Odjel za lingvistiku

Research projects

Current projects:

Multilingualism: between theory and empirical knowledge (1.10.2023. - 30.9.2025.)
Project leader: Marco Angster, associate professor
Researchers at the University of Zadar: Marijana Kresić Vukosav, full professor; Mia Batinić Angster, assistant professor; Metka Bezlaj, teaching assistant (Department of Linguistics); Jakov Proroković, teaching assistant (Department of Teacher and Preschool Teacher Education)
Researchers from other universities: Livio Gaeta, full professor (University of Turin); Gordana Hržica, associate professor (University of Zagreb)
About the project:
Due to recent social and migration trends, bilingualism and multilingualism have today become a common phenomenon (cf. Hržica et al. 2015: 35). It can be said that multilingualism in contemporary society is "the norm rather than the exception" (Gosselin 2021: 1). On the one hand, the number of children exposed to multiple languages from birth is steadily growing (cf. e.g. Nicoladis and Montanari 2016, Batinić Angster and Angster 2022), on the other hand communities where multilingualism is part of daily life, such as the Walser-German minorities in north-western Italy, become endangered because one of the languages in the repertoire is a minority language and the number of its speakers is decreasing day by day (see, for example, Angster 2014, Angster and Gaeta 2021 on the situation of the Walser variety of Gressoney). Documenting and describing the language of both groups of speakers is therefore essential, as well as the analysis of certain phenomena that are characteristic of the linguistic ability of multilingual speakers. A phenomenon that manifests itself as a result of language contact – both at the level of the language community and in the mind of a bilingual/multilingual speaker – is code-switching, i.e. code-mixing. (Angster and Batinić Angster 2022). Code-switching is considered a “hallmark of bilingual processing” (Van Hell et al. 2019) and a speech style common to fluent bilingual speakers (MacSwan 2005). An insight into the linguistic literature (Grimstad 2009, Matras 2009, Muysken 2000) shows that the possibility of distinguishing between two phenomena is often discussed: code switching and borrowing. The goals of this project are to collect linguistic data of the mentioned two groups of speakers and to reexamine, on the basis of the empirical data issued from the corpus that will be created, the theoretical assumptions related to these two phenomena and to gain knowledge about the nature of (bi-/multi-)lingual ability.

Project web-page: https://viteprojekt.wordpress.com/vite/about/


Syntactic and semantic analysis of arguments and adjuncts in Croatia – SARGADA (IP-2019-04-7896, Hrvatska zaklada za znanost), 2020-2024.

Project leader: Matea Birtić, PhD (Institute for Croatian Language and Linguistics)

Researcher at the Department of Linguistics: Mia Batinić Angster, PhD

Project web-page: http://ihjj.hr/sargada/


Parallel Corpus in Romance Languages and Croatian (RomCro) (institutional research project at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 i 2024.) 

Project leader: Gorana Bikić-Carić, associate professor, PhD

associate professor
associate professor
associate professor

Researcher at the Department of Linguistics: Metka Bezlaj 

About the project: 

The project started at the Chair of Romance Linguistics of the Department of Romance Languages and Literature of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. Its ultimate goal is to compile an annotated and aligned multilingual and multidirectional corpus which includes five Romance languages ​​ (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) and Croatian.

Project web-page: http://www.ffzg.unizg.hr/roman/odsjek/projekti/romcro/


Commodification of languages and dialects in minority contexts (KoDiMaK) (University of Zadar research project no. IP-UNIZD-2021-01, 1 September 2021 – 31 August 2023) 

Project leader:  Ivana Škevin Rajko, associate professor 

Researcher at the Department of Linguistics: Lucija Šimičić, associate professor 

Project web-page: https://talijanistika.unizd.hr/kodimak 


Minority languages and cultures as an economic resource in local branding     and tourism promotion (Scientific & Technological Cooperation between Croatia and Austria 2022-23) 

Project leaders: Lucija Šimičić, assoc. prof., University of Zadar and Katharina Tyran, PhD, University of Vienna 

About the project: 

The project is aimed at exploring a variety of ways in which minority languages are employed in local and regional place branding and tourism promotion, and comparing the relative presence of minority languages with the use of other linguistic resources as a part of the tourist offer in Zadar (Croatia), which is a traditionally recognized tourist destination on the Adriatic coast, and in the Austrian provinces of Burgenland, Carinthia and Styria, which are the home to two out of six officially recognized minority communities – the Croatian and the Slovene. 


