Anastasia Giannakidou

Professor. Department of Linguistics, and Humanities Collegiate Division.
Classics 314E
(773) 834-9819

My broad interests lie in the area of meaning (semantics), and its relation to linguistic form (morphology and syntax). I am also interested in how sentences are used in context (pragmatics) to produce, and enrich, meaning, as well as questions about the foundations of semantics and philosophy of language (mainly questions regarding truth, belief, and context sensitivity). I have worked on various topics in syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, and always within a comparative crosslinguistic perspective, which often includes a lot of typological and variation considerations. My crosslinguistic orientation is partly due to the fact that I am interested in describing the grammar of Greek, my mother tongue, and partly to the fact that I firmly believe that crosslinguistic comparisons are fundamental to our understanding of how grammar works. Besides Greek, I have also worked on Romance (Spanish and Catalan mainly), Germanic languages (German and Dutch), and recently, in joint work, Chinese and Basque. Recently, my interests have also been expanded in two areas: the internal structure (syntax and semantics) of the quantificational noun phrase (which is the source of inspiration for my book, co-edited with Monika Rathert, to appear with Oxford), and psycholinguistics (studying of home sign systems in collaboration with Susan Goldin Meadow and Carolyn Mylander from Psychology.) I am also interested in bilingualism.

Degrees 1997 PhD in Linguistics. University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Thesis: The landscape of polarity items. Groningen Dissertations in Linguistics (GRODIL) 18. 238 pp.

Recent Publications 
  • Negative and positive polarity items: licensing, compositionality and variation. Prepared for Maienborn, Claudia, Klaus von Heusinger, and Paul Portner (eds). Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. (January 2008)
  • Metalinguistic contrast in Greek: para comparatives and metalinguistic negation. Just finished (Sept. 2007). With Melita Stavrou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This is a paper that I presented at the workshop on Greek Syntax and Semantics at MIT this past spring. The paper will appear in MITWPL in 2008.
  • Myths and Realities about Bilingualism. Presentation at Humanties Day, October 27, 2007.
  • Contextual restrictions and the definite determiner. With Urtzi Etxeberria (IKER/CNRS). This is a talk Urtzi and I will present at the workshop on Relativism and Contextualism in Paris (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris). Nov. 9-11, 2007. This paper extends the idea that the definite determiner can function as a domain restrictor (Giannakidou 2004, SALT 14 paper), and further sepculates as to whether indefinites can be context restricted or not.
  • Variation and compositionality in polarity items: why scalarity is not enough. Invited presentation at the Semantics Research Group (organized by Chris Tancredi and Makoto Kanazawa), Tokyo Japan. Nov. 30, 2007. It forms the basis for the paper (Negative polarity items and positive polarity items) I am preparing for the second edition of the Handbook of Semantics.
  • Book to appear with Oxford University Press, Summer 2008: Quantification, Definiteness and Nominalization. Anastasia Giannakidou and Monika Rathert (eds). This is a book with articles on recent advances in noun phrase syntax-semantics, the function of definite and indefinite articles, and their connection to nominalizations.
Education 
  • BA in Greek Philology with a specialization in Linguistics, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece, 1989
  • MA in Linguistics and Philosophy of Lanugage, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece, 1992
  • PhD in Linguistics, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, 1997.