Åshild Næss

Professor - Lingvistikk
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22844093
Room HW531
Available hours By appointment
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Henrik Wergelands hus 0313 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1102 Blindern 0317 OSLO

Academic interests

My primary research interests fall into two main areas: Language typology, with a focus on transitivity and argument structure, and fieldwork-based documentation and description of the languages of the Reef Islands in the southwest Pacific. I am also interested in language contact and historical linguistics, with a focus on how the languages of Solomon Islands' Temotu Province are related to each other and to the rest of the Oceanic language family, and what this can tell us about the settlement history of this region of the Pacific. My new research project (starting in the autumn of 2018) uses the Austronesian language family to study the functional underpinnings of transitivity and grammatical relations, and how these grammaticalise. 

Courses taught

LING2113 Language typology

LING4140 Methods in linguistic research

LING4170 Language endangerment and conservation (autumn 2017)

Examen facultatum, linguistics variant


I hold a PhD (cum laude) in linguistics from the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and an MA in linguistics from the University of Oslo. My previous appointments include postdoc positions on the projects Identity Matters: Movement and Place (University of Oslo) and Breaking the Time Barrier: Structural Traces of the Sahul Past (Radboud University Nijmegen), editorial assistant on the Norwegian Dictionary Project (Norsk Ordbok 2014), Visiting Professor at the University of Zürich and Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia.


Member of the Evolution of Semantic Systems Research consortium (http://www.mpi.nl/departments/other-research/research-consortia/eoss).

Collaborating researcher on the project 'Ergativity in comprehension and production: language typology and processing' (http://www.research-projects.uzh.ch/p21996.htm)

Tags: Linguistics, Language documentation, Linguistic typology, Language contact, Oceanic languages


Næss, Åshild. 2017. A short dictionary of Äiwoo. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. Online open access: https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/112469

Næss, Åshild. 2015. The Äiwoo verb phrase: syntactic ergativity without pivots. Journal of Linguistics 51, 75-106.  

Næss, Åshild. 2015. Voice at the crossroads: symmetrical clause alternations in Äiwoo, Reef Islands, Solomon Islands. Oceanic Linguistics 54: 1, 270-307.

Næss, Åshild, and Even Hovdhaugen. 2011. A grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton.

Næss, Åshild. 2011. Cutting and breaking in Äiwoo: event integration and the complexity of lexical expressions. Cognitive Linguistics 23: 2, 395-420.

Næss, Åshild, and Mathias Jenny. 2011. Who changes language? Bilingualism and structural change in Burma and the Reef Islands. Journal of Language Contact, VARIA IV, 217-249.

Næss, Åshild. 2007. Prototypical transitivity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.  

Ross, Malcolm, and Åshild Næss. 2007. An Oceanic origin for Äiwoo, the language of the Reef Islands? Oceanic Linguistics 46: 2, 456-498.

