December 8, 2014

Spotlight on Postdoctoral Fellow Keffyalew Gebregziabher

Postdoctoral fellow Keffyalew Gebregziabher was introduced on this blog at the beginning of the term. For those who have not yet had the opportunity to meet him or hear about his research, here is a brief profile. Keffy will be teaching the Structure of Amharic in January.

My name is Keffyalew Gebregziabher. I am a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow here at the University of Toronto, Department of Linguistics. I started my fellowship this fall 2014 to work with Elizabeth Cowper. I completed my doctoral degree at the University of Calgary, Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures (the then Department of Linguistics), under the supervision of Elizabeth Ritter. My research focuses on the grammar of possession, particularly, how alienable and inalienable possession are portrayed in (Ethio-)Semitic languages and how the meaning of simple nominal possessives (e.g., the teacher’s book/son/leg) are syntactically represented in our grammatical system. I am also interested in the interfaces between morphology and phonology and morphology and syntax mappings and the fine line between prepositions and case markers.

My current projects include the investigation of the relationship between clausal possession (e.g. The teacher has/have a book/three children/two legs) and nominal possession, the study of the role of possessive markers, and determining the syntactic structure of possessive constructions primarily in (Ethio-)Semitic languages.

Over the years, I have taught different linguistics courses that range from introductory to advanced ones at different universities in different languages. In Winter 2015, I will be teaching the course Structure of a Language, here at the University of Toronto, St. George campus, with special emphasis on one of the languages that I work on, Amharic, the second most widely spoken Semitic language.

Please feel free to come and talk to me (my office is room 578 in Sidney Smith Hall) if you have any questions about the languages that I specialize in or the research area(s) that I am interested on or anything in between.

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