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  Training and professional background
  Research interests
  Scientific activities
  Awards and research grants
  Participation in research projects
  Other international activities
  Main publications and conferences



2016-2017: teaching assistant (University of Lyon 2 - DDL)


2017: PhD in Linguistic Sciences:

    Analysis of Bribri phonology (Chibchan) in a typological perspective:
    nasality and the contour geminate consonant

    Under the supervision of Sophie Manus and Gérard Philippson, and with the collaboration of Colette Grinevald.


    Bribri is a Chibchan language spoken in Costa Rica (Central America). Chibchan languages form the main family of the Intermediate Area (Constenla 1991), which links Mesoamerica to the Amazonian and the Andean regions. All of them are endangered and are still under described.

    This dissertation provides an analysis of Bribri phonology (Schlabach 1974; Wilson 1974; Constenla 1981; Jara 2004) problematized according to its typological characteristics:

    (i) The nasal system: Bribri is among the few languages in the world to lack distinctive nasal consonants. The nasal consonants present in the output result from nasal harmony (Cohn 1993; Walker 1998, 2001) and hypervoicing through velopharyngeal opening (Iverson & Salmons 1996; Solé 2009). While the first process has been partially described for Bribri (Wilson 1970; Constenla 1982, 1985; Tohsaku 1987), the second has not been individuated in the language.

    (ii) The consonant /tk/: the consonant /tk/ is a distinctive unit which combines two places of articulation. Contrary to what has been previously described (Lehmann 1920; Schlabach 1974; Wilson 1974; Constenla 1981; Jara 2004), it is not a doubly articulated consonant. I propose to analyse it as a contour geminate consonant (based on the concept of contour segment, Sagey 1990).

    Following Ohala’s pioneering work (1975, 1981, 1983), this work is based on the assumption that phonological structures must be explained by phonetic constraints. More specifically, I use the Articulatory Phonology frame (Browman & Goldstein 1986, 1989). The analysis is based on acoustic data collected among two Bribri communities, between 2012 and 2014 (Bajo Coen - Coroma and Amubre).

    Along the typological and phonetic approach, I have adopted a dialectal and diachronical point of view to better capture the phonological system of the language.


July 1st-13th, 2012 : 4th International Summer School 3L Endangered languages – from documentation to revitalization, LED-TDR (DDL, ICAR), Lyon.


January 16th-20th, 2012 : Intensive Seminar Introduction to fieldwork linguistics, laboratory LLACAN, INALCO, Villejuif (France). (Resp. Nicolas Quint & Paulette Roulon-Doko)


2011: MA Research in Linguistic Sciences - Language Description and Typology
Université Lumière Lyon 2, Dynamique Du Langage Laboratory.




Chibchan languages


Bribri, Malecu (Guatuso), Rama


Phonology, tonology


Laboratory Phonology


Articulatory Phonology




Endangered languages




Complex consonant clusters






2016: Co-organization of the workshop The Intermediate Area (Lyon, April and June 2016), with Colette Grinevald (Lyon 2, DDL) and Ernst Halbmayer (Collegium de Lyon, University of Marburg --Germany) (fundings: ASLAN).


2012-2013: Co-organization of the seminar of the LED-TDR axis of the laboratories DDL and ICAR.




Costa Rica: Bribri, Malecu / Nicaragua: Rama


Febrary-June 2014: 16 weeks, Nicaragua, Costa Rica. [CEMCA grant, DDL (Lyon 2)]


March-May 2013: 12 weeks Costa Rica. [Aires Culturelles grant, DDL (Aslan)]


March-June 2012: 10 weeks, Costa Rica. [DDL (Cnrs)]


March-April 2011: 6 weeks, Nicaragua. [IUF & Explo'ra Sup grant]


January 2010, April-May 2010: 9 weeks, Scotland (UK).




2015: Eole merit grant (Réseau franco-néerlandais)


2014: fieldwork grant, CEMCA (Centro de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos)


2013: Aire Culturelle grant (French Ministy for Higher Education and Research)


2011-2014: PhD grant Lyon 2 (CDU) (French Ministy for Higher Education and Research)


2011: Explo'ra Sup grant (Région Rhône-Alpes)




Projet TUL "Questionnaire : recensement, analyse, valorisation et réflexion épistémologique" (Aimée Lahaussois, HTL, Paris Diderot) (site web)




Teaching assistant at the University of Lyon 2 (France), Linguistics Department

General phonetics and phonology
« Introduction to the phonological theories » (lecture), B.A. 2nd-year undergraduate (10h30)
« General Linguistics » (articulatory phonetics, phonology), B.A. 1st-year undergraduate (147h)
« General Linguistics » (acoustic phonetics, phonology), B.A. 2nd-year undergraduate (31h30)
« Phonology », B.A. 3rd-year undergraduate (21h)

Description of languages with oral tradition
Language description, sociolinguistics and typology
« Language description » (lecture), M.A. 1st-year graduate (3h30)
« Language description and typology », M.A. 1st-year graduate (21h)

French Linguistics
« French Linguistics » (phonology), B.A. 3rd-year undergraduate (10h30)
« French as a Native Tongue » (morphosyntaxis, sociolinguistics), B.A. 2nd-year undergraduate (63h)

Academic methodology, B.A. 1st-year undergraduate (63h)




August 25th-29th, 2013 : participation to the organization of Interspeech 2013, Lyon.


June 12th-15th, 2013 : participation to the organization of the 5th International Conference on Bantu Languages, INALCO, Paris.


July 1st-13th, 2012 : participation to the organization of the 4th International Summer School 3L Endangered languages – from documentation to revitalization, LED-TDR (DDL, ICAR), Lyon.



PhDs and master thesis

Chevrier, N., 2017, "Analyse de la phonologie du bribri (chibcha) dans une perspective typologique : nasalité et géminée modulée", Ph.D. thesis, Sciences du Langage, Université Lumière Lyon 2  (download here)


Chevrier, N., 2016, "Prefijos de persona y formación de grupos consonánticos en posición inicial absoluta: cómo se comporta el bribri de Coroma frente a la complejidad?", Estudios de Lingüística Chibcha, 35, pp. 95-154 (download here)


Chevrier, N., 2012, "Evolución fonológica del rama, lengua chibcha de Nicaragua en peligro ", Letras, 51, pp. 11-32 (download here)

Invited presentations

Chevrier, N., 2017, "Caractéristiques typologiques de la phonologie du bribri : système nasal et géminée modulée", SRPP, Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie (LPP), June 16


Chevrier, N., 2012, "Evolución fonológica del rama, lengua chibcha de Nicaragua en peligro ", Primer Simposio Internacional PROLINCA "Centroamérica: un microcosmos lingüístico", Universidad Nacional (Heredia, Costa Rica), 7-8 mai

Conference presentations

Chevrier, N., 2017, "Aerodynamic and articulatory explanations for the presence of nasal consonants in oral contexts in Bribri (Chibchan, Costa Rica) ", Phonetics and Phonology in Europe (PaPE), Cologne (Germany), June 12-14 (poster)


Chevrier, N., 2016, "Nasales et rhotiques finales en bribri : un phénomène d'hypervoisement", Réseau Français de Phonologie (RFP), Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, June 30th - July 2nd


Chevrier, N., 2015, "Bribri /tk/ is not a multiply-articulated consonant but a sequence: The synchronic diversity of Bribri clusters and its diachronic explanation (Chibchan, Costa Rica)", Nijmegen Grammar Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics (Nijmegen, the Netherlands), November 12th

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