  • Næss, Åshild (2018). Beyond roots and affixes: Äiwoo deverbal nominals and the typology of bound lexical morphemes. Studies in Language.  ISSN 0378-4177.  41(4), s 914- 955
  • Næss, Åshild (2018). Plural-marking strategies in Äiwoo. Oceanic Linguistics.  ISSN 0029-8115.  57(1), s 31- 62 . doi: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/695547
  • Berthele, Raphael; Whelpton, Matthew; Næss, Åshild & Duijff, Pieter (2015). Static spatial descriptions in five Germanic languages. Language sciences (Oxford).  ISSN 0388-0001.  49, s 82- 101 . doi: 10.1016/j.langsci.2014.07.006
  • Næss, Åshild (2015). The Äiwoo verb phrase: syntactic ergativity without pivots. Journal of Linguistics.  ISSN 0022-2267.  51(01), s 75- 106 . doi: 10.1017/S0022226714000048
  • Næss, Åshild (2015). Voice at the crossroads: symmetrical clause alternations in Äiwoo, Reef Islands, Solomon Islands. Oceanic Linguistics.  ISSN 0029-8115.  54(1), s 270- 307
  • Vejdemo, Susanne; Levisen, Carsten; van Scherpenberg, Cornelia; Gúdmundsdóttir Beck, Thórhalla; Næss, Åshild; Zimmermann, Martina; Stockall, Linnea & Whelpton, Matthew (2015). Two kinds of pink:development and difference in Germanic colour semantics. Language sciences (Oxford).  ISSN 0388-0001.  49, s 19- 34 . doi: 10.1016/j.langsci.2014.07.007
  • Næss, Åshild (2013). From Austronesian voice to Oceanic transitivity: Äiwoo as the 'missing link'. Oceanic Linguistics.  ISSN 0029-8115.  52(1), s 106- 124
  • Boerger, Brenda H.; Næss, Åshild; Vaa, Anders; Emerine, Rachel & Hoover, Angela (2012). Sociological factors in Reefs-Santa Cruz language vitality: a 40 year retrospective. International Journal of the Sociology of Language.  ISSN 0165-2516.  (214), s 111- 152 . doi: 10.1515/ijsl-2012-0023
  • Næss, Åshild (2012). Cutting and breaking in Äiwoo: event integration and the complexity of lexical expressions. Cognitive Linguistics.  ISSN 0936-5907.  23(2), s 395- 420 . doi: 10.1515/cog-2012-0012
  • Næss, Åshild (2012). Structural parallels between Vaeakau-Taumako and the Vanuatu Outliers: Capell revisited. Oceanic Linguistics.  ISSN 0029-8115.  51(2), s 567- 588
  • Næss, Åshild (2011). Case on the margins: Pragmatics and argument marking in Vaeakau-Taumako and beyond, In Seppo Kittilä; Katja Västi & Jussi Ylikoski (ed.),  Case, animacy and semantic roles.  John Benjamins Publishing Company.  ISBN 978 90 272 0680 0.  Kapittel.  s 305 - 328
  • Næss, Åshild (2011). Directional verbs in Vaeakau-Taumako. Oceanic Linguistics.  ISSN 0029-8115.  50(1), s 120- 139
  • Næss, Åshild (2011). "Natur i Norge er det litt forskjellig": Det-setninger som topikaliseringsstrategi i tekster skrevet av vietnamesiske innlærere. NOA. Norsk som andrespråk.  ISSN 0801-3284.  (2), s 5- 23
  • Næss, Åshild (2011). Reefs-Santa Cruz: reclassifying a language group, In Ingjerd Hoëm & Reidar Solsvik (ed.),  Identity matters: Movement and place.  The Kon-Tiki Museum.  ISBN 978-82-92967-03-4.  Kap. 6.  s 63 - 77
  • Næss, Åshild (2011). The grammar of eating and drinking verbs. Language and Linguistics Compass.  ISSN 1749-818X.  5/5, s 413- 423
  • Næss, Åshild (2011). reel-refusjon, roe-rognvaffel, rumba-rumstera, I: Lars Sigurdsson Vikør; Oddrun Grønvik & Dagfinn Worren (red.),  Norsk Ordbok. Ordbok over det norske folkemålet og det nynorske skriftmålet. Band 9.  Det Norske Samlaget.  ISBN 978-82-521-7858-6.  Alfabetbolkar som over.
  • Næss, Åshild; Berg-Olsen, Sturla; Engø, Anne Torunn; Selvik, Kari-Anne & Svardal, Terje (2011). rå-råda, I: Lars Sigurdsson Vikør; Oddrun Grønvik & Dagfinn Worren (red.),  Norsk Ordbok. Ordbok over det norske folkemålet og det nynorske skriftmålet. Band 9.  Det Norske Samlaget.  ISBN 978-82-521-7858-6.  Alfabetbolken rå - råda.
  • Næss, Åshild & Hovdhaugen, Even (2011). Language is power: The impact of fieldwork on community politics, In Geoffrey Haig; Nicole Nau; Stefan Schnell & Claudia Wegner (ed.),  Documenting Endangered Languages - Achievements and Perspectives.  Mouton de Gruyter.  ISBN 978-3-11-026002-1.  Chapter 12.  s 291 - 304
  • Næss, Åshild & Jenny, Mathias (2011). Who changes language? Bilingualism and structural change in Burma and the Reef Islands. Journal of Language Contact.  ISSN 1955-2629.  4, s 217- 249
  • Næss, Åshild & Hovdhaugen, Even (2010). Language contact in the Reef Islands: keeping one's distance at close quarters, In  The Gotland Papers. Selected Papers from the VII International Conference on Easter Island and the Pacific: Migration, Identity, and Cultural Heritage.  Gotland University.  ISBN 9789186343071.  Kapittel.  s 455 - 464
  • Næss, Åshild (2009). How transitive are 'eat' and 'drink' verbs?, In John Newman (ed.),  The Linguistics of Eating and Drinking.  John Benjamins Publishing Company.  ISBN 978-90-272-2998-4.  kapittel 2.  s 27 - 43
  • Næss, Åshild (2008). Varieties of dative, In Andrej Malchukov & Andrew Spencer (ed.),  The Oxford Handbook of Case.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 9780199206476.  Kapittel 38.
  • Næss, Åshild & Boerger, BH (2008). Reefs-Santa Cruz as Oceanic: Evidence from the verb complex. Oceanic Linguistics.  ISSN 0029-8115.  47, s 185- 212
  • Næss, Åshild (2007). Defining transitivity: Markedness vs. prototypicality, In Matti Miestamo & Bernhard Wälchli (ed.),  New Challenges in Typology: Broadening the Horizons and Redefining the Foundations.  Mouton de Gruyter.  ISBN 978-3-11-019592-7.  Artikkel.  s 179 - 198
  • Næss, Åshild & Hovdhaugen, Even (2007). The history of Polynesian settlement in the Reef and Duff Islands: the linguistic evidence. The Journal of the Polynesian Society.  ISSN 0032-4000.  116
  • Ross, Malcolm D & Næss, Åshild (2007). An Oceanic origin for Äiwoo, the language of the Reef Islands?. Oceanic Linguistics.  ISSN 0029-8115.  46, s 456- 498
  • Næss, Åshild (2006). Case semantics and the agent-patient opposition, In Leonid Kulikov; Andrej Malchukov & Peter De Swart (ed.),  Case, Valency and Transitivity.  John Benjamins Publishing Company.  ISBN 90-272-3087-0.  14.  s 309 - 327
  • Næss, Åshild (2006). Past, present and future in Reefs-Santa Cruz research, In Linda Barwick & Nicholas Thieberger (ed.),  Sustainable data from digital fieldwork.  Sydney University Press.  ISBN 1-920898-50-6.  14.  s 157 - 162
  • Næss, Åshild (2006). Bound nominal elements in Äiwoo (Reefs): A reappraisal of the 'multiple noun class systems'. Oceanic Linguistics.  ISSN 0029-8115.  45(2), s 269- 296
  • Næss, Åshild (2004). Serial verbs and complex constructions in Pileni (Solomon Islands), In Isabelle Bril & Francoise Ozanne-Rivierre (ed.),  Complex Predicates in Oceanic Languages: Studies in the Dynamics of Binding and Boundness.  Mouton de Gruyter.  ISBN 3110181886.  artikkel.  s 225 - 250
  • Næss, Åshild (2004). Spatial deixis in Pileni, In Gunter Senft (ed.),  Deixis and demonstratives in Oceanic languages.  Pacific Linguistics.  ISBN 0858835517.  kapittel 5.  s 81 - 97
  • Næss, Åshild (2004). What markedness marks: the markedness problem with direct objects. Lingua.  ISSN 0024-3841.  114, s 1186- 1212 . doi: 10.1016/j.lingua.2003.07.005
  • Næss, Åshild (2002). Transitivity and accusativity in Pileni. Rongorongo Studies : a Forum for Polynesian philology.  ISSN 0938-0795.  12(2), s 66- 76
  • Næss, Åshild (2000). Possessive marking in Pileni. Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung.  ISSN 0942-2919.  53(3/4), s 308- 318

