Background and activities

I'm an Assistant Professor at the Department of Teacher Education.


Academic interests

  • Language mixing
  • Syntax
  • Morphology
  • Heritage languages (American Norwegian)



  • NORD1102: Grammar and Pragmatics (the syntax part) - fall 2017
  • NORD6102: Scandinavian Linguistics - Contemporary (online course, responsible for the syntax and morphology part) - fall 2017
  • NORD2311: Variation, Structure and Theory: Norwegian as a Second Language - spring 2018
  • NORD6011: Norsk språk i et globalisert samfunn - spring 2018
  • SPRÅK3210: Linguistic Theory and Comparative Grammar - spring 2018


My doctoral project:

In my project, I investigate the morphosyntax of American Norwegian noun phrases that show mixing between Norwegian and English. American Norwegian is the variety spoken by Norwegians who settled in the US roughly from the 1850s and onwards, and their descendants. The extensive contact with English has left its mark on the variety as for instance language mixing, typically characterized by English content items occurring together with Norwegian functional material, and I am interested in what these mixed phrases can tell us about the structure of Norwegian noun phrases and also about the principles of mixing. Theoretically, I follow an exoskeletal approach to grammar, where the general claim is that syntactic structures provide a skeleton or frame in which functional or substantial items are inserted. Functional components are analyzed as realizations of functional feature bundles in the structure, whereas content items are inserted into designated, open slots. Besides the typical mixing patterns in American Norwegian noun phrases, I also work on the more unexpected occurrence of the English plural –s, gender, as well as possible diachronic changes in the mixing patterns. The goals of my project are to provide a formal analysis of mixed American Norwegian noun phrases, and to demonstrate how an exoskeletal grammar is ideally suited to capture these empirical patterns at the same time as it complies with the ideal of a null theory of language mixing. 

Supervisors: Tor Anders Åfarli and Terje Lohndal




Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications


  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2016) Grammatikk og rettskriving. Nye rammer for språknormering. Novus Forlag. 2016. ISBN 978-82-7099-868-5.


  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik; Åfarli, Tor Anders; Lohndal, Terje. (2018) Language mixing in American Norwegian noun phrases: an exoskeletal analysis of synchronic and diachronic patterns. 2018. ISBN 9788232628261.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik; Åfarli, Tor Anders. (2013) Syntaks og ortografi: Nye rammer for språknormering. 2013.


  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2017) Diachronic change in the patterns of language mixing - a case study of American Norwegian noun phrases in the 1930s/40s and today. Grammar in focus ; Lund University. 2017-02-02 - 2017-02-03.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2017) Nye rammer for språknormering. Seminar om grammatisk kjønn . Språkrådets fagråd for normering og språkobservasjon; Trondheim. 2017-06-14 - 2017-06-14.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2017) Stability or change in heritage Norwegian? Diachronic development in the patterns of language mixing. DiGS 19 Workshop ; 2017-09-05 - 2017-09-08.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik; Lohndal, Terje; Åfarli, Tor Anders. (2016) Word-internal language mixing, late insertion and underspecification. Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop 31 . Stellenbosch University; Stellenbosch University. 2016-12-01 - 2016-12-03.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2016) Diachronic change in nominal structures: a case study of American Norwegian DPs. SynVar 3 . Delhi University; Delhi. 2016-10-10 - 2016-10-14.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2016) Language Mixing and Diachronic Change: patterns of change in mixed American Norwegian noun phrases. Heritage Language Acquisition: Breaking New Ground in Methodology and Domains of Inquiry ; 2016-09-19 - 2016-09-20.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2016) Lexicalist vs. exoskeletal approaches: mixed American Norwegian DPs. Indo-Norwegian Syntax Workshop ; 2016-09-12 - 2016-09-13.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2015) Exoskeletal approaches to grammar: evidence from mixing and flexibility. Norwegian Graduate Student conference in Linguistics and Philology (NoSLiP) . LingPhil; UiT, the Arctic University of Norway. 2015-01-22 - 2015-01-23.
  • Nygård, Mari; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik; Åfarli, Tor Anders. (2015) What language mixing can tell us about the syntax of gender. Linguistics Complexity in the Individual and Society . LCIS, NTNU; Trondheim. 2015-10-15 - 2015-10-16.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2015) Språkblanding i amerikanorske nomenfrasar. MONS 16 - møte om norsk språk . UiA; Kristiansand. 2015-11-25 - 2015-11-27.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik; Grimstad, Maren Berg; Lohndal, Terje; Åfarli, Tor Anders. (2015) Language mixing within verbs and nominal phrases in American Norwegian. International Symposium on Bilingualism 10 . Rutgers University; New Brunswick. 2015-05-20 - 2015-05-24.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2014) «Jeg teach-a første grade-en» - språkblanding i amerikanorsk. Lunsjforedrag i anledning den europeiske språkdagen . NTNU Universitetsbibliotek, Dragvoll; NTNU Universitetsbibliotek, Dragvoll. 2014-09-26 - 2014-09-26.
  • Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2014) Language Mixing in American Norwegian DPs. Distributed Morphology and Language Mixing (DAAD project Stuttgart-Trondheim) . DAAD; Trondheim. 2014-12-01 - 2014-12-01.
  • Vulchanova, Mila Dimitrova; Åfarli, Tor A; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2013) Syntaktisk teori og den strukturelle "nærleiken" mellom nynorsk og bokmål. Møte om norsk språk (MONS) 15 . Universitetet i Oslo; Oslo. 2013-11-21 - 2013-11-23.