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Ivona Kučerová, PhD

Director of ARiEAL

Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics & Languages, McMaster University

Director, Syntax Lab, Department of Linguistics & Languages, McMaster University

Togo Salmon Hall, Room 509, McMaster University
1280 Main Street West


Office Phone: (905) 525-9140 x23456



Dr. Ivona Kučerová is the current ARiEAL Director, and her 5-year term started on July 1, 2021. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Languages, and the director of the Syntax Lab at McMaster University. She received her PhD in Linguistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2007 and held a postdoctoral appointment at the Division of Psychology at University College London, UK. 

Dr. Kučerová’s research focuses on phenomena that shed light on the division of labour between narrow syntax and its interfaces, especially the syntax-semantics interface. In particular, Dr. Kučerová is interested in the question of whether semantic information can modulate syntactic derivation, and if so, how exactly the information is passed on to the narrow syntax module. This overarching question comprises several subquestions: (i) is the mapping between syntax and semantics isomorphic, or is it subject to some form of computational economy? (ii) what units of syntactic structure may directly access information from the semantic module? (iii) how do we define these syntactic units? (iv) once we isolate the semantic input, do syntactic operations obey locality and other deterministic restrictions hypothesized to hold of syntactic computations? In addition to theoretical linguistics work, Dr. Kučerová engages with experimental syntax research (she has recently been awarded CFI JELF funding to build an EEG and eye-tracking lab) and Indigenous research in the context of language revitalization (a new Partnership Development Grant). In her free time, she dubs as a computational linguist. 

Representative Publications

Bartošová, J., Chapman, C., Kučerová, I., & Service, E. (2021). Making semantic commitments can be delayed: Evidence from aspectual processing. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale, 75(1), 77–92.

Kučerová, I. (2020). Labeling as two-stage process: Evidence from semantic agreement. In Jeroen van Craenenbroeck, Cora Pots, and Tanja Temmerman (eds.), Recent Developments in Phase Theory. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton, 183-212.

Kučerová, I. (2019). On the role of person in the mapping of syntactic features onto their interpretable counterparts. Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 64(4), 649–672.

Kučerová, I., & Szczegielniak, A. (2019). Roots, their structure and consequences for derivational timing. Linguistic Review, 36(3), 365–387.

Kučerová, I. (2018). ɸ-Features at the Syntax-Semantics Interface: Evidence from Nominal Inflection. Linguistic Inquiry, 49(4), 813–845.

Kučerová, I. (2018). The double life of gender and its structural consequences: A case study from Standard Italian. In Eric Mathieu (ed.) Gender. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

DeClaire, R., Johns, A., & Kučerová, I. (2017). On optionality in Mohawk noun incorporation. Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics, 39 (A special issue on indigenous languages), 1–10.

Johns, A. & Kučerová, I. (2017). On the morphosyntactic reflexes of information structure in the ergative patterning of the Inuit language. In Coon, J., Massam, D., & Travis, L. D. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Ergativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 397–418.

Kučerová, I. (2017). On labeling of DP coordinations and the lack of φ-feature resolution in syntactic Agree. In Lamont, A & Tetzloff, K (eds.) NELS 47: Proceedings of the Forty-Seventh Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society. Amherst: University of Massachusetts.

Kučerová, I. (2017). Beyond Russian: On Dnom, Person and Case. In Halpert, C., Kotek, H., & Urk, C. van (eds.) A Pesky Set: Papers for David Pesetsky. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Bartošová, J. & Kučerová, I. (2015). Instrumental Situations: On Case Marking in Copular Clauses in Czech. In Oseki, Y., Esipova, M., & Harves, S. (eds.) Proceedings of the 24th Meeting of Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1–21.

Current Graduate Students / Postdoctoral Fellows

  • , PhD Student, Cognitive Science of Language Program, Department of Linguistics & Languages, McMaster University
  • , PhD student, Cognitive Science of Language Program, Department of Linguistics & Languages, McMaster University
  • , MSc Student, Cognitive Science of Language Program, Department of Linguistics & Languages, McMaster University
  • MSc Student, Cognitive Science of Language Program, Department of Linguistics & Languages, McMaster University