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 (forthcoming). On mass-count distinction in ASL: Counting problems.  In J. Pelletier & T. Kiss (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:


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)



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