Katya Saint-Amand

(née ə'lahvɛrdʒievə)

Katya Alahverdzhieva
Post-doctoral fellow
Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation 
School of Informatics
University of Edinburgh
email:   Katya.Saint-Amand (at) ed.ac.uk
address: Informatics Forum
         10 Crichton Street
         Edinburgh EH8 9AB
         Scotland, UK
phone:   +44 (0) 131 650 8286 (office) 
office:  4.38

Short-term job opportunity for gesture and information structure annotation

I am now recruiting people with native level proficiency in English, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Italian for some paid short-term annotation work. If you have some experience with annotation, or if you'd like to get some experience, more details can be found here. Do not hesitate to drop me a line if you have any questions.

Past Events

Together with Gianluca Giorgolo (Carleton University), we organised a workshop on Formal and Computational Approaches to Multimodal Communication. The workshop was held under the auspices of ESSLLI 2012 and it tooks place in Opole, Poland from 6 August to 10 August 2012.

More information can be found here.


I am a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation (ILCC), University of Edinburgh investigating the relationship between gesture and information structure from a cross-linguistic perspective. I am fortunate to have Professor Mark Steedman as my supervisor.

I obtained my PhD at the same place and I was lucky to be supervised by Professor Alex Lascarides. My PhD research concerned the formal modelling of spontaneous co-speech gesture in constraint-based grammars, and their interaction with the prosody, syntax and semantics of speech.

Prior to that, I obtained an M.Sc. from University of Nancy 2, France, and University of Saarland, Germany. My Master's thesis involved implementation of a Tree-Adjoining Grammar for English using meta-level description language. My supervisor in Nancy was Claire Gardent, and my supervisor in Saarbrücken was Tania Avgustinova.

Research Interests

My main interests include but are not restricted to the following areas:

  • Formal Grammar Theories (TAG, HPSG, LFG)
  • Syntax-Semantics Interface
  • Information Structure
  • Prosody-Syntax Interface
  • Multimodal Interaction
  • Co-verbal Communication
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Publications

  • Alahverdzhieva, K., D. Flickinger and A. Lascarides [2012]. Multimodal Grammar Implementation, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (NAACL-HLT) 2012, Montreal, Canada.
  • Alahverdzhieva, K. and A. Lascarides [2011]. Semantic Composition of Multimodal Actions in Constraint-based Grammars, Proceedings of Constraints in Discourse (CID) 2011, Agay-Roches Rouges, Var, France.
  • Alahverdzhieva, K. and A. Lascarides [2011]. An HPSG Approach to Synchronous Speech and Deixis, in Stefan Muller (ed.), Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG), pp6--24, Seattle, USA.
    [pdf] [bib]
  • Alahverdzhieva, K. and A. Lascarides [2011]. Integration of Speech and Deictic Gesture in a Multimodal Grammar, Actes de Traitement Automatique des Langues Naturelles (TALN), Montpellier, France.
    [pdf] [bib]
  • Alahverdzhieva, K. and A. Lascarides [2010]. A Grammar for Language and Co-verbal Gesture, Proceedings of the 4th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies (ISGS), Frankfurt, Oder, Germany.
  • Alahverdzhieva, K. and A. Lascarides [2010]. Analysing Speech and Co-speech Gesture in Constraint-based Grammars, in Stefan Muller (ed.), Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Head-Driven Phase Structure Grammar (HPSG), pp5--25, Paris.
    [pdf] [bib]
  • Theses

  • Alahverdzhieva, K. [2008] XTAG using XMG. A Core Tree-Adjoining Grammar for English, unpublished Master's thesis, Universität des Saarlandes, Germany and Université Nancy 2, France.
    [pdf-sb] [pdf-nancy] [grammar documentation] [grammar files]
  • Alahverdzhieva, K. [2013] Alignment of Speech and Co-speech Gesture in a Constraint-based Grammar, PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh.

  • Awards

  • EPSRC doctoral prize fellowship, 2013--2015
  • EPSRC Ph.D. studentship, 2008--2011
  • DAAD Fellow, M.Sc. studentship, 2006--2008
  • Socrates/Erasmus scholarship, 2003--2004

  • Non-Academic

    When not investigating gestures, I am most probably running in the Meadows, baking a new dessert, or attending a language class spending time with my kid or following some MOOC.

    Since 8 July 2011, I am officially known as Katya Saint-Amand.

    created 28/11/2010, last modified 24/01/2014