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France  Anglais  Last update : 20/01/2015     

Géraldine WALTHER






  Training and professional background
  Research interests
  Main publications and conferences

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at DDL (Dynamique du Langage) in Lyon, working on a typological approach to the structural properties in morphological systems.

I am interested the study of structural properties of morphological systems from a typological perspective. My project investigates the degree of internal cohesion within those systems as well as the role of morphology and morphological units within the broader linguistic system. The approach is at the same time typological,  formal and quantitative. It focuses specifically on system-level patters of morphological organisation and their consequences for cognitive processing and development, as well as for diachronic change. Phenomena under investigation principally involve the distribution and sharing of linguistic information between morphology and its interfaces, issues that arise in segmentation and in the definition of morphological units, and those that arise in identifying the descriptive features best suited for describing morphological systems.
The aim of this project is to use and develop new structural complexity measures based on two complementary approaches. The first relies on implemented formal descriptions of morphological data and explicit metrics for evaluating descriptions. The second incorporates maximally a-theoretic quantitative approaches that aim at directly extracting structural properties from raw data.
The typological perspective of this project is reflected in the range of languages investigated, from Romance and Uralic, via Dogon and Bantu, to Cariban and Athabaskan. A significant part of the  empirical work of the project focuses more specifically on detailed studies and descriptions of the structural properties within the rich morphological systems exhibited by the Kiranti languages of Nepal.



  1. 2013       PhD in LinguisticsLinguistique Théorique, Formelle et Automatique,
    Université Paris Diderot, Paris (France)
                    Defended June 11th 2013
                    Title: “De la canonicité en morphologie: perspective empirique,théorique
                    et computationnelle.”
    Summa Cum Laude: “mention très honorable avec les félicitations du
                     jury à l’unanimité”
    Translated title: “On canonicity in morphology: an empirical, formal and 
                    computational approach”

                    Defended June 11th 2013
                    Supervisors:    Anne ABEILLÉ (LLF, Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7) &
                                            Olivier BONAMI (LLF, Université Paris Sorbonne, Paris IV)
    Committee:     Greville G. CORBETT (Univ. of Surrey, referee),
                                            Bernard FRADIN (LLF, CNRS, president),
                                            Nabil HATHOUT (CLLE-ERSS, CNRS, referee),
                                            Gregory T. STUMP (Univ. of Kentucky, ext. examiner)

  2. 2007      Master in LinguisticsLinguistique et Diversité des Langues INALCO
                    Paris (France)
                    Title: “Le marquage casuel — étude appliqué à quatre langues de l’aire 
                    linguistique de l’Asie du Sud.”
    Magna Cum Laude: “mention bien”
    Translated title: “Case marking — a study applied to four languages of 
                    the South-Asian linguistic area”
    Supervisor:    Annie MONTAUT (Sedyl, INALCO)

  3. 2006      Concours de l'Agrégation externe d'allemand Accepted 21st 
                    ENS-LSH, Lyon (France)
                    Highly competitive selection process for a permanent secondary school 
                    teacher position in German 

  4. 2004       Bachelor  in Linguistics Université Lumière, Lyon 2 (France)

  5.                 Magna Cum Laude: “mention bien”

  6. 2004       Bachelor in German Language and Literature Université Lumière
                    Lyon 2 et ENS-LSH, Lyon (France)

  7.                  Cum Laude: “mention assez-bien”

  8. 2004        Certificate of Advanced English (CAEUniversity of Cambridge

  9. 2003       Concours d'entrée à l'École Normale Supérieure Lettres et

  10.                 Sciences Humaines Accepted 19th Lycée Henri IV, Paris (France)
                    Highly competitive selection process for admission at the ENS-LSH

  11. 2001       Baccalauréat Série Scientifique Spécialité mathématiques
                    Lycée Lakanal, Sceaux (France)

  12.                 Cum Laude: “mention assez-bien”

  13.                 A-levels with specialisation in science, esp. mathematics

  14. 2001       Concours Général d'allemand Lycée Lakanal, Sceaux (France)





  • Development of PARSLI, a formal morphological framework
  • Inflectional morphology, esp. inflectional irregularities
  • Interfaces and boundaries between morphology and phonology, syntax, and the lexicon
  • Morphological properties of neologisms and loans

Linguistic Typology

Linguistic Complexity

  • Minimum Description Length based measures for linguistic data evaluation
  • Complexity constraints on language processing and language development
  • Information load distribution
  • Evaluation of competing morphological descriptions
  • Linguistic complexity assessment
  • Structural similarity across languages

Kiranti Languages

  • Description of the kulung language
  • Kiranti verbal inflection

Lexical Resources

  • Definition of a typologically sound lexical framework
  • Lexical resource development

Other topics

  • Unsupervised and semi-supervised approaches to morphology
    (in collaboration with Lionel Nicolas, Univ. de Nice, and Benoît Sagot, Alpage)
  • Case marking in South Asian Languages
  • Sorani Kurdish verbal morphology
  • Sorani Kurdish endoclitic placement




2015             Lecturer (vacataire), Univ. Lyon Lumière, Lyon, France.
                        French linguistics, 3rd-year Bachelor students: morphology (21h).


