The University of Sheffield
Russian and Slavonic Studies

Dr Dagmar DivjakDagmar Divjak

BA (KULeuven, Belgium), MA (KULeuven, Belgium), Academic Teacher Training (KULeuven, Belgium), Specialization in Polish Language and Culture (UJ Krakow, Poland), PhD (KULeuven, Belgium)

Reader in Slavonic Languages and Linguistics

Contact details

Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 7401

Email :


After obtaining my PhD in Russian Linguistics from the KULeuven in 2004, I spent one year at the UNC at Chapel Hill (USA, 2004-2005) and one year at the University of Stockholm (Sweden, 2005-2006) as a Postdoctoral Fellow specializing in Slavic Comparative Linguistics.

I joined the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield (UK) in September 2006 as a Lecturer in Slavonic Languages and Linguistics and was promoted to Reader in January 2012. I am Director of Russian & Polish Studies, serve as Research Ethics Coordinator for the School of Languages & Cultures and co-direct the Centre for Linguistic Research.

Research interests

My main research interests are in understanding how our cognitive capacities give rise to the patterns and structures we see in language and in charting what language has to offer the learner in his/her quest for meaning. Because of my background in usage-based cognitive linguistics, frequency in all its guises plays a central role in my work. (For a more detailed description of my research follow the link).

Among other duties, I am president of the Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Association (SCLA) and sit on the editorial boards of the journals Cognitive Linguistics and Linguistics. I am outgoing linguistics stream organizer for BASEES, the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies.

Research students

Jane Klavan (Tartu University, Estonia) successfully defended her PhD November 2012. She worked on constructional synonymy using corpus-based and experimental techniques. Click here to access the dissertation.

Nina Szymor is working on a cognitive, corpus-based study of semantic differences in the expression of modality between translated and non-translated Polish texts. Her work links in with the SemNet project (The Structure of Semantic Networks in Translation) led by Dr Gert De Sutter (Ghent University, Belgium), on which I am co-investigator.

I am co-supervisor for David Lloyd (motion lexicalisation in Spanish and Catalan) and second supervisor for Teresa Wigglesworth-Baker (the status of Russian in Tatarstan) and Dario Lečić (morphological variation in Croatian).

I am a member of the dissertation committee for Lore Vandevoorde (SemNet, Ghent University).

Selected recent publications


Edited volumes

Divjak 2010



Divjak & Kochanska 2007

Peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters

Recent keynote presentations


Linguistics, in collaboration with Professor Neil Bermel

Russian, in collaboration with Mrs Linda Hanna, Mr Adam Fergus, Ms Marianna Ivanova and Ms Liudmila Nedialkova

Polish, in collaboration with Mrs Anna Socha-Michalik

I supervise teaching on all other modules offered within the Polish program and oversee the development of innovative teaching materials