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Slavisches Seminar


Teodora Vuković, MA

  • Doktorandin SNF
  • Bundes-Exzellenzstipendiatin
  • FFG SyNoDe
PLG 202

PhD project

Empirical corpus-based approach to linguistic variation in the Timok variety of Torlak

As a member of the TraCeBa project, I am doing research on various aspects of linguistic variation in the Timok variety of Torlak in Southeast Serbia. Within TraCeBa, I am creating a corpus of Torlak dialect spoken in the Timok, which is the central resource of the project. The focus of my analysis is on the diffusion and morphosyntactic variaiton of different linguistic features used by the speakers in Timok, mainly the noun phrase and the post-positive article. I am using methods from corpus-linguistics, as well as different computational linguistics and statistical methods. 

Supervisors: Barbara Sonnenhauser, Hanne Eckhoff

Funding Sources:


Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for Foreign Scholars and Artists



Philipp Wasserscheidt, Marija Mandić, Nadine Vollstädt, Ana Jovanović, Ivana Tanasijević, Teodora Vuković, Ivana Vučina Simović, Uliana Yazhinova, Anđelka Zečević. Corpus-based analysis of spoken narratives. Introducing a corpus and a search tool. Govor, Vol. 37, No. 2. Zagreb: Hrvatsko filološko društvo. 149-178.

Teodora Vuković (2021). Representing variation in a spoken corpus of an endangered dialect: the case of Torlak. Language Resources and Variation. Springer Nature. DOI

Anastasia Makarova, Daria V. Konior, Teodora Vuković, Andrej N. Sobolev, Olivier Winistörfer (2020). Automatic language profiling of a dialect speaker: the case of the Timok variety spoken in the village of Berčinovac (Eastern Serbia) (in Russian). In: Acta Linguistica Petropolitana Vol. 16.2. pp. 160-180. DOI 10.30842/alp2306573716207

Teodora Vuković, Nora Muheim, Olivier Winistörfer, Ivan Simko, Anastasia Makarova, Sanja Bradjan (2019).Corpora and Processing Tools for Non-Standard Contemporary and Diachronic Balkan Slavic. In: Proceedings of the Student Research Workshop (RANLPStud 2019) associated with RANLP 2019. Varna, Bulgaria. 62-68.

Teodora Vuković, Tanja Samardžić (2018). Prostorna raspodela frekvencije post-pozitivnog člana u timočkom govoru (Areal distribution of the freqiency of the post-posed article in Timok vernacular). In Svetlana Cirkovic (Ed.). Timok. folkloristička i lingvistička terenska istraživanja 2015 - 2017. Knjaževac: Narodna biblioteka Njegoš. Beograd: Udruženje Folklorista Srbije. 181-199.

Teodora Vuković, Maja Miličević (2017). Creation аnd some Ideas for Classroom Use of an Electronic Corpus оf тhe Dialect оf Bunjevci. in J. Filipović and J. Vučo ( Eds.), Minority. Languages in Education and Language Learning: Challenges and New Perspectives. Belgrade: Faculty of Philology.  

Biljana Sikimić, Teodora Vuković (2017). Digitalna zaštita bunjevačkih govora. in Drago Njegovan (Ed.). Kultura i identitet Bunjevaca. Novi Sad: Muzej Vojvodine. 473–489.

Teodora Vuković (2015). Izrada modela dijalekatskog korpusa bunjevačkog govora. MA thesis. Belgrade: Faculty of Philology. 


2016 - Present

Univeristy of Zurich, Slavisches Seminar

Doctoral candidate
Research topic: Corpus-based Study of Post-positive Articles in Torlak Mentors: Barbara Sonnenhauser and Hanne Eckhoff
(Until August 2019, worked at Language and Space, UZH)

2013 – 2015

University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philology

MA in Corpus Linguistics
Thesis: Creating a Model for a Dialectological Corpus of the Bunjevac Dialect Mentor: Maja Miličević

2009 – 2013

University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philology

BA in General Linguistics and Spanish Language

2005 – 2009

Philological High School, Belgrade

English Language and Literature


July 2018 – August 2020

TraCeBa - a three-year project (July 2018 – July 2021) within the ERA.Net RUS Plus sub-programme of the FP7/Horizon 2020 programme.

The project explores converging and diverging tendencies in linguistic and cultural practices in the Central Balkans. The focus is on the Torlak region, which represented a linguistic and cultural unit until 1878, but which since the end of the 19th century has been divided by the Serbian-Bulgarian political boundary.

Specifically, the project investigates the role of boundaries – geographical, political, perceptual – on the transformation of linguistic and cultural traditions and their perception by the individual subjects. The investigation has an empirical basis, combining linguistic methods with language technology.