2013-2014    Assistant Professor (ATER), Univ. Lumière, Lyon 2, Lyon, France, 
                        Research methodology, 1st-year Bachelor students (63h).
                        French linguistics, 1st-year Bachelor students: phonetics and 
                        phonology (21h). 
                        General linguistics, 1st-year Bachelor students: morphology, syntax. 
                        French linguistics, 3rd-year Bachelor students: morphology (21h).

2012-2013    Assistant Professor (ATER), Univ. Paris Sorbonne, Paris, France.
                        Phonetics, phonology, 2nd-year Bachelor students (52h)
                        Morphology and syntax, 2nd-year Bachelor students (26h) about
                        Phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax, 3rd-year Bachelor 
                        students (26h) 
                        French as a Foreign Language, Master students (5h).

2011-2012    Assistant Professor (ATER), Univ. Paris Diderot, Paris, France.
                        Advanced morphology course, Master students (24h)
                        LFG, 3rd-year Bachelor students (48h).

2011             Lecturer (vacataire), Univ. Paris Diderot, Paris, France.
                        Morphology and Syntax: introductory course, 3rd-year Bachelor 
                        students (24h).

2007-2010    Teaching Assistant (AMN), Univ. Paris Diderot, Paris, France.
                        Introduction to French Syntax, 2nd-year Bachelor students (168h)
                        Introduction to Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology, 1st-year 
                        Bachelor students (24h).

2006             Tutor, Lycée Jean Jaurès, Montreuil, France.
                        Tutoring within a preparation program to the concours d’entrée à 
                        l’ENS-LSH conjunctly headed by the ENS-LSH and Lycée Jean 
                        Jaurès (Hypokhâgne) (12h).

2004-2005   Lecturer, Ruprecht-Karls Universität, Heidelberg, Germany.
                        Translation German to French, Master students (60h) 
                        Translation German to French, Bachelor Sudents (30h) 
                        Spoken and Written French, Bachelor students (30h).



Chapters in books

Walther, G., 2017, "Paradigm realisation and the lexicon", in Morphological paradigms and functions, Kiefer, F., Blevins, J. & Bartos, H. (eds), Leiden, Netherlands, Brill


Walther, G. & Sagot, B., 2014, "Problèmes d’intégration morphologique d’emprunts d’origine anglaise en français", in Penser le lexique-grammaire, perspectives actuelles, Kakoyianni-Doa, F. (ed), Paris, Honoré Champion, pp. 381-395

Conferences with proceedings

Sagot, B. & Walther, G., 2013, "Implementing a formal model of inflectional morphology. Communications in Computer and Information Science series, Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany, p. 115–134. ", proc. of SFCM 2013 (Systems and Frameworks in Computational Morphology), Berlin, 6 septembre, Springer , pp. 115-134, Communications in Computer and Information Science series


Walther, G. & Sagot, B., 2011, "Problèmes d’intégration morphologique d’emprunts d’origine anglaise en français", proc. of 30th International Conference on Lexis and Grammar, Nicosia, Cyprus, October 5-8, 2011, Kakoyianni-Doa, F. (ed), Honoré Champion, pp. xxx

Invited and keynote conferences

Walther, G., 2016, "Comments on “Implicational Morphology”", proc. of AnaMorphoSys , Lyon, June 18-21


Walther, G., 2015, "Morphomes and the effect of contrasts: Discriminative structure in Kiranti verbal inflection", proc. of Workshop Évaluation quantitative de la complexité des systèmes flexionnels - EFL LabEx, Paris, October 13

Conference presentations

Walther, G., 2017, "Form contrasts and cognition: a discriminative perspective", LSA Summer Institute workshop on Morphological Typology and Linguistic Cognition, University of Kentucky, July 22-23


Gildea, S. & Walther, G., 2015, "Information load determines optionality in Cariban", System Typology session - 11th Conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT11), Albuquerque, August 1-3


Walther, G., 2015, "Emerging contrastive morphological units within Kiranti inflectional paradigms", DTT Seminar , Lyon, March 4


Spike, S. & Walther, G., 2015, "Syntactic reanalysis, information load, and phonetic reduction in Akawaio (Cariban)Syntactic reanalysis, information load, and phonetic reduction in Akawaio (Cariban)", DTT Seminar, Lyon, June 5


Walther, G., Antonov, A. & Jacques, G., 2014, "Defining direct/inverse systems: a canonical approach", 6th International Morphology Meeting, Budapest, Hungary, May 29-31, 2014

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