View all works in Cristin

  • Næss, Åshild (2017). A short dictionary of Äiwoo. Pacific Linguistics.  ISBN 9781922185372.  203 s. Full text in Research Archive.
  • Næss, Åshild (2011). Global grammatikk: Språktypologi for språklærere. Gyldendal Akademisk.  ISBN 978-82-05-40193-8.  274 s.
  • Næss, Åshild & Hovdhaugen, Even (2011). A Grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako. Mouton de Gruyter.  ISBN 978-3-11-023826.6.  538 s.
  • Næss, Åshild (2007). Prototypical Transitivity. John Benjamins Publishing Company.  ISBN 978-90-272-2984-7.
  • Næss, Åshild & Næss, Atle Harald (2007). Et hav av språk. Gyldendal Litteratur.  ISBN 978-82-05-36274-1.  287 s.
  • Næss, Åshild (2000). Pileni. Lincom Europa.  ISBN 3-89586-932-5.  88 s.

View all works in Cristin

  • Næss, Åshild (2017). Standing up to the canoe: directionals and stative spatial relations in Äiwoo.
  • Næss, Åshild & Evans, Bethwyn (2017). Prominence and the typology of grammatical relations.
  • Næss, Åshild (2016). Deverbal nouns in Äiwoo: derivations, compounds or phrases?.
  • Næss, Åshild (2016). Looking for words in the Reef Islands: bound roots in Äiwoo and their descriptive and documentary challenges..
  • Næss, Åshild (2016). Å se verden med nye verbformer: kategorier i grammatikken og i virkeligheten..
  • Næss, Åshild & Toft, Ellen Hellebostad (2009). Om normering og følgjer av denne: støtte vs stytte i Norsk Ordbok 2014.
  • Toft, Ellen Hellebostad & Næss, Åshild (2009). Stytte og støtte: Mellom semantisk teori og leksikografisk praksis.
  • Lane, Pia Marit Johanne & Næss, Åshild (2008). De snusfornuftige, kjedelige lingvistene. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.).  ISSN 0804-3116.
  • Lane, Pia Marit Johanne & Næss, Åshild (2008). Dommedagsprofeter. Dagbladet.  ISSN 0805-3766.

View all works in Cristin

Published Feb. 4, 2016 8:50 AM - Last modified Mar. 7, 2018 12:09 PM