Elena Koulidobrova

Associate Professor


Contact Information

Willard-DiLoreto Hall W 401-40

Phone: 860-832-2790

Email: elena.koulidobrova@ccsu.edu

Office Hours

Mon: 1-3

Tues: 1-3

Wed: 1-3

Or by appointment (live or virtual)


 CV (see also separate tab to your right)



  • PhD in Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics, 2012, University of Connecticut
  • MA in Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics, 2009, University of Connecticut
  • MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), 1999, University of Central Missouri
  • Certificate in College Teaching, 1999, University of Central Missouri



Formal properties (syntax/semantics)

  • Sign Languages (e.g. ASL)
  • Languages with, vs. languages without, definite articles
  • Anaphoric expressions (pronouns and ellipsis)

 - Representative works:

Koulidobrova. 2021. On mass-count distinction in ASL: Counting problems.  In J. Pelletier, T. Kiss, & Husić, H. (Eds.) Mass-count Distinction Across Languages. Cambridge University Press.

Koulidobrova, E. & Davidson, K. 2021. Attitude embedding predicates and indexicals under role shift in ASL. In Papers for Angelika (Festschrift for Angelika Kratzer). 

Wilbur, R., Abner, N., Wood, S., & Koulidobrova, E.  (2018). When BEAT is ‘exceed’: Verbal comparison in ASL. Proceedings of the FEAST Colloquium (1), 59-69. DOI: 20.8050.03.6

Koulidobrova, E. (2017).   Elide   me bare:  Null arguments in American Sign Language. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s11049-016-9349-5

Koulidobrova, E. & Lillo-Martin, D. (2016).   Point of inquiry:   The case of the (non-) pronominal IX in ASL. In Grodsz, P. & Patel, P. (Eds.) Impact of Pronominal Form on Interpretation, Mouton De Gruyter/Studies in Generative Grammar.

Koulidobrova, E. & Davidson, K. (2016). Semantics in the study of Sign Languages. In Boudreault, P., Gertz, G. & Golson, J.G. (Eds.) Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. SAGE.

Koulidobrova , E. & Davidson, K. (2015).  Watch the attitude:  Role shift and embedding in ASL. In E. Csipak & H. Zeijlstra (Eds.) Sinn und Bedeutung 19 [open access]: https://www.un.goettingen.de/en/proceedings/521400.html

Koulidobrova, E. (2013) Parallelism revisited:  The nature of the null argument in ASL as compared to the Romance-style pro. Sign Language & Linguistics 15 (2). https://www.jbe-platform.com/content/journals/10.1075/sll.15.2.07kou

Koulidobrova, E. (2013). Commentary on Fischer & Johnson: Nominal Markers in ASL. In Sign Language & Linguistics, 15 (2).

     --- and some 'almost ready' for show (though feel free to check the drafts on lingbuzz or contact me directly):

Koulidobrova, E. Looking for person: impersonal approach to the passive-like constructions in ASL.

Koulidobrova, E. Counting (on) nouns in ASL.  

Koulidobrova, E.  Zidani-Eroglu, L. When it looks like sluicing in ASL but who knows if it is. 



  • Simultaneous vs. sequential
  • Unimodal vs. bimodal
  • Code-switching and transfer

  - Representative works:


Koulidobrova, E., & Ivanova, N. (2020). Acquisition of phonology in child Icelandic Sign Language: Unique findings. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America, 5(1), 164–179. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v5i1.4697

Luchkina, T., Koulidobrova, E. & Palmer, J. (2020). When you CAN see the difference: The phonetic basis of sonority in American Sign Language. Proceedings of the 2019 Annual Meeting on Phonology. https://doi.org/10.3765/amp

Koulidobrova, E. (2019).  Back to the inhibition: argument omission in L2 Sign Language acquisition by deaf learners. Language Acquisition and Language Disorders. John Benjamins

Chen Pichler, D., Koulidobrova, E. & Palmer, J. (2019). Modality-(in)dependent second language acquisition of Sign Languages. In R. Kikusawa & F. Sano (eds.) Minpaku Studies in Sign Languages, v.1. Minpaku Center for Ethnographic Studies, Osaka, Japan.

Koulidobrova, E. (2016). Argument omission in ASL-English bilinguals:  Language interaction effects in bimodal bilingualism. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. DOI.org/10.1075/lab.13047.kou

 Chen Pichler, D. & Koulidobrova, E. (2015). Acquisition of sign language as a second language (L2). In Marchark, M. & Spencer, P. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education, v. 3. Oxford University Press

Koulidobrova, E. (2014). Null arguments in bimodal bilingualism: Code-blending (and the lack of) effects in American Sign Language. In Proceedings of Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD) 38, Cascadilla  Press.

