SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Professor Irina Nikolaeva

MA, Candidate (Moscow), PhD (Leiden)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications



Programmes Convened
PhD Students supervised
  • Elia Dal Corso, Ainu Evidentiality: A semantico-pragmatic analysis and a morphosyntactic account
  • Francisca Everduim, Morphosyntactic Variation in Bantu
  • Jon Archer, Information Structure in Muwé-ke, Nepal
  • Mohammed Alluhaybi,
  • Nadia Christopher, Aspects of Information Structure in Kazakh - the Dynamic Syntax Approach
  • Wen Wang, A Corpus-based Study of Subjunctivity in Shanghainese (as evidenced in the missionary linguistic and translation works on/in vernacular Shanghainese in the period 1843-1950)


Irina Nikolaeva’s research interests are linguistic typology, syntax, morphology, information structure and non-transformational theories of grammar. She has also worked on the documentation and description of endangered Uralic, Altaic and Palaeosiberian languages.


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Available for
Regional Expertise
  • Europe
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Nikolaeva, Irina (2020) Yukaghir morphology in a historical and comparative perspective. Lincom GmbH.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Spencer, Andrew (2019) Mixed categories: The Morphosyntax of noun modification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2014) A grammar of Tundra Nenets. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Ackerman, Farrell and Nikolaeva, Irina (2013) Descriptive typology and linguistics theory: a study in the morphosyntax of relative clauses. Stanford: CSLI.

Dalrymple, Mary and Nikolaeva, Irina (2011) Objects and information structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2006) A Historical Dictionary of Yukaghir. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Perekhvalskaya, Elena and Tolskaya, Maria (2003) Udeghe (Udihe) texts. Osaka, Japan: ELPR.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Perekhvalskaya, Elena and Tolskaya, Maria (2002) Udeghe (Udihe) folk tales. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Tolskaya, M. (2001) A Grammar of Udihe. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2000) Chrestomathia Yukagirica. Budapest: ELTE.

Nikolaeva, Irina (1999) Ostyak texts in the Obdorsk dialect. Wiesbaden: Otto Harassowitz.

Nikolaeva, Irina (1999) Ostyak. Muenchen; Newcastle: Lincom Europa.

Nikolaeva, Irina (1997) Yukaghir texts. Savariae: Berxsenyi Dániel Tanárképzö föiskola.


Barany, Andras and Nikolaeva, Irina (2020) 'Possessive and non-identity relations in Turkic switch-reference'. Studies in Language. [Forthcoming]

Barany, Andras and Nikolaeva, Irina (2019) 'On adjoined possessors'. Linguistic Inquiry. [Forthcoming]

Bárány, András and Nikolaeva, Irina (2019) 'Possessors in switch-reference'. Glossa, (48) 1.

Spencer, Andrew and Nikolaeva, Irina (2017) 'Denominal adjectives as mixed categories'. Word Structure, (10) 1, pp 79-99.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2015) 'On the expression of TAM on nouns: evidence from Tundra Nenets'. Lingua, (166), pp 99-126.

Matic, Dejan and Nikolaeva, Irina (2014) 'Realis mood, focus, and existential closure in Tundra Yukaghir'. Lingua, (150), pp 202-231.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2010) 'Finiteness in typology'. Language and Linguistics Compass, (3) 1, pp 1176-1189.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2008) 'Between nouns and adjectives: a constructional view'. Lingua, (118) 7, pp 969-996.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Dalrymple, M. (2006) 'Syntax of Natural and Accidental Coordination: Evidence from Agreement'. Language, (82) 4, pp 824-49.

Darlymple, Mary and Nikolaeva, Irina (2005) 'Nonsubject agreement and discourse roles'. Oxford University Working Papers in Linguistics, Philology & Phonetics, (10), pp 73-94.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2001) 'Secondary topic as a relation in information structure'. Linguistics, (39) 1, pp 1-49.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2000) 'The status of schwa in the phonological description of Northern Ostyak'. Finnisch-ugrische Mitteilungen, (23), pp 121-148.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2000) 'The vocalic system of Udihe'. Eurasian Studies Yearbook, pp 113-142.

