Ksenia Shagal

My research field is functional linguistic typology, which means that I study structural variation attested in the languages of the world and account for the observed tendencies in terms of basic principles of language function. My doctoral dissertation (Towards a typology of participles, 2017) was the first large-scale typological study of participles, that is, verb forms that function as modifiers of nouns, e.g. the form written in the book [written by my supervisor], and it was based on data from more than 100 genealogically and geographically diverse languages. In addition to broad cross-linguistic research, I have also done fieldwork on a number of underdescribed languages spoken in different parts of Russia, such as Kalmyk, Nanai, Erzya, Nivkh, Uilta, and Hill Mari.

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in General Linguistics at the University of Helsinki. I mostly study non-finite verb forms and complex syntactic structures in Uralic languages from a typological, areal, and contact perspective. I am also involved in the project Negation in Clause Combining: Typological and usage-based perspectives (2020–2024), which brings together typological and usage-based perspectives in the domain of negation and beyond.

Apart from the academic projects, I am also interested in science education in the field of linguistics. In order to promote this enterprise, in 2015, I founded the Finnish Linguistics Olympiad, and together with its team, we have been organizing linguistic workshops for high school students around Finland since 2019.