Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics (CASTL)
CASTL is a Norwegian Center of Excellence in theoretical linguistics with a lively graduate school and research atmosphere. Our research spans syntax, phonology, and language acquisition.CASTL is a research center at the University of Tromsø (UiT), housing an international team of researchers. CASTL also runs one of UiT’s special graduate schools (forskerskoler), providing an active, intense, and informal research atmosphere for our graduate students, with several research seminars and colloquia every week. CASTL’s work is organized around a core group of senior researchers: Bruce Morén-Duolljá, Gillian Ramchand, Michal Starke, Peter Svenonius, Tarald Taraldsen, and Marit Westergaard. Our research combines novel theoretical work with careful and detailed empirical investigations in linguistics. The syntax group (Ramchand, Starke, Svenonius, Taraldsen) is exploring a new approach to language - nanosyntax - which builds on the wide-ranging empirical generalisations made in the Principles and Parameters tradition, and by the recent structural semantics research. On the empirical side, we are deeply committed to comparative work, and to an integration of morphological, semantic and syntactic cues. Our research includes a range of subprojects, among which a detailed and cross-linguistic investigation of prepositions and space (Moving Right Along), and an investigation of micro-parametric variation in Nordic dialects (NORMS). The phonology group (led by Morén-Duolljá) is exploring a phonology which is strictly separated from phonetics ("substance-free") and where much of the structure is emergent from general principles rather than given by Universal Grammar ("minimalist"). This research is divided into two main subprojects: one on feature theory (the internal representation of segments) and one on prosodic theory (how segments relate to one another). The acquisition group (led by Westergaard) is exploring children's sensitivity to micro-variation in the input within a new approach to language acquisition and change - based on micro-cues. CASTL also maintains an Affiliate Program, integrating researchers from the Department of Language and Linguistics with the work done at CASTL. CASTL is overseen by a board comprised of:
- Kirsti Koch Christensen (chair), University of Bergen
- Hans Bennis, Meertens Institute, Amsterdam
- Elisabet Engdahl, University of Göteborg
- Magne Arve Flaten, Tromsø University
- Peter Svenonius, Tromsø University
- Eva Dekany, Tromsø University
- Substitute: David Adger, University of London
CASTL also maintains an affiliate program, bringing together researchers from the University of Tromsø whose work is closely related to CASTL's.
Please see the individual "affiliated projects" for more information about our work and results.