Svitlana Antonyuk, PhD

I am currently a Visiting Researcher at the Department of Linguistics at Stony Brook University. My research is focused on syntax and its interfaces with other modules of grammar, especially the syntax-semantics interface. I am interested in natural language quantification, specifically the issues related to quantifier scope ambiguity and the phenomenon of scope freezing, the interaction between quantification and scrambling, verb phrase structure and, most recently, developing novel tests that would allow us to probe the internal structure of ditransitives through scope distribution.

Much of my work to date has been focused mostly on Slavic languages, in particular Russian, and to a lesser degree, Ukrainian, both of which are my native languages. My dissertation research has led me to believe that the phenomena I am investigating in Russian and Ukrainian, especially as they compare to the better-studied languages, such as English, are due to the same mechanism and as such should receive a unified explanation, with similar (scope freezing) patterns in English, Korean, Japanese and Norwegian, among others, arguably being amenable to the same treatment.

I am currently focusing on refining the predictions made by the account of scope freezing proposed in my doctoral dissertation for other languages exhibiting comparable scope phenomena, hoping to show that scope freezing should be treated uniformly across languages.

I also have a long-standing interest in prosodic phonology and the issues pertaining to the prosody-syntax-semantics interface, such as the degree to which silent prosody plays a role in native speakers’ reported judgments of ambiguity and scope rigidity as well as the interaction between focus and quantifier scope (the latter in collaboration with Richard Larson).

Within Slavic linguistics, I am most interested in Scrambling and how it interacts with other syntactic phenomena; Binding (Backwards Anaphora, binding into quantifier domain restriction) and the structure of ditransitives. In Ukrainian I have done some experimental work (with Roksolana Mykhaylyk) on the interaction between prosody and Scrambling and I am now looking at how specificity (in object shift contexts) interacts with quantifier scope, arguing that the data from Ukrainian present strong evidence against the Superiority account of scope freezing from a cross-linguistic perspective.