Our research spans syntax, phonology, language acquisition, and related domains. We are organized into two research groups, CASTL-FISH (Formal Investigations into Structure and Hierarchy), which covers syntax and phonology and their interfaces, and LAVA (Language Acquisition, Variation, and Attrition), which investigates first and second language acquisition, the nature of linguistic variation, and language attrition in heritage speakers.
CASTL is a research center at the University of Tromsø (UiT), housing an international team of researchers. CASTL also runs one of UiT’s special graduate schools (forskerskoler), providing an active, intense, and informal research atmosphere for our graduate students, with several research seminars and colloquia every week.
CASTL operates as a loose confederation of about two dozen researchers with PhDs in linguistics and about a dozen PhD students at any given time, with various research projects involving different constellations of researchers and national and international networks of collaborators.
The syntax groups are working on several topics at the interfaces of syntax with other systems, in particular morphology and semantics. On the empirical side, we are deeply committed to comparative work, and to an integration of morphological, semantic and syntactic patterns. Our research includes a range of subprojects, including work on Bantu languages, Nordic dialect syntax, lexical semantics, and spell-out.
In phonology, CASTL researchers are exploring a phonology which is strictly separated from phonetics (“substance-free”) and where much of the structure is emergent from general principles rather than given by Universal Grammar (“minimalist”). This research is divided into two main subprojects: one on feature theory (the internal representation of segments) and one on prosodic theory (how segments relate to one another).
The acquisition researchers are exploring children’s sensitivity to micro-variation in the input within a new approach to language acquisition and change – based on micro-cues.
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