About me

Laura A. Janda

As a graduate student at UCLA in the 1980s I completed two advanced degrees concurrently: a PhD in Slavic Linguistics and a Certificate in Language Teaching Pedagogy through the English Department (ESL). The purpose of the second degree was to gain full mastery of theoretical and practical pedagogical competence in second language teaching, since I was preparing myself for a career in the classroom. The excellence of the pedagogical preparation in the ESL department at UCLA was world famous. Taking that extra degree was my own initiative, and it paid off well. My pedagogical training sparked a lifelong love of teaching. As a result, my whole career has been devoted to language teaching and research that supports it. My first book (A Semantic Analysis of the Russian Verbal Prefixes ZA-, PERE-, DO- and OT- 1986) was on the leading edge in the field of cognitive linguistics and the first to show the radial category semantic structure of Russian prefixes. My monograph on case semantics (A Geography of Case Semantics: The Czech Dative and the Russian Instrumental 1993) demonstrated the same structure for the grammatical category of case, inspiring two research-based handbooks on case for advanced learners of Czech and Russian. In 2004 I published innovative insights into the metaphorical structure of Russian aspect, and this spilled over into creative new approaches to teaching. My aspectual clusters model came out in 2007, giving a typology of perfective types in Russian. In 2012 I made the novel proposal that Russian prefixes should be considered a verb classifier system, and this proposal is extended to all types of perfectives and all Slavic languages in an article published in Lingua in 2015. In a series of articles 2009–2014 together with co-authors I launched various types of linguistic profiling: grammatical profiling, constructional profiling, semantic profiling, and radial category profiling. In addition to scholarly publications on linguistic topics, I have published five textbooks and authored or contributed to eight internet-based resources for learners.

My UiT Personkort

My personal Homepage