Koulidobrova, E. (2014). Mechanics of “transfer”: Evidence from the speech of ASL-English bilinguals. In the University of Connecticut Working Papers in Linguistics (UconnWPL) 17. MIT Press. 

Koulidobrova, E. (2013). Influence uninhibited: Null subjects in  the  speech of  ASL-English  bilinguals. In S. Stavrakaki, M. Lalioti, & P. Konstantinopolou (Eds.) Advances in Language Acquisition.  Cambridge  Scholars Publishing.

Lillo-Martin, D., Koulidobrova, E., Müller de Quadros, R. & Chen Pichler, D. (2012) Bilingual language synthesis: Evidence from wh-questions in bimodal bilinguals. In Proceedings of Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD) 36, Cascadilla Press.

Lillo-Martin, D., Müller de Quadros, R., Koulidobrova, K. & Chen Pichler, D. (2010). Bimodal bilingual cross-language influence in unexpected domains. In J. Costa, A. Castro, M. Lobo, & F. Pratas (Eds.) Proceedings of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition (GALA 2009). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

 --- and some 'almost ready for show' (though feel free to check the drafts on lingbuzz or contact me directly):

Koulidobrova, E. & Palmer, J. Phonological discrimination in Sign L2: Contributions to the theory of SLA. 

Koulidobrova, E. It’s all in the input:  Argument omission in the spoken language of children with cochlear implants vs. codas. 

Koulidobrova, E. & Ivanova, N. Testing acquisition of Sign Language in a Nordic context: Icelandic Sign Language phonology. 

Chen Pichler, D. & Koulidobrova, E. Research Methods in L2 acquistion of Sign Languages. Routledge [book]



  • L2 learning during K-12
  • Endangered language development
  • Learning of English by individuals whose L1 is a Sign Language
  • Language education for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Disability and language

  - Representative works:


Koulidobrova E., & Sverrisdóttir, R. (in press) How to ensure bilingualism/biliteracy in an indigenous contex:t The case of Icelandic Sign Language. Languages. Special Edition on Biliteracy. MDPI. 

Werblow, J., Dunesberry, L., Koulidobrova, E. 2020. 'The case for dual language programs as the future for public education'. Journal of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 2473-2876.

Werblow, J. Dunesbery, L. Koulidobrova. E. (2020). Shifting the perspective: The case for dual language programs as the gold standard for achieving educational equity in schools. Literacy Today. 

Koulidobrova, E., Kuntze, M. & Dostal, H. (2018). If you use ASL, should you study ESL? Implications of a modality-b(i)ased policy. Languagee99-126.

Koulidobrova, E. English in the classroom: Colonialism continues. Public mini-lecture: TEDxCCSU. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEf7HE7tqg8

 --- and some 'almost ready for show' (though feel free to check the drafts on lingbuzz or contact me directly):

Koulidobrova E., R. Putting your mouth where your money is/where your hands are: Icelandic Sign Language and the UNDRIP .   Under review. 


Projects [NB! a few  manuscripts are being referred to in the 11- Chen Pichler_Koulidobrova_Palmer-SSLL2017_Minpaku ; email me for an updated version]


  • Embedding in ASL (with K.Davidson, Harvard University)
  • Intensification and 'long-distance' anaphora
  • Minimalism-friendly code-switching
  • Sluicing (with L. Zidani-Eroglu, CCSU)
  • Mass-count distinction 


  • Acquisition of D(determiner)P(hrase) cross-linguistically
  • Bimodal Bilingual acquisition (with D. Lillo-Martin, University of Connecticut; D. Chen Pichler, Gallaudet University; R. Muller de Quadros, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)
  • Acquisition of a Sign Language as L2 (with J. Palmer and D. Chen Pichler, Gallaudet University; T. Luchkina, CCSU)
  • Language Policy - Bilingualism (with H. Dostal, University of Connecticut, Lon Kunze, Gallaudet University, and J. Werblow, CCSU)
  • Visual Communication (with H. van der Hulst, University of Connecticut)

Indigenous languages

  • indigeneity x deafness - Icelandic Sign Language (with V. Stefansdóttir & R. Sverrisdóttir, University of Iceland) 
  • indigeneity x language proficiency x Healthcare (Liliana Sánchez, University of Chicago), SI



Typical course load (open access; auditors welcome; sample URLs from the past below)







  • EDSD 412: Student Teaching in TESOL 
  • ENG 290: Readings (Independent Study in Linguistics)[contact me if interested]
  • LING 530: Topics in Theoretical & Applied Linguistics [contact me if interested]: 
    • Biliteracy 
    • Intro to Formal Semantics 
    • At the interface of Historical Linguistics and Anthropology
    • .....


CT Bilingualism and English Language Learning Research Lab, Director