UCHI GRADUATE DISSERTATION FELLOW
Beata Moskal is a Ph.D. candidate in the Linguistics Department at the University of Connecticut. As a Dutch citizen, she received her B.A. in English from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. In addition, she earned a research M.A. from the Linguistics department in Leiden. During her time at UConn, she has published papers on a variety of topics, including rare word stress patterns, labial vowel harmony in Altaic languages, and suppletion patterns in nouns and pronouns. She has presented at internationally renowned conferences, including invited talks. Ms. Moskal co-organized (with Peter Smith) one of the largest international linguistics conferences, NELS 44, at UConn. She taught a variety of courses at UConn, and in 2013 she received the David Michaels Teaching Award.
Ms. Moskal’s primary research areas in Linguistics are phonology (sound structure) and morphology (word structure). Whilst her work is theoretical in nature, she draws on cross-linguistic patterns from a wide variety of languages to ensure a strong empirical foundation.
During her time at the Humanities Institute, she will complete her dissertation, entitled “Universals in Morphology and Morpho-Phonology”. Her dissertation investigates the existence and nature of linguistic universals, which are purported to hold for every natural language. Specifically, she focuses on suppletion and morpho-phonological locality domains, showing that certain apparently legitimate and a priori conceivable patterns are not found. This shows that there are limits imposed on possible patterns in natural language; crucially, these patterns resist functional explanation. Thus, she argues that they are best understood by appealing to Universal Grammar, the idea that we are endowed with a set of universal principles that constrain how natural language develops. Ms. Moskal’s major advisors are Jonathan Bobaljik and Harry van der Hulst.