Centre for General Linguistics

Institute for the Languages and Cultures of the Baltic

Vilnius University

About us

The Centre for General Linguistics, one of the centres functioning within the Institute for the Languages and Cultures of the Baltic, was created in 2018. It is a successor to the Chair of General Linguistics headed between 1994 and 2001 at the Faculty of Philology by Prof. Aleksas Girdenis. We teach various subjects of general linguistics, such as Trends in Contemporary Linguistics, Linguistic Diversity and Language Science, Linguistic Typology, Grammatical Theory and Syntax. We carry out research in both functional and formal frameworks. Our seminars for PhD students and staff provide a forum for theoretical discussion and for the presentation of research work on topics of linguistics at Faculty level and beyond.


Axel Holvoet, distinguished professor

Axel Holvoet

I am a functional linguist working on problems of grammatical semantics, the syntax-semantics interface and historical syntax, usually with a special emphasis on the Baltic and Slavonic languages. The topics I have been interested in over recent years include the middle voice, the functions of irrealis moods, non-directive imperatives, quotativity and echoic use, and most recently the Talmyan typology of event conflation. At Vilnius University I have headed two international research projects funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, on the syntax-semantics interface in Baltic (2012–2015) and on verbal grams in Baltic (2018–2021) respectively.

My recent research topics include the middle voice, non-directive imperatives, the irrealis controversy and the category of mood. In earlier years I have also worked on case marking and grammatical relations, definiteness, verbal aspect, modality, echoic use and other subjects.

Some recent publications

  • Scalar markers between aspect and modality: The case of Lithuanian be-

    To appear in Zeitschrift für Slawistik 69, 2024

  • Towards an enhanced semantic map for imperatives

    STUF Language Typology and Universals 76.4, 2023, pp. 635–657

  • A hitherto unnoticed type of verb-framed construction in Lithuanian and the typology of event conflation

    Studies in Language 47.3, 2023, pp. 571–598

  • Irrealis, aspect, and unanchoring in Slavonic and beyond

    Zeitschrift für Slawistik 67.1, 2022, pp. 60–76

Vladimir Panov, associate professor

Vladimir Panov

I am a scholar in linguistic typology and general linguistics. The sphere of my research interests covers such topics as the typology of grammatical categories of the verb, the typology of discourse particles, boundaries between morphology, syntax and discourse, language-particular description of grammatical and discourse phenomena, the areal typology of Eurasia. In my research, I combine the traditional Greenbergian typology based on comparative concepts with elements of multivariate typology, but I am also interested in constructionist usage-based approaches and, recently, practice-oriented frameworks of linguistic anthropology.

I have fieldwork experience studying the living Greek dialects of Italy (Salento) and the Buriat language.

My last personal project (a postdoctoral study, 2018-2020) was devoted to the study of areal patterns of distribution of discourse particles in Eurasia. More recently, I have been involved in “The Baltic verb” project studying aspects of the grammar of the Lithuanian verb in a typological context.

Recent papers

  • Toward a non-aprioristic approach to discourse-associated devices.

    In: Discourse Phenomena in Typological Perspective, ed. Alessandra Barotto & Simone Mattiola, 2023, pp. 13–34,
    Amsterdam: John Benjamins

  • A peculiar Lithuanian particle mat or Mat ją bala, irgi mat dalelytė!

    (co-authored with Ringailė Trakymaitė)

    Vilnius University Open Series 16, 2021, pp. 291–308

  • The marking of uncontroversial information in Europe: presenting the enimitive

    Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 52.1, 2020, pp. 1–44

  • Final particles in Asia: Establishing an areal feature

    Linguistic Typology 24.1, 2020, pp. 13–70

  • Exploring the asymmetric coding of autobenefactive in Lithuanian and beyond

    Baltic Linguistics 11, 2020, pp. 343–371

  • Juk and gi, and “particles” in contemporary Lithuanian: Explaining language-particular elements in a cross-linguistic context

    Kalbotyra 72, 2019, pp. 58–86

Alexandre Cremers, associate professor

Alexandre Cremers

I am a linguist working on semantics and pragmatics. My research focuses on phenomena at the interface between linguistic meaning and general reasoning, in particular questions, implicatures, and vagueness. My work combines psycholinguistic approaches, traditional formal approaches inspired by logic, and probabilistic / game-theoretic modeling.

My last project “Efficient communication under uncertainty: Vagueness and Implicatures” studied how we manage to communicate efficiently using vague terms such as 'tall' or 'far', and how vagueness interacts with our ability to figure out the speaker's intentions.

