Dr Christina Sevdali is a Senior Lecturer in linguistics at Ulster University specializing in diachronic generative syntax and multilingualism. She is the Course Director of the BSc. (Hons) in Language and Linguistics at the School of Communication and Media.
Christina was born in Greece and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Greek Philology with a Major in Linguistics from the University of Crete in 2000. In 2002, she obtained her MPhil in theoretical linguistics from the University of Cambridge and then moved on to do a PhD, which she obtained in 2007.
Her PhD dissertation ‘Infinitival clauses in Ancient Greek: overt and null subjects, the role of Case and Focus’ from the University of Cambridge, supervised by Ian Roberts, investigates the challenging interaction between the Accusativus cum Infinitivo construction and control in Ancient Greek. During her PhD, Christina also spent a semester at MIT as a visiting student, working with Sabine Iatridou.
Christina’s research interests include synchronic and diachronic syntax, Greek linguistics, syntax–morphology interface and multilingualism. More specifically she is interested in finiteness and its relationship to subjects, the theory of Control and specifically Partial Control, Case/case in synchrony and diachrony especially in relation to phenomena such as focus and emphasis, datives and quirky subjects, object drop and cognate objects and the diachrony of complementation.
In 2017, she secured an Early Career AHRC grant alongside Professor Elena Anagnostopoulou (University of Crete) on “Investigating Variation and Change: Case in Diachrony.” The project looks into on the diachrony of the Greek case system, with particular focus on dative and genitive and, couched within the generative framework, it aims to contribute to the question of the place of case in grammar, as a phenomenon that relates to both syntax and morphology.
Christina has published in leading journals of the field such as Language, Syntax, Lingua, Journal of Historical Syntax, Lingue e Linguaggi, Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics and the Proceedings of NELS. She also co-edited an Oxford University Press volume Syntax and Its Limits, with Raffella Folli (University of Ulster) and Robert Truswell (University of Edinburgh). Christina is on the advisory board of the Journal of Historical Syntax.
Christina has supervised a number of dissertations on a variety of linguistic topics and her past students include, Dr Megan Devlin, Dr Frances Kane, and Dr Lynda Kennedy.
She is a member of UCoM (Ulster Centre on Multilingualism) and leads the Language Made Fun project, in collaboration with Barnardo’s NI. This project aims to assist children of refugees and asylum seekers with their English while also promoting multilingualism. Language Made Fun (alongside its sister programme Language Together) is funded by the Family Learning and Integration hub through the Big Lottery Fund.
Together, the advisory board has invaluable expertise on the technical aspect of the project in terms of developing the software and tagging the corpus.
As such, they will provide important guidance to the research team on these terms and will liaise productively during the digitizing of the corpus and building of the search engine, in order for the linguistic goals of the project to be met.