Languages (fieldwork)

African languages:
  • Kru languages (Vata, Dida, Gbadi..),
  • Gur (Nawdem),
  • Mande (Bambara),
  • Kwa (Abe(y)..),
  • Grassfield Bantu (Nweh, Ncufie, Bafanji)
  • West Atlantic (Wolof, Fulani)
  • Bantu (Ndendeule, Siswati)
  • Nilotic (Maasai, Dholuo)

Malagasy, Javanese, Samoan, Tongan),

Creole languages

Haitian, Sranan, Saramaccan.

Formal Linguistics
  • Syntactic theory
  • Morphosyntax
  • Comparative syntax
  • Syntax/Phonology interface



  • 2013. An introduction to syntactic analysis and theory (with Dominique Sportiche and Ed Stabler). John Wiley & Sons.
  • 2000. Verbal complexes (with Anna Szabolcsi). MIT Press.
  • 2003. The syntax of specifiers and heads: Collected essays of Hilda J. Koopman. Routledge.
  • 1984. The Syntax of Verbs: From verb movement rules in the Kru languages to Universal Grammar.

Edited books

  • 1983. Current Approaches to African Linguistics (with J. Kaye, D. Sportiche and A. Dugas). Foris Publications, Dordrecht.
  • Hilda Koopman with Murat Kural Aspects of the Grammar of Ncufie, UCLA working papers vol 14.  link


Unpublished papers


Recent Handouts and Recent/ Upcoming Talks


Terraling and SSWL

The SSWL database is one of the datasets in terraling.  Other datasets include Conjunction and Disjunction (project pages can be found here and here), Anaphora <add Link>, and Cinque’s Universal 20 database.

If you are interested in joining the community, please sign up for our terraling google group  at This site is used to send out letters to the community with updates of recent developments.

We also have monthly community meetings  on zoom (email me if you are interested in participating), and a Discord channel for discussion (email me for an invitation to Discord!).

Introductory materials on Terraling, the history of the project, and SSWL.
Supporting Materials/ questionnaire(s) for property development.
  • Navigating TerraLing explains how to access and navigate the site. We are in the process of changing the user interface: this document will be updated (probably in feb 2021),
  • Nov 2020: Here is a list of contents of SSWL properties under development.
  •  A general description (from 2019) and an overview of the current content in SSWL can be found here 
  • Questionnaire: For a (draft of a) guided questionnaire on how to elicit data and develop a coding schema and SSWL type database of Adjectival Properties in the World’s Languages, check Adjectival Questionnaire. If you are interested in helping it develop it further, please contact me!


For further development

Together with Cristina Guardiano we have started developing property definitions for existential constructions, where ultimately we are interested in the form and distribution of (non modified) indefinite subjects (and variation in existential constructions), and how this compares to definite subjects.

The following documents are linked from within the database.

If you are interested in the question how to go about developing a coding schema for terraling/SSWL, read the following document about negative existentials.

For handouts on some Research results please contact me (or here.)




Terraling Online Workshop

Terraling workshop (online), September 18 and 19 -2020

This workshop aimed to get researchers interested in the Terraling database, to familiarize them with the technology (so that they can carry out their own projects), and to pave the road for future projects making use of the database, thus also supporting further international community building.

The Terraling database ( is a collaborative research tool for theoretically guided cross-linguistic research: It is an open-access, open-ended database where linguists can both pose data questions to others and answer such questions for their native languages.

The workshop involved introductions to different aspects of the database, a `hands-on trial session for participants, short presentations of projects that have been carried out via the database and a discussion (including all participants) of potential future research projects building on the database. (See below for the full program.)

Program (all times are given in Central European Summer Time, which will mean, e.g., -6 hours for New York City/East Coast, -9 hours for Los Angeles/West Coast …)

September 18

6 pm – 6.20 pm: Introduction to the database (Hilda Koopman, UCLA)

6.20 pm – 6.40 pm: A guided tour through the database (Nina Haslinger, University of Göttingen)

6.40 pm – 7.10 pm: Try-out session (all participants, using break-out rooms)

7.10 pm – 7.30 pm: Discussion (all participants)

7.30 pm – 7.40 pm: Break

7.40 pm – 8.25 pm: Terraling and fieldwork (Ryan Bochnak, UBC)

8.25 pm – 9 pm: Networking discussion (all participants)

September 19

6 pm-6.30 pm: Project presentation: SSWL (Cristina Guardiano, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia & Hilda Koopman, UCLA)

6.30 pm-7 pm: Project presentation: Conjunction and disjunction (Nina Haslinger, University of Göttingen & Viola Schmitt, University of Graz)

7 pm-7.30 pm: Project presentation: Universal 20 (Guglielmo Cinque, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice)

7.30 pm – 7.40 pm: Break

7.40 pm – 8.30 pm: Property development and property writing

(includes a session on syntax, a session on semantics and a Q & A session, will involve all participants)

8.30 pm – 9 pm: Networking discussion (all participants)