Background and activities

I hold a PhD position in Language and Linguistics at the department of Language and Literature. I have both a BA and an MA in Nordic languages and literature from NTNU, and spent a semester at UC Berkeley during my MA. 

My research project

I am part of the research group EXOGRAM, or Exoskeletal approaches to grammar, otherwise consisting of my two supervisors, professors Tor Anders Åfarli and Terje Lohndal, as well as the PhD candidates Brita Ramsevik Riksem and Ragnhild Eik. Our joint goal is to develop a formal syntactic model of a generative type, which is capable of explaining idealized monolingual data and more complex and seemingly irregular bilingual data equally well. My PhD project will specifically attempt to give a syntactic analysis of the phenomena word-internal language mixing.

The immediate background for this project is a controversy between two camps in linguistics seeking explanations for intrasentential code-switching. The first camp is a non-generative camp comprised of supporters of the Matrix Language Frame Model (MLFM), mainly developed by Myers-Scotton (1993, 2002). The second is a small generative camp pioneered by MacSwan (1999, 2014), which attempts to account for code-switching from a Minimalist perspective. 

We believe the generative camp is right in assuming that a theory of language mixing should be a Null Theory, i.e., that it should be equally well designed to handle monolingual and bilingual phenomena; but we also believe that the non-generative camp is right in assuming that word-internal language mixing should be dealt with in a theory of language mixing/code-switching, pace MacSwan. Our hypothesis is that a late-insertion exoskeletal model is capable of unifying these positions. 

In addition to giving a syntactic account of word-internal language mixing, my project will focus specifically on the verbal domain and also try to account for phenomena such as word-class flexibility and coinage. I plan to make use of data from a variety of language mixing situations, but will in particular investigate data from the heritage language American Norwegian. My main source of data is therefore the Corpus of American Norwegian Speech (Johannessen 2015). 



I am for the time being fully occupied with writing my thesis, but have previously taught the syntax and morphology part of the course NORD1102 - Scandinavian Linguistics, contemporary, as well as NORD3501 - Specialized Master's Topic I: Area of Specialization related to the Master's Thesis in Scandinavian Language and the linguistics part of EXFAC0003 - Language and LiteratureI have also made a guest appearance talking about the research on language mixing in American Norwegian in EXFAC0017 - Introduction to the Humanities, Language and Literature Studies


Scientific, academic and artistic work

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

Journal publications

Part of book/report

  • Alexiadou, Artemis; Lohndal, Terje; Åfarli, Tor Anders; Grimstad, Maren Berg. (2015) Language mixing: A Distributed Morphology approach. NELS 45: Proceedings of the Forty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society: Volume 1.


  • Grimstad, Maren Berg; Åfarli, Tor Anders. (2011) Brocas afasi og generativ syntaks: Trebeskjæringshypotesen (TBH) som forklaringsmodell for produksjonsvanskene til en Broca-afatiker. 2011.


  • Grimstad, Maren Berg. (2015) Introduction to the debate on code-switching vs. borrowing. DAAD project Stuttgart-Trondheim ; Stuttgart. 2015-03-23 - 2015-03-23.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg. (2015) Verbintern språkblanding. Amerikanorskdagen ; NTNU. 2015-03-27 - 2015-03-27.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sunde, Anne Mette; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik; Grimstad, Maren Berg; Ommeren, Rikke van; Ringstad, Tina Louise; Eide, Kristin Melum; Landgraff, Espen Utne. (2015) "Vet du hvor mange språk du kan?". Researchers' Night . NTNU; Realfagsbygget, NTNU Gløshaugen. 2015-09-25 - 2015-09-25.
  • Alexiadou, Artemis; Lohndal, Terje; Åfarli, Tor Anders; Grimstad, Maren Berg. (2014) Language Mixing: A Distributed Morphology Approach. NELS 45 . MIT; Boston. 2014-10-31 - 2014-11-02.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg. (2014) Grammatical outcomes of language contact: Towards a unified theory for the analysis of bilingual phenomena. Seminar for the LCIS research group . LCIS; NTNU. 2014-10-01 - 2014-10-01.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg. (2014) Grammatiske konsekvenser av språkkontakt - utvikling av en ny modell for å analysere tospråklige data. Språkdagen 2014 . Institutt for språk og litteratur, NTNU; NTNU Dragvoll. 2014-02-07 - 2014-02-07.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg. (2014) On roots and units of language mixing. Distributed Morphology and Language Mixing (DAAD project Stuttgart-Trondheim) . DAAD; NTNU Dragvoll, Trondheim. 2014-12-01 - 2014-12-01.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg. (2014) The Morphology of Language Mixing in American Norwegian. The syntax-morpohology interface: evidence from multilingualism (DAAD project Stuttgart-Trondheim) . DAAD; Universität Stuttgart. 2014-05-26 - 2014-05-26.
  • 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.
  • Grimstad, Maren Berg; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik; Åfarli, Tor Anders; Lohndal, Terje. (2014) The inadequacy of feature-based lexicalist theories: A case-study of American Norwegian. 5th Annual Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas . UCLA; Los Angeles. 2014-10-17 - 2014-10-19.
  • Lohndal, Terje; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik; Grimstad, Maren Berg; Eide, Kristin Melum; Åfarli, Tor Anders; Mæhlum, Brit Kirsten. (2014) Finnes det lette og vanskelige språk?. Researchers' Night 2014 . NTNU; Trondheim. 2014-09-26 - 2014-09-26.
  • Lohndal, Terje; Åfarli, Tor Anders; Grimstad, Maren Berg; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2014) DP-internal language mixing: An exoskeletal perspective. CASTL colloquium ; 2014-10-03 - 2014-10-03.
  • Lohndal, Terje; Eide, Kristin Melum; Grimstad, Maren Berg; Åfarli, Tor A; Riksem, Brita Ramsevik. (2013) Grammatikk og flerspråklighet. Researchers' Night 2013 . NTNU; Trondheim. 2013-09-27.
  • Lohndal, Terje; Grimstad, Maren Berg; Åfarli, Tor A. (2013) Aspects of a formal theory of bilingualism. Tromsø International Conference on Language Diversity . Universitetet i Tromsø; Tromsø. 2013-11-06 - 2013-11-08.
  • Lohndal, Terje; Grimstad, Maren Berg; Åfarli, Tor A. (2013) Language mixing without features. Features in Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, and Semantics: What are they? . Universitetet i Tromsø; Tromsø. 2013-11-01.
  • Åfarli, Tor A; Grimstad, Maren Berg; Subbarao, Karumuri V.. (2013) Dakkhini and the Problem of a Matrix Language Frame in Sustained Language Contact. International Conference on Language Contact in India . Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute; Pune, India. 2013-02-06 - 2013-02-08.