Finished projects:

Challenges in the Humanities and Social Sciences: New Study Programs and Quality Assurance at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (European Social Fund, UP., duration of the project: 22 March 2019. - 22 March 2022)

Project leader: Prof. Dragan Bagić, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 

Work group coordinator in the field of linguistics: Ida Raffaelli, full professor 

Project collaborators at the Department of Linguistics: Marijana Kresić Vukosav, full professor & Lucija Šimičić, associate professor 

About the project: 

In collaboration with eight higher education institutions, the project will develop seven occupational standards and eleven qualification standards. Based on the newly developed standards, the existing study programs in the field of psychology, linguistics, phonetics and English will be revised, along with the development of three completely new graduate study programs at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. To strengthen capacity, the project will educate about 160 members of teaching and non-teaching staff and aims at significantly improving the participating institutions' quality assurance system, significantly contributing to the efficiency and transparency of management. 

Project web-page: https://hko.ffzg.unizg.hr/ 


Dialects of Makarska Coast: diachrony and synchrony (Croatian Science Foundation, IP-2016-06-8448, 20 March 2017 – 19 March 2021)

Project leader:  Ivana Kurtović Budja, PhD (Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics)  

Researcher at the Department of Linguistics: Lucija Šimičić, associate professor 

Project web-page: https://bastina.jezik.hr/gomapri/ 


Factors of sustainability of linguistic minorities in the Adriatic region: comparative study of sociolinguistic profiles of Molise Croatian, Zaratino and Arbanasi communities (Adris Foundation, 2015-2017)

Project leader: Lucija Šimičić, assistant professor 

About the project: 

Due to historical migrations and the specific geographical, demographic and socio-cultural circumstances, there are several seriously endangered language communities on both sides of the Adriatic coast nowadays (Moseley et al., 2010). The aim of this one-year research project is to gain insight into the similarities and differences in the sociolinguistic profile of three such communities – the Arbanasi and Zaratino language minorities in Zadar and the Croatian language minority in the Italian region of Molise, and to assess their ethnolinguistic vitality as one of the key elements of ethnolinguistic sustainability (Ehala 2009, 2010, 2011). The research develops from the idea that the same factors that can lead to the suppression of ethnolinguistic vitality can also contribute to slowing down negative trends that ultimately lead to impoverishment of the linguistic and cultural landscape. In addition to the comparative analysis of the three language communities, the aim of the project is to examine the suitability of the methodology used so far in research on ethnolinguistic vitality of small and vulnerable communities. Given the specifics of the three communities under study, both throughout history and today, we anticipate that it will be necessary to modify existing instruments to adapt them to the specifics of diagnosing the degree of vitality in very small and often highly assimilated communities where only a small part of the elderly population still uses the community's heritage language. These findings will be obtained through preliminary research and intensive field work in all three communities. The innovativeness of the project lies in a holistic approach to the complex issue of language maintenance and shift as a prerequisite for language management and possible revitalization initiatives in these communities at the micro- and macro-levels. 


