Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan

Associate Professor of Russian

Photo: Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan
Email:  tivanova@unm.edu
Curriculum vitae
Office:  353B
Hours:  Please email for appointment on Zoom.

Research Area/s:



Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan’s interests and expertise are in the theoretical and applied aspects of heritage and L2 language acquisition. In her publications Dr. Ivanova-Sullivan examines the mechanisms and outcomes of language acquisition along with the role of input and other sociolinguistic variables. Her recent work includes experimental studies with adult and child heritage speakers in the areas of Russian and Bulgarian morphosyntax and discourse-pragmatics. Her research and teaching experience with Russian heritage speakers provide theoretical insights and pedagogical tools to address the specific type of linguistic knowledge and learning needs of heritage speakers in the classroom and beyond. 


Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics, the Ohio State University (2005)

Research Interests:

  • Heritage linguistics
  • First and second language acquisition
  • Bulgarian morphosyntax and semantics
  • Linguistic and cultural aspects of immigration
  • Diachronic linguistics (Balkan languages)


Theoretical and Experimental Aspects of Syntax-Discourse Interface in Heritage GrammarsTheoretical and Experimental Aspects of Syntax-Discourse Interface in Heritage Grammars (Brill, 2014)

In Theoretical and Experimental Aspects of Syntax-Discourse Interface in Heritage Grammars, Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan investigates comprehension and production of anaphoric dependencies with null and overt subject pronouns. She discusses the divergent behaviour of the heritage speakers of Russian by providing a closer look at their proficiency level, quantity of input and order of language acquisition. She explains the results with various degrees of successful application of pragmatic principles and efficiency in allocating cognitive resources. The contribution of the monograph lies in the discussion of theoretical and experimental issues related to anaphora resolution along with an investigation of all aspects of representation and processing of anaphoric pronouns by heritage, L2 and monolingual speakers.

Selected Publications:

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. & Sekerina, I.A. (Forthcoming). Slavic psycholinguistics and language acquisition. In W. Browne and D. Šipka (Eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Slavic Linguistics. Cambridge University Press.

Ivanova, Sullivan, T. (2022) Heritage languages. In M. Greenberg (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics. Brill.

Ivanova-Sullivan, T., I. Sekerina, D. Tofighi, & M. Polinsky. (2022). “Language-internal reanalysis of clitic placement in heritage grammars reduces the cost of computation: Evidence from Bulgarian. Languages 7(24): 1-17.

Shkireva, A. and T. Ivanova-Sullivan. (2021). Review of ‘Rodnaya Rech’: Introductory course for heritage learners of Russian by I. Dubinina and A. Kisselev. Heritage Language Journal, 18(1), 1-6.

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. & Wilkinson, W. (2020). Introduction to the Special Issue on Lesser Studied Heritage Languages, Heritage Language Journal, 17(2), i-v

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2019). Acquisition of clitics in Heritage Bulgarian in the USA: Initial variability and reduction of optionality. Linguistique Balkanique, 58(1), 19-28.

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2019). The immigration experience in the classroom and beyond: A model for active social involvement. Pedagogika, 91(2), 212-221.

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2019). Heritage Russian in the USA and the new type of pluricentricity in the context of immigration. In A. Mustajoki, E. Protassova, & M. Yelenevskaya (Eds.). The Soft Power of the Russian Language, pp. 223-236. Routledge

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. & Sekerina, I.A. (2019). Distributional regularity of cues facilitates gender acquisition: A contrastive study of two closely related languages. In M. Brown & B. Dailey (Eds.) Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, 311-323. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. 

Gorton, L. & T. Ivanova-Sullivan. (2019). The linguistic and cultural history of wine in Slavic. In J. Pennington, V. Friedman, and L. Grenoble (Eds.). And Thus You Are Everywhere Honored: Studies Dedicated to Brian Joseph, pp. 125 137. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers.

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2018). Referential and relational coherence in heritage Russian narratives. In S. Bauckus & S. Kresin (Eds.), Connecting Across Languages and Cultures: A Heritage Language Festschrift In Honor of Olga Kagan, 173-190. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers.

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2018). Review of ‘Bulgarian Grammar’ by R. Nicolova, Berlin: Frank and Timme GmbH. 2017. Journal of Slavic Linguistics, 26(2), 335-344.

Zagrai, E., Ivanova-Sullivan, T., Meier, I., Patterson, L., & Shkireva, A. (2017). Teaching and learning Russian language and culture in New Mexico (In Russian). Russian Language Abroad. Special issue on Russian Studies in the USA: pp. 9 15.

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2014). Interpretation of anaphoric subject pronouns in heritage Russian. In R.T. Miller, K.I. Martin, C.M. Eddington, A. Henery, N. Marcos Miguel, A. Tseng, A. Tuninetti, & D. Walter (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 2012 Second Language Research Forum: Building Bridges Between Disciplines, 145-154. Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. & Shimberg, S. (2013). Electronic inter-cultural communication. In E.B. Dvoretskaja (Ed.), Translation, Language, Culture, 21-29. St. Petersburg: Leningrad State University.

Hashamova, Y. & Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2012). Bulgarian crime fiction: From artistry to arbitrariness. Balkanistica, 25, 121-146.

Isurin, L. & Ivanova-Sullivan. T. (2008). Lost in between: The case of Russian heritage speakers. Heritage Language Journal, 6(1), 72-104.

Taseva, L. & Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2010). A Project for Digital Corpus of Slavic Lexical Variants in Translated Texts of the 14th Century. In: A. Miltenova and C. Vakarelijska (Eds.), Bulgarian-American Dialogues, 408-420. Sofia: Academic Publishing House "Prof. Marin Drinov"

Ivanova-Sullivan, T. (2005). Interpreting Medieval Literacy: Learning and Education in Slavia Orthodox and Byzantium in the 9th-12th centuries. In R. Begley & J. Koterski (Eds.), Medieval Education, 50-68. New York: Fordham University Press.

Ivanova, T. (2003). The Metamorphoses of the Affix –OV in Bulgarian” In D. Collins & A. Sims (Eds.), Balkan and Slavic Linguistics. Ohio State Working Papers in Slavic Studies, vol.2. Columbus OH.

Edited Volumes:

Ivanova, T. and E. Wilkinson, eds. (2020). Special Issue on Lesser-Studied Heritage Languages, Heritage Language Journal, 17(2)

Ivanova, T., Sims, A. and Whiting, M., eds. Working Papers in Slavic Studies, vol. 6: Proceedings of the Second Graduate Colloquium on Slavic Linguistics. Columbus, OH: Zip Publishing, 2006

For downloadable versions of the publications, please, go to:

Courses taught at UNM:

  • MLNG 101 – Approaches to Languages and Cultures
  • RUSS 490/MLNG 457 - Understanding Others
  • RUSS 201-202 - Intermediate Russian
  • RUSS 301-302 - Advanced Russian
  • RUSS 338 – Modern Russian Culture
  • RUSS 339 – 19th-century Russian Culture and History Through Film
  • RUSS 401 – Russia Today (contemporary Russian nonfiction in Russian)