Pieter Muysken, Professor of Linguistics, enthusiastically recommends Kouteva as a Radboud visiting Professor. ‘Her key contribution is that she has productively and insightfully integrated results from three subfields: grammaticalization, language contact and language typology.

Her extensive list of high quality publications also demonstrates her familiarity with cross-linguistic data comparison, as her papers include typologically and geographically very diverse languages.’

What is she doing now?

Tania is back at her home university, the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf.

Tania reflects on her time in the Radboud Excellence Initiative.

Read more on Tania Kouteva's website