Promoting multilingualism in Zadar: Ethnolinguistic vitality of Arbanasi (European Social Fund, HR 3.2.01-0347, 2015-2016) 

Project leader: Klara Bilić Meštrić, PhD 

Project coordinator / scientific supervisor: Lucija Šimičić, assistant professor 

About the project: 

The goal of this project is to research the factors that help maintanin, but also those that cause the change and/or loss of the language of the Arbanasi of Zadar. In the context of sociolinguistic research, ethnolinguistic vitality usually refers to the preservation of one's own language and identity, and a high degree of vitality implies a positive perception of the community among the members of the community, but also more widely. One of the outcomes of the project will be the proposal of concrete measures for the maintenance of one of the most endangered languages in Croatia in cooperation with members of the community itself. The knowledge and experiences that will be gained during the implementation of this research will help in further elaboration of the theoretical framework and research methodology of processes that affect endangered and sometimes invisible linguistic minority communities elsewhere in the world. The project is thus important both for Zadar and for the wider scientific community. It is known that the maintenance of local languages is a prerequisite for the preservation of the overall system of local social microsystems and a sustainable development at the local level. Moreover, the purpose of the project is to strengthen the research competencies of a young researcher (postdoc) by encouraging his/her professional development through education, mobility and networking with relevant institutions in the field of research, as well as through dissemination of research results aimed at increasing the visibility of the Arbanasi language. 


Coordinated Research in the Experimental Morphosyntax of South Slavic Languages (EMSS) (Leverhulm Trust, http://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/, duration of the project: 2014-2017)

Project leader: Andrew Nevins, University College London, UK

Network Coordinator: Jana Willer Gold, University College London, UK 

Network partners: Marijana Kresić Vukosav, Mia Batinić, Frane Malenica (University of Zadar)/Nedžad Leko, Nermina Čordarlija (University of Sarajevo)/Boban Arsenijević, Ivana Mitić, Branimir Stanković (University of Niš)/Anita Peti-Stantić, Jelena Tušek (University of Zagreb), Tanja Milićev, Nataša Milićević (University of Novi Sad), Lanko Marušič, Tina Šuligoj (University of Nova Gorica) 

About the project:

The combinatorial possibilities provided by the unique number and gender morphology of the South Slavic languages create a rich array of morphosyntactic variability both within and across speakers in this language area. While a long dialectal tradition classifies local varieties in terms of lexical items (specifically, words for ‘what’), the present project aims to leverage experimental psycholinguistic research as a means of charting the morphosyntaxes of these languages. The Network resulted in a set of coordinated endeavors through research meetings, on-site expertise transfer, and digital resource sharing to foster a new set of collaborative partnerships addressing questions in geographically-based variation alongside morphosyntactic theory through the use of parallel research cooperation in experimental methods. 

Project web-page: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/pals/research/linguistics/linguistics-research/recently-funded-projects/coordinated-research-experimental 


Transfer as a strategy in foreign language learning (University of Zadar, Croatian Science Foundation, duration of the project: 2/1/2010 – 30/06/2013)

Project leader: Marijana Kresić Vukosav 

PhD students: Tanja Gulan, Mia Batinić 

About the project: 

The project contributed to improving the methodology of teaching foreign languages by making systematic use of a process naturally occurring in the acquisition of second and other languages: the transfer of rules and elements from previously learned languages when acquiring a new language. The research conducted in the frame of the project was based on the claim that, in the context of a growing societal need for multilingual competences, foreign language learning should take advantage of the rich knowledge and competence that learners already have when engaging in the acquisition of a new language. 


Perception and articulation in Croatian (Funded by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport as part of the research programme: Hrvatska Jezična Mrežna Riznica, duration of the project: 2007-2011)

Project leader: Malgorzata E. Ćavar 
Project collaborators:
Damir Ćavar, Antonio Oštarić (University of Zadar), Silke Hamann (Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf) 
About the project:

The project focused on the influence of the quantitative aspects of language on perception and articulation. The first step to take was to create a sub-corpus of the Croatian language that is appropriate for the phonetic/phonological analysis, by adding phonetic, phonological or suprasegmental labels in the existing corpus, the Croatian Language Web Repository. Further, we studied the perception of phonological units depending on phonetic and phonological factors, within the mother tongue (L1) as well as in the process of the acquisition of an L2. The final part of the project consisted in analysing the potential influence of the distributional properties of sounds of L1 on the perception.