QLVL members - Natalia Levshina


Natalia's main interests lie in studying constructions and semantics with the help of empirical methods. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD degree at the QLVL research unit under the supervision of Dirk Geeraerts and Dirk Speelman. Her project is a usage-based study of Dutch causative constructions with doen and laten. She also has academic and professional experience in pragmatics and Machine Translation.


E-mail: natalia.levshina@arts.kuleuven.be
Phone: ++32 16 324807
URL: natalialevshina.com
Fax: ++32 16 32 47 67
Surface mail: Department of Linguistics, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21 PO Box 03308, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium
Office: room 02.25 of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Leuven



Natalia's PhD research is a study of the distribution of 'doen' and 'laten' auxiliaries in Dutch analytical causative structures. Based on a quantitative analysis of large corpora of non-elicited language use, the study will explore the various semantic and lectal factors that influence the distribution.

The theoretical framework of the research is that of Cognitive Linguistics. According to the study by Verhagen and Kemmer (1997, Kemmer and Verhagen 1994), which stems from the 'force dynamics' theory developed by Talmy (1988), the 'doen'/'laten' distribution is associated with direct/indirect causation, correspondingly. The study is an attempt to elaborate this hypothesis by taking into account the various semantic and structural features of the causative constructions on the basis of rigorous quantitative research.

As it has been observed that 'doen' is more common in Belgian Dutch than in Netherlandic Dutch, one of the most important factors to take into account is that of language variation, which should also be tracked at the level of specific speech registers. To that end, the corpus data will consist of texts of various genres in Belgian and Netherlandic Dutch. The corpora will be tagged for a set of the above-mentioned factors, after which the multivariate analysis (specifically, logistic regression) will be applied.

Representative publications

Levshina, Natalia, Dirk Geeraerts and Dirk Speelman. In press. Mapping constructional spaces: A contrastive analysis of English and Dutch analytic causatives. Linguistics.

Levshina, Natalia, Dirk Geeraerts & Dirk Speelman. In press. Dutch causative constructions with doen and laten: Quantification of meaning and meaning of quantification. In Dylan Glynn & Justyna Robinson (eds.), Polysemy and synonymy: corpus methods and applications in Cognitive Linguistics. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Levshina, Natalia, Dirk Geeraerts and Dirk Speelman. To appear. "Changing the world vs. changing the mind: Distinctive collexeme analysis of the causative construction with doen in Belgian and Netherlandic Dutch". 111-123. In F. Gregersen, J. Parrot and P. Quist (eds.), Language variation - European perspectives III. Selected papers from the 5th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe, Copenhagen, June 2009. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Levshina, Natalia, Dirk Geeraerts and Dirk Speelman 2010. "Towards a 3D-Grammar: Variation of Dutch causative constructions. In: Pre-print of the papers presented at the 34th International LAUD symposium, March 15-18 2010, Landau/Pfalz, 71-91. Essen: LAUD Linguistic Agency.