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Maria Kouneli Joins Rutgers Linguistics

Join us in extending a warm welcome to Maria Kouneli, who joins Rutgers Linguistics as an Assistant Professor!

We’ve asked Maria to tell us a bit about herself. Here is her introduction in her own words:

Hello! My name is Maria Kouneli, and I am very excited to be joining the department this fall!

I grew up in Karystos, a small town on the Greek island of Evia, but I moved to the US at the age of 17 for college. I completed my BA in linguistics (and economics) at Yale University in 2014 and my PhD in linguistics at NYU in 2019. I then moved to Germany, where I was an Assistant Professor at the Linguistics Department of the University of Leipzig for the last 4 years. My main research interests lie in theoretical syntax and morphology. Specific topics that I am interested in include DP structure, argument structure, and complementation. I believe in the value of data from understudied languages, and this is why my work is based on data from fieldwork (though I occasionally also work on Greek, my native language). I am mostly interested in Nilo-Saharan languages spoken in East Africa, and I have done fieldwork on the Kalenjin languages Kipsigis, Endo-Marakwet, and Pokot.

Outside of linguistics, I love traveling, reading detective novels, and watching soccer (I’m a big fan of Olympiakos and Flamengo). I look forward to meeting everyone soon!

Maria arriving in Kenya with her fieldwork students.


Maria teaching some Syntax.