Nikolaeva, Irina (1999) 'Object agreement, grammatical relations, and information structure'. Studies in Language, (23) 2, pp 331-376.

Nikolaeva, Irina (1999) 'The semantics of Northern Khanty Evidentials'. Journal de la Société Finno-Ougrienne, (88), pp 131-159.

Nikolaeva, Irina (1998) 'Optimal syllables are not always optimal: A prosodic structure of Yukaghir'. Lingua, (105) 3, pp 201-229.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Kovgan, Elena and Koshkareva, Natalia (1993) 'Communicative roles in Ostyak syntax'. Finnisch Ugrischen Forschungen, (30), pp 125-167.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Zhukova, Ljudmila and Demina, Ljubov (1993) 'Les Yukaghirs'. Etudes mongoles et sibiriennes, pp 175-190.

Nikolaeva, Irina (1992) 'Old Yukaghir sources and dialects'. Ural-Altaische Jahrbücher, (11), pp 200-210.

Edited Books or Journals

Bárány, András and Bond, Oliver and Nikolaeva, Irina, (eds.), (2019) Prominent Internal Possessors. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Nikolaeva, Irina, (ed.), (2018) Linguistic Typology. Critic Concepts in Linguistics.. Routledge. (Critical Concepts in Linguistics).

Nikolaeva, Irina and Spencer, Andrew, (eds.), (2008) Editorial. Morphosyntactic mismatches and mixed categories. Amsterdam: Elsevier. (Special issue of Lingua. Vol 118 No. 4).

Nikolaeva, Irina, (ed.), (2007) Finiteness: Theoretical and empirical foundations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

Nikolaeva, Irina and Barany, Andras and Bond, Oliver (2019) 'Towards a typology of prominent internal possessors'. In: Barany, Andras and Bond, Oliver and Nikolaeva, Irina, (eds.), Prominent Internal Possessors. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp 1-38.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Barany, Andras (2019) 'Proximate Possessors'. In: Barany, Andras and Bond, Oliver and Nikolaeva, Irina, (eds.), Prominent Internal Possessors. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp 228-258.

Yadava, Yogendra and Bond, Oliver and Nikolaeva, Irina and Ritchie, Thomas Alexander France (2019) 'The syntax of possessor prominence in Maithili'. In: Barany, Andras and Bond, Oliver and Nikolaeva, Irina, (eds.), Prominent Internal Possessors. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp 39-79.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2019) 'Focus as a morphosyntactic and morphosemantic feature'. In: Baerman, Matthew and Bond, Oliver and Hippisley, Andrew, (eds.), Morphological Perspectives. Papers in Honour of Greville G. Corbett. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp 370-389.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Ode, Cecilia (2018) 'The Lord’s Prayer in Yukagir'. The fascination with inner Eurasian languages in the 17th century. Amsterdam: Pegasus.

