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Andrea Sims

Andrea Sims

Andrea Sims

Associate Professor, Undergraduate Program Director, and Honors Undergraduate Advisor


314 Oxley Hall
1712 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH

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Professional Website

Office Hours

Spring 2024:
Mondays 1-2:30pm (zoom, email me for link)
Thursdays 1-2:30pm (in person, Oxley 314)
Or by appointment

Areas of Expertise

  • Morphological theory
  • Quantitative morphology and quantitative typology
  • Emergent properties of inflectional systems
  • Structure of the lexicon
  • South Slavic linguistics, Russian linguistics


  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Northwestern University, 2006-08
  • Ph.D. in Linguistics, The Ohio State University, 2006
  • M.A. in Russian Linguistics, The Ohio State University, 2003
  • M.A. in Linguistics, The Ohio State University, 2001
  • A.B. in Anthropology, The University of Chicago, 1999


I am fascinated by morphological systems and investigate them from synchronic, diachronic, and typological perspective.

When morphology develops out of phonology or syntax, a frequent hallmark of this change is the splintering of a single, broad generalization into a series of more fragmentary and morpholexically-specific generalizations. The resulting 'idiosyncracies', far from being exceptions, have the potential to tell us how lexical distributions shape the emergence, evolution, reinforcement, and generalization of morphological structures. (This makes me an inveterate fox in Isaiah Berlin's fox-hedgehog continuum.) I use a variety of methods to explore these issues, including quantitative corpus methods, computational modeling (in collaboration with colleagues), and classic linguistic description. Reflecting a 'morphocentric' perspective, I tend to engage with aspects of morphological structure that cannot be reduced to phonology or syntax. 

I have worked on inflection class structure (e.g. using information theory and graph theory); inflectional defectiveness (paradigmatic gaps), syncretism, and other form-meaning mismatches; the morphological structure of the lexicon; derivational affix combinability restrictions; and cross-linguistic differences in morphological organization. I work mostly on South Slavic/Balkan languages -- especially Croatian (Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin) -- Russian, and Greek, and sometimes other languages. For example, while I am not a sign language expert, I've been lucky to work with collaborators on telicity in American Sign Language and I am currently working to incorporate information about sign languages' morphology into the next edition of my textbook, Understanding Morphology.

For more information, see the Morphological Systems Group page. Papers can be downloaded from my researchgate.net page. R scripts for graph-theoretic investigation of inflectional systems can be downloaded from my github page. In June 2021 I was featured on the Arts and Sciences' Voices of Excellence podcast, available on Soundcloud and iTunes.

Current postdoctoral fellow: Maria Copot. Current Ph.D. advisees: Sara Court, Noah Diewald, Martha Booker Johnson, David King, Connor Rouillier

Affiliated with the Buckeye Language Network, Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Center for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, Computational Social Sciences Community of Practice

Co-Editor of Word Structure

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