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Dr. Nurit Melnik, Senior Lecturer

Contact Info

The Open University of Israel Department of Literature, Language and the Arts 1 University Road, P.O.B. 808, Ra’anana 4353701, Israel
Office:972-9-7781341 Fax:972-9-7780111 Email:nuritme@openu.ac.il

Areas Of Interest
  • Syntax
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Cognitive Science

1997-2002
University of California at Berkeley, Department of Linguistics
Ph.D. in Linguistics, 2002
Dissertation: “Verb-Initial Constructions in Modern Hebrew”
Committee: Andreas Kathol (chair), Paul Kay, Johanna Nichols
M.A. in Linguistics, 1999
1989-1996
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Studies towards an M.A. in an Individual Graduate Program in Cognitive Studies (ABD)
B.Sc. in Computer Science and in General Studies in the Humanities, 1993
2018-
Senior Lecturer, The Open University​
2013-2018
Lecturer, The Open University
2010-2012
Visiting Lecturer, The Open University
2008 - 2010
Head of the M.Ed. program in Foreign Language Teaching, Oranim Academic College
2015-2016
Lecturer, Oranim Academic College
2006
Adjunct Lecturer, University of Haifa
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Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG)
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Israeli Association of Theoretical Linguistics (IATL)

2018 “Existentials and possessives in Modern Hebrew: Variation and change". Studies in Language 42(2), 391-419.

2017 “Seeking control in Modern Standard Arabic”. Glossa: A journal of general linguistics 2(1), 1-41. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.295. (co-authors: Tali Arad Greshler and Shuly Wintner)

2017 “Representing argument structure in computational grammars”. Journal of Linguistics 53(4), 701-750. (co-authors: Livnat Herzig Sheinfux, Tali Arad Greshler and Shuly Wintner)

2017 “Raising, inversion and agreement in Modern Hebrew”. Journal of Linguistics 53(2), 147-179.

2014 “Language change in spoken Hebrew: Existence and possession”. Hebrew Linguistics: A Journal for Hebrew Descriptive, Computational and Applied Linguistics, 68, 67-82. [in Hebrew]

2007 “From 'hand-written' to computationally implemented HPSG theories”. Research on Language and Computation 5(2), 199-236.

2006 “A constructional approach to verb-initial constructions in Modern Hebrew”. Cognitive Linguistics 17(2), 153-198.

1997 “The sound system of Lai”. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 20(2), 9-21.

1997 “Verbal alternations in Lai”. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 20(2), 151-160.

2018 Symmetry and Asymmetry in the Hebrew copula construction”. In Stefan Müller & Frank Richter, eds., Proceedings of the 2017 HPSG Conference (pp. 44-60). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

2017 “Backward control in Modern Standard Arabic”. In Stefan Müller, ed., Proceedings of the 2017 HPSG Conference (pp. 44-60). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. (co-author: Tali Arad Greshler)

2016 Reference patterns in subjunctive complement clauses of Modern Standard Arabic”. In Stefan Müller, ed., Proceedings of the Joint 2016 Conference on HPSG and LFG (pp. 4-22). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. (co-authors: Tali Arad Greshler, Livnat Herzig Sheinfux and Shuly Wintner)

2015 “Hebrew Verbal Multi-Word Expressions”. In Stefan Müller, ed., Proceedings of the 2015 HPSG Conference (pp. 122-135). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. (co-authors: Livnat Herzig Sheinfux, Tali Arad Greshler and Shuly Wintner)

2015 “Development of Maximally Reusable Grammars: Parallel Development of Hebrew and Arabic Grammars”. In Stefan Müller, ed., Proceedings of the 2015 HPSG Conference (pp. 27-40). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. (co-authors: Tali Arad Greshler, Livnat Herzig Sheinfux and Shuly Wintner)

2013 “Nonverbal Predicates in Modern Hebrew". In Stefan Müller, ed., Proceedings of the 2013 HPSG Conference (pp. 69-89). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. (co-authors: Petter Haugereid and Shuly Wintner)

2007 “Extending partial pro-drop in Modern Hebrew: A comprehensive analysis”. In Stefan Müller, ed., Proceedings of the 2007 HPSG Conference (pp. 173-193). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

2006 “Hybrid agreement as a conflict resolution strategy”. In Stefan Müller, ed., Proceedings of the 2006 HPSG Conference (pp. 228-246). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

2005 “From 'hand-written' to implemented HPSG theories”. In Stefan Müller, ed., Proceedings of the 2005 HPSG Conference (pp. 311-321). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

Forthcoming “Verbal MWEs: Idiomaticity and flexibility”. In Yannick Parmentier & Jakub Waszczuk, eds., Representation and Parsing of Multi-Word Expressions: Current trends. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Forthcoming “Language Change as a Solution”. In Ruth A. Berman, ed., Change and Variation in Language. Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. [In Hebrew]

