I am interested in the distribution of language structures in the languages of the world and the resulting inferences about the language (pre)history. I explore the history of languages of Northern Eurasia by applying phylogenetic methods and population models.
I discovered my passion for languages during my B.A. in German studies, when the history of German and phonetics became my favourite subjects at the Kiev National Linguistic University. Nevertheless I got the first real impulse to do research in linguistics (and especially in experimental phonetics) during my exchange term at the University of Jena after visiting the lectures by Prof. Adrian Paul Simpson. This experience led me to an M.A. in phonetics and language typology at the University of Kiel, where Prof. Alena Witzlack-Makarevich introduced the fascinating world of language typology to me. I continued working in language typology as a research assistant with the Grambank project and coded some Atlantic-Congo, Afro-Asiatic, Central Sudanic, Nakh-Daghestanian, Nilotic, Ta-Ne-Omotic, Uralic and other languages. Reading grammars on a daily basis followed me into my PhD. I started my PhD in an interdisciplinary project Eurasia3angle by collecting a database of so-called “Transeurasian” or “Macro-Altaic” languages, which cover five language families: Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Japonic and Koreanic. In the first stage of my PhD I was applying neighbour-joining and Bayesian tree-sampling methods to obtain the internal structure of the Transeurasian unity. In the second stage, I investigated the phylogenetic signal in structural features and reconstructed ancestral states of structural features at the level of each language family. Finally, I apply admixture models from population genetics to better distinguish between the horizontal and vertical transmission of structural features and to visualise these two sources of similarities between the languages in the area.