I occasionally work on language acquisition, more specifically how children learn to decypher pragmatic meaning.

Some recent publications

  • Exhaustivity and anti-exhaustivity in the RSA framework: Testing the effect of prior beliefs

    (co-authored with E. Wilcox and B. Spector)

    Cognitive Science 47(5), 2023

  • The importance of being earnest: How truth and evidence affect participants’ judgments

    (co-authored with L. Fricke and E. Onea)

    Glossa Psycholinguistics 2(1), 2023, pp. 1–17

  • A rational speech-act model for the pragmatic use of vague terms in natural language

    Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society 44, 2022, pp. 149–155

  • Interpreting gradable adjectives: Rational reasoning or simple heuristics?

    Empirical issues in syntax and semantics 14, 2022, pp. 31–60

  • Ignorance implicatures of modified numerals

    (co-authored with L. Coppock, J. Dotlačil, and F. Roelofsen)

    Linguistics and Philosophy 2021

Anna Daugavet, assistant professor

Anna Daugavet

I have studied areal parallels in the development of phonological and grammatical categories in Baltic, Finnic and Slavonic languages. I have done research on tone and stress patterns and syllable weight, as well as their interaction with vowel and consonant changes. Since these features are often used in classification of dialects, my work also touches upon issues of dialect history. My current interests lie with verbal categories as they are reflected in monolingual and parallel text corpora, especially the expression of aspectual and modal meanings.

Recent papers

  • The perfects in Latvian and Lithuanian: A comparative study based on questionnaire and corpus data

    (co-authored with Peter Arkadiev)

    Baltic Linguistics 12, 2022, pp. 73–165

  • Types of null arguments in Baltic

    (co-authored with Axel Holvoet)

    In: Null Subjects in Slavic and Finno-Ugric: Licensing, Structure and Typology, ed. Gréte Dalmi, Egor Tsedryk and Piotr Cegłowski, 2022, pp. 205–228
    Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton

  • Central and Eastern Europe

    (co-authored with Maciej Karpiński, Bistra Andreeva, Eva-Liina Asu, Štefan Beňuš, and Katalin Mády)

    In: The Oxford Handbook of Language Prosody, C. Gussenhoven & A. Chen (eds.) Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2020, pp. 225–235

Danguolė Kotryna Kapkan, PhD student

Danguolė Kotryna Kapkan

I am currently working on my PhD thesis, dealing with peripheral perfects in the European languages. My main research interests lie with linguistic typology, grammatical semantics, grammaticalization, corpus linguistics, linguistic variation, Lithuanian, Italian, and the dialects of Southern Italy. In my work, I try to combine qualitative and quantitative research methods while being conscious not only of the cross-linguistic, but also of the intra-linguistic variation. Previously, I studied English and Portuguese languages at the University of Bari, Italy (BA), and then General Linguistics at the University of Vilnius (MA), where I decided to stay for my PhD, after doing a couple of study semesters abroad in Antwerp, Belgium, and Lisbon, Portugal.

Some recent publications

  • Perfect in Lithuanian: A case study based on the data from Facebook comments

    Baltic Linguistics 12, 2021, pp. 21–71

  • La fraseologia calviniana in lituano: Il caso di Perplėštas vikontas

    In: Si dice in molti modi. Fraseologia e traduzioni nel Visconte dimezzato di Italo Calvino. Sabine E. Koesters Gensini & Andrea Berardini (eds.), Sapienza Università Editrice, Roma, 2020

Ignas Rudaitis, PhD student

Ignas Rudaitis

I am interested in applying mathematics of language to help elucidate the nature of human cognition. To me, foremostly, this means using formal language theory (FLT) to inquire into implicit learning, as well as the inductive biases that endow it with its distinctive shape, shared by our biological species. Before my PhD years, I applied this approach to some issues of phonotactics. Currently, I am working on my thesis, titled “Doing syntax with unordered representations: focus on recursion”.

Some recent publications

  • Learning phonotactics of any span and distance

    Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics 6(1), 2023, pp. 397–399

Yelyzaveta Drach, PhD student

Yelyzaveta Drach

I am working on my PhD thesis called The Middle and the Lexicon. A study in the lexical input of middle constructions on the basis of Ukrainian, French and English data at Vilnius University. In this work I will try to carry out a contrastive analysis of the middle, also called facilitative middle, taking into account data from corpora and questionnaires. I will focus on three languages belonging to different genera. Previously, I studied French and English languages at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine (BA), and then Communicative strategies in French and English, also at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine (MA).