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Former HSE Exchange Student Returns as Post-Doc in Linguistics

Former HSE Exchange Student Returns as Post-Doc in Linguistics

Originally from Pavia, Italy, Chiara Naccarato developed an interest in Russian early on in her studies, completing her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Russian Language and Linguistics at the University of Milan. She recently joined HSE as a postdoctoral researcher in the Linguistic Convergence Laboratory after completing her PhD studies in Linguistic Sciences at the Universities of Pavia and Bergamo.

‘During the years of my PhD, I spent a six-month and two three-month periods at HSE as an exchange student’, she recalls. ‘These study periods gave me the opportunity to meet and work with brilliant professors from the HSE School of Linguistics, from whom I have learnt a lot and whose contribution to shaping my PhD research has been fundamental. When I heard about the opportunity of working here, I was very enthusiastic about the idea of coming back to this extremely stimulating workplace’. 

Chiara’s dissertation, entitled ‘Compound agent nouns in Russian: A comparison of rival word-formation constructions’, is on a subject she plans to continue researching at HSE. She is also currently interested in contact phenomena characterizing non-standard varieties of Russian.

‘At the Linguistic Convergence Laboratory, I have the chance to cooperate with the best experts in this field’, she notes. ‘At the moment, I am taking part in a research project regarding contact-induced word-order variations in Daghestanian Russian’. 

Having made numerous trips to Moscow over the past five years, Chiara is nevertheless fascinated by the city and the ways in which it continues to evolve. ‘I have currently been in Moscow for eight months, but I have been here many times for short and long periods. Moscow is an endlessly-changing city, which offers infinite possibilities of every kind and never makes you feel bored’.

Chiara hopes that in 5-10 years she will still be working in academia. ‘Being a researcher and teacher is extremely fulfilling and stimulating’, she exclaims. ‘I would not change that for anything!’

Chiara’s recommended reading and viewing list on Russia:


  • Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls (1835)
  • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1863-1869)
  • Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (1919-1921)
  • Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita (1929-1940)


  • Tiziano Terzani, Goodnight, Mr. Lenin: A Journey Through the End of the Soviet Empire (1992)
  • Gian Piero Piretto, Il radioso avvenire. Mitologie culturali sovietiche (2001) (Radiant Future: Soviet Cultural Myths) – Not available in English translation
  • Gian Piero Piretto, Gli occhi di Stalin. La cultura visuale sovietica nell'era staliniana (2010) (Stalin’s Eyes: Soviet Visual Culture in the Stalin Era) – Not available in English translation
  • Serena Vitale, A Mosca, a Mosca! (2010)  (To Moscow, To Moscow!)  – Not available in English translation


  • Walking the Streets of Moscow (1963)
  • The Irony of Fate (1975)
  • Domestic Circumstances (1978)
  • Office Romance (1977)
  • Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1979)
  • The Inner Circle (1991)
  • Burnt by the Sun (1994)

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service

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