2013 “Agreement”. In Geoffrey Khan, ed., Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Leiden/Boston: Brill

2013 “Impersonal Constructions”. In Geoffrey Khan, ed., Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Leiden/Boston: Brill

2015 Proceedings of the 30th meeting of the Israeli Association for Theoretical Linguistics. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

2014 Proceedings of the 29th meeting of the Israeli Association for Theoretical Linguistics. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

2017  “Semantics”, “Pragmatics”, “Language and Computers”, “Language and Thought”, chapters in The Study of Language: Foundations and Applications. [in Hebrew]

2015 Language and Cognition. [in Hebrew]

2018 "Moving Meaning into Motion: Context and Syntax and the Cause-Directed-Motion Construction in Hebrew". Presented at The 10th International Conference on Construction Grammar, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. (co-author: Bracha Nir)​ ​

2018 "From ‘come out’ to ‘outcome’ in Hebrew and English". Presented at The 10th International Conference on Construction Grammar, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. (co-author: Miriam R.L. Petruck)​

2016 "Towards a classification of Hebrew verbal MWEs". Poster presented at the PARSEME 7th general meeting, Dubrovnik, Croatia. (co-authors: Livnat Herzig Sheinfux and Shuly Wintner)

2016 "The development of the VOS construction". Presented at The Language contact, language continuity and change, and the emergence of Modern Hebrew workshop, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

2016 "Psych-verbs and subjecthood in Modern Hebrew". Presented at The Forty Years after Keenan 1976: Subject Properties and Subject Tests workshop, Ghent University, Belgium.

2016 "Hebrew Multi-Word expressions and their incorporation into a deep, linguistically-motivated grammar of Hebrew". Presented at The Israeli Seminar on Computational Linguistics, Haifa, Israel. (co-author: Shuly Wintner)

2015 “Accounting for Hebrew verbal MWEs in HPSG”. Poster presented at PARSEME 4th general meeting, Malta. (co-authors: Livnat Herzig Sheinfux and Shuly Wintner)

2014 “A Deep Computational Grammar of Hebrew”. Poster presented at The Israeli Seminar on Computational Linguistics, Haifa, Israel. (co-authors: Livnat Herzig Sheinfux, Petter Haugereid and Shuly Wintner)

2014 “Towards a large-scale, wide-coverage HPSG grammar of Hebrew”. Presented at the 2nd Workshop on HPSG, Paris, France. (co-authors: Livnat Herzig Sheinfux, Petter Haugereid and Shuly Wintner)

2010 “Modal predicates in Modern Hebrew: A comprehensive analysis”. Presented at the 17th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Paris, France.

2010 “Linguistic corpora as an empowering tool for English teachers”. Presented at the 6th International ETAI, Jerusalem Israel.

2009 “When subjects become objects”. Accepted for presentation at the Eleventh International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Berkeley, CA (conference canceled), and presented at the Cognitive and Construction-Based Approaches to Syntactic Evolution theme session of the 2009 Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Conference.

2006 “Improving statistical machine translation by means of transfer rules”. Presented at the Research Workshop of the Israel Science Foundation on Large-scale Grammar Development and Grammar Engineering, Haifa, Israel.

2004 “A constructional approach to inverted constructions in Modern Hebrew”. Presented at the Third International Conference on Construction Grammar, Marseille, France.

1999 “A multiple-inheritance hierarchical representation of Hebrew adjectives of enablement”. Presented at the Workshop on Semitic Morphology at the LSA Summer Institute in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

My research is drawn to two opposing poles in linguistic theory. On the one hand, as a formal generative linguist my goal is to contribute to the endeavor of developing a formal, descriptively adequate theory of language. To this end I am actively engaged in linguistic research within the framework of Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG), a constraint-based grammar theory. I adopted HPSG for my linguistic research, mainly due to its precise formalism and logical and mathematical foundations, which make it amenable to computational implementation.
On the other hand, my ongoing engagement with corpus data has led me to question the generativist view of grammar as a perfect system. Rather, the image that I form from a usage-based perspective is described eloquently by Sapir’s famous quote: “Unfortunately, or luckily, no language is tyrannically consistent. All grammars leak...”. Consequently, in my work I strive to push the formal approach to its limits, while acknowledging and even celebrating the imperfections, or in other words – the leaks. Both perspectives, I believe, offer us complementary windows into the mind.

2015
Israel Science Foundation (ISF), workshop grant, Grammar development: Multilingual aspects of the syntax-semantics interface (68,000NIS, PI, with co-PI Shuly Wintner).
2011-2015
Israel Science Foundation (ISF), research grant, Grammar Engineering (US $200,000, PI, with co-PI Shuly Wintner).