TraCeBa website

September 2015 – August 2017

Protecting the immaterial heritage of the Torlak vernacular (at The Institute for Balkan Studies of Serbian Academy for Sciences and Arts, Museum of Ethnography in Belgrade)

The project has the goal of protecting and preserving the endangered Torlak vernacular by collecting linguistic samples of it in audio and video format and presenting them through an web page with various search options. I am one of the researchers in the field, and a corpus linguistics specialist in charge of creating an Internet archive of the Torlak vernacular. (Project leader: Biljana Sikimić)
Website of the project: Timočki govori

July 2015 – December 2016

Constructing Narratives (The Institute for Balkan Studies of SASA and The Institute for Slavic Studies of The Humboldt University in Berlin)

The goal of the project is the creation of a corpus of oral narratives in the light of Constructive grammar theory. My role is to provide transcription training in EXMARaLDA, and supervise the process of transcription. I am also involved in the annotation process and the creation of the corpus. (Project leaders: Christian Voss, Marija Mandic, Philipp Wasserscheidt)

May 2015 – Present

Webdict – Dictionary of the Shokac dialect (The Institute for Balkan Studies of SASA)

Editor and co-author of an online dictionary of the Shokac dialect (Supervisor: Biljana Sikimić) Webpage

2012 - Present Webdict – Dictionary of the Bunjevac dialect (The Institute for Balkan Studies of SASA)
A small experimental self-managed project with the goal of creating a dictionary of the authentic use of the Bunjevac dialect Webpage

 November 2011 


Project assistant (Short term development project “Threads“ (2011) for children living and working on the streets of Belgrade (independent project of four University of Belgrade students in cooperation with the Center for Youth Integration and the American Embassy in Belgrade))

Scholarships and Grants

April 2017 - April 2020  ERA.Net RUS Plus (Horizon 2020) - TraCeBa
September 2016 - August 2019 Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists
April 2017 - April 2020 Serbian Ministry of Education scholarship for best students at foreign universities

Previous positions

September 2016 - August 2019

Doctoral researcher

Language and Space, University of Zurich


2012 - August 2017

External Associate
Institute for Balkan studies of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. 

Fields of research: corpus linguistic, digital humanities, lexicography, field research. 

Team leader: Biljana Sikimić)

Confereces and Workshops

March 2021

Empirical approaches to linguistic variation: The Balkans and beyond

Teodora Vukovic, Anastasia Escher, Barbara Sonnenhauser:  Degrees of non-standardness. Feature-based analysis of variation in a Torlak dialect corpus

November 2020

Tag der Schweizer Linguistik

Teodora Vukovic, Ivan Šimko, Anastasia Escher, Barbara Sonnenhauser: Anatomy of Variation. Balkan Slavic research at Slavisches Seminar (UZH)

September 2019

14th Annual Meeting of the Slavic Linguistics Society (SLS-14), Potsdam, Germany

Anastasia Makarova, Teodora Vuković: Possessive dative clitics and congruent possessive pronouns in Timok dialect

September 2019

Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing 2019, Varna, Bulgaria

Teodora Vuković, Nora Muheim, Olivier Winistörfer, Ivan Šimko, Anastasia Makarova, Sanja Bradjan: Corpora and Processing Tools for Non-Standard Contemporary and Diachronic Balkan Slavic

September 2019

14th Annual Meeting of the Slavic Linguistics Society (SLS-14), Potsdam, Germany

Anastasia Makarova, Teodora Vuković: Possessive dative clitics and congruent possessive pronouns in Timok dialect

August 2019

SLE 2019 - 52nd Annual Meeting, Leipzig University, Germany

- Teodora Vukovic: When two systems meet - Analytic and synthetic indirect object marking in Torlak dialect

- Ivan Šimko, Teodora Vuković: Combining morphological and syntactic annotation

May 2019 Language and Space Evaluation event, University of Zurich, Switzerland
April 2019

Historical Corpora and Variation. Cagliari, Italy

Teodora Vuković, Ivan Šimko, Barbara Sonnenhauser: Keeping linguistic variation across time and space: tagging of a diachronic and diatopic corpus of Balkan Slavic

March 2019

XLVIII International Philological Conference, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Maja Miličević Petrović, Teodora Vuković: Challenges of creating dialect corpora: The case of Torlak

November 2018

First steps towards an interactive map of the Balkan Languages, University of Zurich, Switzerland


October 2018

Balkan Languages and Dialects: Corpus-Based and Quantitative Studies, Saint Petersburg, Russia

- Teodora Vuković: Areal Distribution of the Post-positive Article in Timok Dialect of Torlak

- Teodora Vuković, Max Wahlström: Is there a definite article? Reference annotation for a Torlak speech corpus

- Teodora Vuković, Daria Konior, Anastasia Makarova: Количественные методы исследования сербского тимокского диалектного текста [Serbian Timok dialectal texts: quantitative research methods] 

June 2018

CoLABnet workshop, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany

Non-standard corpora design

April 2017

Spatial Boundaries and Transitions in Language and Interaction: Perspectives from Linguistics and Geography

Definite Article Frequencies in Timok Dialect of Torlak 

March 2016

Variation in space and time: clausal complementation in South Slavic​

Towards the Torlak vernacular corpus

May 2015

XV International Conference on Minority Languages, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Teodora Vukovic, Maja Miličević: Creation and Some Ideas for Classroom Use of an Electronic Corpus of the Dialect of Bunjevci 

May 2012

StuLiKon - Studentska lingvistička konferencija, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Modifikacija ličnih glasovnih karakteristika u odnosu na jezik ili varijetet (Modfication of Perosnal Vocal Characteristics Depending on Language or Variety)

Weiterführende Informationen

Links to profiles and projects

Balkan Slavic Noun Phrase: Synchronic and Diachronic perspective

Poster presented at the Language and Space Evaluation event in May 2019 by Teodora Vuković , Anastasia Makarova, Ivan Šimko 2, Barbara Sonnenhauser (Slavisches Seminar UZH)


Torlak poster

Poster presented at the "Spatial Boundaries" conference, 26th of April 2017

Fieldwork in Southeast Serbia

Read more about my fieldwork experiences in my post at our URPP Language and Space Blog.