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Kateryna Krykoniuk

Dr Kateryna Krykoniuk

Research Assistant

School of English, Communication and Philosophy


My main research interests concern morphology (derivational and inflectional), as well as the interaction between morphology and syntax. For the exploration of this area, I am very keen to apply new statistical methods—in particular, various measures of entropy—as their wider application will help researchers, I believe, create new knowledge. I am also interested in cognitive, psycholinguistic and evolutionary aspects of language, and I am currently involved in the projects that focus on the study of these facets of language.










Current projects

Approximate Entropy of word order in spoken and written Persian

The project explores the possible variations of subject-object-verb patterning in present-day written and spoken Persian. This is done by exploring 1000 sentences in total, taken equally from two sources: an academic book and the Corpus of Conversational Persian (Mohammadi 2019) as representative of spoken Persian. After encoding the linguistic units of interest manually, the value of randomness in two sequences of patterns—one representing the written language and the other spoken—is quantified using the method of approximate entropy (ApEn) developed by Pincus (1991) which allows us to pinpoint changing complexity from a relatively small amount of data.

Causal approaches to investigating language evolution (Principal Investigator: Dr. Seán G. Roberts)

The major goals of this project, funded by AHRC, is to develop an interactive database of causal hypotheses known as CHIELD (Causal Hypotheses in Evolutionary Linguistics Database, Roberts 2018; and to test key proposals of language evolution theories with the experiments that recreate critical steps in language evolution using the video game Minecraft. This is to study conditions that created a cognitive pressure on our ancestors for the development of a symbolic communication system. This multifaceted framework will provide a new model of how to tackle seemingly intractable questions in many fields.


I was awarded a BS in Oriental Studies and MPhil Philology with Distinction by the National Shevchenko University of Kyiv (Ukraine) in 2001 and 2003, respectively. In 2015, I completed my first PhD, 'Formal Morphology of Persian Innate Word Formation', from Krymskyi Institute of Oriental Studies in Kyiv (Ukraine). In February 2022, I defended my second PhD thesis, entitled 'Morphological Regularities and Patterns in English Word Formation', in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University. This thesis explores mechanisms that govern the arrangement of morphemes in the English lexicon with formal approaches and different statistical methods. As a result of compiling a morphological meta-corpus of 32,000 lexemes, I have created an optimal description of word-formation processes in modern English. The experience of my second PhD has allowed me to gain expertise with the latest Western linguistic theories and develop my research skills at an international level.

I was awarded the Houtan Foundation Scholarship in 2018 and 2019.

Currently, I am involved in the project 'Causal approaches to investigating language evolution' as a research assistant (Principal Investigator: Dr Seán G. Roberts).

Guest lectures

The role of type and token frequency in word formation grammar: Evidence from Persian (invited speaker). Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, 20 February.

Productivity in word formation. Invited speaker. Ghent University, Belgium, 1 March.

Conference participation

2020. Predictive modelling of type valency in word formation grammar (poster presentation). The UK Cognitive Linguistics conference (virtual). University of Birmingham, 27–29 July.

2019. The role of type and token frequency in word formation grammar (oral presentation). The 52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. University of Leipzig, Germany, 21–24 August.

2018. Juxtaposition of formal and logic-semantic analysis in a study of word formation: Evidence from Persian (oral presentation). Word Formation Theories III Typology and Universals in Word Formation Conference IV. Kosice, Slovakia, 27–30 June.