Matic, Dejan and Nikolaeva, Irina (2018) 'From polarity focus to salient polarity: From things to processes'. In: Dimroth, Christine and Sudhoff, Stefan, (eds.), The Grammatical Realization of Polarity Contrast: Theoretical, empirical, and typological approaches. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp 9-54.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2017) 'The general noun-modifying clause construction in Tundra Nenets and its possible origin'. In: Matsumoto, Yoshiko and Comrie, Bernard and Sells, Peter, (eds.), Noun-Modifying Clause Constructions in Languages of Eurasia: Reshaping theoretical and geographical boundaries. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp 147-178.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2016) 'Analyses of the semantics of mood'. In: Nuyts, Jan and van der Auwera, Johan, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modality and Mood. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 68-85.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2015) 'Reference grammars'. In: Kiss, Tibor and Alexiadou, Artemis, (eds.), Syntax - Theory and Analysis: an International Handbook. Vol. 3.. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, pp 2036-2062.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2014) 'The Narrative Infinitive Construction in French and Latin'. In: Boas, Hans and Gonzálvez-García, Francisco, (eds.), Romance Perspectives on Construction Grammar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp 139-179.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2014) 'Altaic'. In: Lieber, Rochelle and Stekauer, Pavol, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 493-508.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Spencer, Andrew (2013) 'Possession and modification – a perspective from Canonical Typology'. In: Brown, Dunstan and Chumakina, Marina and Corbett, Greville, (eds.), Canonical Morphology and Syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 207-238.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2012) 'Unpacking finiteness'. In: Corbett, Greville and Brown, Dunstan and Chumakina, Marina, (eds.), Canonical morphology and syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2012) 'Nominal modification in Udihe and beyond'. In: Malchukov, Andrej and Whaley, Lindsey, (eds.), Recent advances in Tungusic linguistics. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2012) 'Periphrasis in Tundra Nenets'. In: Chumakina, Marina and Corbett, Greville, (eds.), Periphrasis: the role of syntax and morphology int he paradigms. Oxford: British Academy and Oxford University Press.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2009) 'Chuvan and Omok languages?'. In: Lubotzky, Alexander, (ed.), Evidence and Counter-Evidence: Essays in Honour of Frederik Kortlandt. General linguistics. Amsterdam; New York: Rodopi, pp 313-336.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2007) 'Constructional Economy and Nonfinite Independent Clauses'. In: Nikolaeva, I., (ed.), Finiteness. Theoretical and Empirical Foundations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 138-80.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2007) 'Recipriocals and sociatives in Udehe'. In: Nedjalkov, V., (ed.), Reciprocal constructions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp 933-968.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2005) 'Agreement and situation construal'. In: Fernandez-Vest, J.M., (ed.), The Uralic languages today. A linguistic and cognitive approach. Paris: Librairie Honoré Champion, Editeur.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2005) 'Modifier-Head Person Concord'. In: Booij, G. et al., (ed.), Morphology and Linguistic Typology. Proceedings of the Fourth Mediterranean Morphology Meeting (MMM4) Catania, 21-23 September 2003.. Bologna: Università degli Studi di Bologna, pp 221-234.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2003) 'The structure of the Tundra Nenets noun phrase'. In: Bakró-Nagy, Marianne and Rédei, Karoly, (eds.), Ünnepi kötet Honti László tiszteletére. Budapest: Magyar Tudomanyos Academia, pp 315-327.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2002) 'Possession vs. nominal attribution in Uralic'. In: Helimski, Eugen and Widmer, Anna, (eds.), Wŭśa wŭśa – Sei gegrüsst! Beiträge zur Finnougristik zu Ehren von Gert Sauer dargebracht zu seinem siebzigsten Geburtstag. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp 239-250.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2002) 'The Hungarian external possessor in a European perspective'. In: Hasselblatt, C. and Blokland, R., (eds.), Finno-Ugrians and Indo-Europeans: Linguistic and Literary Contacts. Proceedings of the Symposium at the University of Groningen, November 22-24, 2001.. Maastricht: Shaker.

Nikolaeva, Irina (2001) 'A typology of secondary topic constructions'. In: Kibrik, Alexandr, (ed.), Lingvisticheskij bespredel. Moscow: MGU, pp 274-288.

Book Reviews

Nikolaeva, Irina (2005) '[review article of:] Elena Maslova "A grammar of Kolyma Yukaghir".'. Linguistic Typology, (9) 2, pp 299 -325.


Nikolaeva, Irina and Garrett, Edward (2015) 'The endangered languages and cultures of Siberia'.

Nikolaeva, Irina and Garrett, Edward (2014) 'Online documentation of Siberian languages'.


Matić, Dejan and Nikolaeva, Irina (2014) 'Focus feature percolation: Evidence from Tundra Nenets and Tundra Yukaghir'.

Merin, Arthur and Nikolaeva, Irina (2008) 'Exclamative as a Universal Speech Act Category: a case study in Decision-Theoretic Semantics and typological implications'.


This list was last generated on Monday, 30th March 2020, 20:52 Europe/London.