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College of Arts and Sciences


Mila Tasseva-Kurktchieva

Title: Research Associate Professor
Program Director (Linguistics)
Department: Linguistics
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: Humanities Office Building, 616
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]


Ph.D., Linguistics, University of South Carolina

Teaching Interests 

General linguistics and introduction to linguistics, introduction to syntax, experimental syntax, (generative) SLA, research methods in SLA, English grammar for ESOL teachers, the application of SLA theory into ESOL practice

Research Interests 

My primary interest lies in second language (L2) syntactic development but over the course of conducting the research for my dissertation I have also developed a strong interest in L2 psycholinguistics. I am currently investigating a possible shift in the relationships between syntax and semantics which are implemented differently during L2 language comprehension and language production. The hypothesis which I am building has a direct impact on our understanding of how the different modules of grammar interact during second language processing and will further the research of the comprehension-production asymmetry phenomenon from both theoretical and L2 acquisition perspectives. I currently explore the interaction between the linguistic modules by attempting to delimit and explain when and why the semantic module will overpower the syntactic module in comprehension while the syntactic module will take the lead in production. If the hypothesis proves to be on the right path, it has the potential to influence both our theoretical understanding of how the modules of grammar work together for native and non-native speakers, as well as how a second/foreign language is taught in the classroom. 

Recent Publications

2015    Can production precede comprehension in L2 acquisition? Second Language Research 31 (4), 493-522.

2009    (with Stanley Dubinsky) V-initial tendencies of Bulgarian: An (EPP) V-feature account. In Proceedings of FASL 17: The Yale Meeting, eds. Jodi Reich, Maria Babyonyshev and Daria Kavitskaya, 236-250. Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Slavic Publications.

2006    The categorial status of quantifiers in Bulgarian: Evidence for DP over QP. In Proceedings of FASL 14: The Princeton Meeting, eds. James Lavine, Steven Franks. Mila Tasseva-Kurktchieva, and Hana Filip, 378-393. Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Slavic Publications.

2006    (with James Lavine, Steven Franks and Hana Filip). Proceedings of FASL 14: The Princeton Meeting. Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Slavic Publications.

2005    (with Steven Franks and Frank Gladney). Proceedings of FASL 13: The South Carolina Meeting. Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Slavic Publications.

2005    Possessives, Theta Roles, and the Internal Structure of Bulgarian DPs. In Proceedings of FASL 12: The Ottawa Meeting, ed. Olga Arnaudova, Wayles Browne, Maria Luisa Rivero, and Danijela Stojanović, 251-269. Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Slavic Publications.

2005    The possessor that came home. In Possessives and Beyond: Semantics and Syntax. University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers (UMOP 29), ed. Ji-yung Kim, Barbara H. Partee, and Yury A. Lander, 279-293. Amherst, MA: GLSA Publications.

Recent Presentations

2013    (with Stanley Dubinsky and Anna Mikhaylova) Telicity and the structure of VP objects in Slavic and English. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting (LSA). Boston, MA. January 3-6, 2013.

2012    Which features are easier to reassemble: The case of L2 Spanish gender and number. Second Language Research Forum (SLRF). Pittsburgh, PA. October 18-21,      2012.

2012    Feature reassembly in L2 Spanish: The case of gender and number. Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition in North America (GALANA). Kansas, KS. October 11-13, 2012

2012    (with Stanley Dubinsky) How feature classes determine L2 comprehension and production: The case of NP acquisition. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting (LSA). Portland, OR. January 5-8, 2012.

2011    (with Stanley Dubinsky) A focused look at scattered deletion in Slavic. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting (LSA). Pittsburgh, PA. January 6-9, 2011.

2010    Comprehension and production skills in L2 Bulgarian and Spanish. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting (LSA). Baltimore, MD. January 7-10, 2010.

2008    (with Stanley Dubinsky) The distribution of subjects and predicates in Bulgarian: An (EPP) V-feature account. Poster presented at Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics (FASL) 17. New Haven, CT. May 8-10, 2008.

2008    (with Stanley Dubinsky) The role of strong (EPP) V-features in determining Bulgarian word-order. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting (LSA). Chicago, IL. January 3-6, 2008.

2007    What about grammar? Comprehension and production at the initial state of L2 acquisition. Poster presented at Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (GASLA) 9. Iowa City, IA. May 18-20, 2007.

2007    L2 production before comprehension: Morpho-syntax vs. semantics-pragmatics. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting (LSA). Anaheim, CA. January 4-7, 2007.

2006    Is morphology one step before syntax? Second Language Research Forum (SLRF) 2006.  University of Washington, Seattle, WA. October 6-8, 2006.

2006    Morphology precedes syntax at the initial stage of L2 Acquisition? Inaugural meeting of the Slavic Linguistic Society. Bloomington, IN. September 6-8, 2006.

2006    Three categories of quantifiers in Bulgarian. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting (LSA). Albuquerque, NM. January 5-8, 2006.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.