Home / Dr. Igor Yanovich


Igor Yanovich was a long-term fellow at the “Words, Bones, Genes and Tools” interdisciplinary research Center in Tübingen, Germany. His research at the Center included testing the robustness of state-of-the-art methods for inference about the past from linguistic data, building an explicit population-genetics-style framework for language change, and exploring sources of linguistic data new for computational historical linguistics. He was particularly interested in comparing linguistic diversity in populations with genetic and anatomical diversity, and inferences drawn from them all. Igor holds a masters degree in linguistics from Moscow State University, and PhD in linguistics from MIT. His previous postdoctoral appointments included work in the ERC-funded EVOLAEMP project, a fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation, and a research fellowship at the Philosophy department of Carnegie Mellon University.

2016Evolutionary modeling explains Sapir’s drift and unidirectionality with exceptions in language change, submitted in August 2016.
In preparation
Alina Ladygina (75%) and Igor Yanovich (25%). The rise of the 19th century English progressive: variation between individual verbs. [Tracks the rise of the English progressive on a dataset more than an order of magnitude larger than previous studies;
this allowed us to examine the change trajectories for individual verbs, which turn out to differ
Old and Pre-Modern Ukrainian maty: a triangular variable-force modal [Analyzes ‘have’-based modal in Ukrainian with meanings of possibility, necessity and the future; uses agent-based modeling to show the feasibility of the analysis.]
No weak necessity. [Argues, contra recent research, that there is no category of weak vs. strong necessity in deontic modals, and that the observed “weak necessity” effects are epiphenomenal.]
Igor Yanovich, Armin Buch, Johannes Dellert, Marisa Delz, Fabrício Marcel Ferraz Gerardi, Roland Mühlenbernd, Johannes Wahle and Gerhard Jäger: Phylogenetic divergence-age estimates support the steppe theory of Indo-European homeland. [Shows that when non-controversial prehistoric calibration constraints, based on radiocarbon dating, are included into the prior, modern bioinformatic phylogenetic methods start to support the steppe theory of Indo-European, reversing their support for the Anatolian theory as in previous research. Materials available upon request.]
Dictionary correction: a data-criticism technique for lexical-cognacy phylogenetics. [Implementation of the algorithm in R is available upon request.]
Analyzing imperfective games, accepted with revisions at Semantics and Pragmatics
Old English *motan, variable-force modality, and the presupposition of inevitable actualization, Language, 92:3, 489-521. doi:10.1353/lan.2016.0045
Expressive power of “now” and “then” operators, Journal of Logic, Language and Information, 24:1, 65–93. doi:10.1007/s10849-014-9210-3.
Handling equivalence classes of Optimality-Theoretic comparative tableaux, Journal of Language Modelling, 2:2, 285–306.
Invariantist ‘might’ and modal meaning change, Linguistics and Philosophy, 36:2, pp.175-180. doi:10.1007/s10988-013-9133-5.
Standard contextualism strikes back, Journal of Semantics 31:1, pp. 67-114.doi:10.1093/jos/ffs022.
Barbara H. Partee, Vladimir Borschev, Elena V. Paducheva, Yakov Testelets, and Igor Yanovich: The role of verb semantics in Genitive alterations: Genitive of Negation and Genitive of Intensionality, Oslo Studies in Language, 4:1, pp. 1-29.
Barbara H. Partee, Vladimir Borschev, Elena V. Paducheva, Yakov Testelets, and Igor Yanovich: Russian Genitive of Negation alternations: The role of verb semantics, ScandoSlavica, 57:2, pp. 135-159.
Articles in edited volumes
May under verbs of hoping: Evolution of the modal system in the complements of hoping verbs in Early Modern English, in Modality across Syntactic Categories, eds. Ana Arregui, María Luisa Rivero, Andrés Pablo Salanova, Oxford University Press.
Donca Steriade and Igor Yanovich: Accentual allomorphs in East Slavic: an argument for inflection dependence, in Understanding Allomorphy, eds. Eulàlia Bonet, Maria-Rosa Lloret and Joan Mascaró, Equinox.
Certain presuppositions and some intermediate readings, and vice versa, in Different kinds of specificity across languages, eds. Cornelia Ebert and Stefan Hinterwimmer, Springer, Studies in linguistics and philosophy, vol. 92, pp. 105–122.

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