Dr Sacha Beniamine

Newton International Fellow

Academic and research departments

School of Literature and Languages.


Areas of specialism

Linguistics; Typology; Morphology; Computational linguistics; Language change

My qualifications

BA in Language Sciences & Natural Language Processing
Université de Paris (Paris 7)
MA in Language Sciences & Natural Language Processing
Université de Paris (Paris 7)
PhD in Linguistics
Université de Paris (Paris 7)


Research interests

Research projects


SACHA BENIAMINE, Olivier Bonami, Ana R. Luís (2021)The fine implicative structure of European Portuguese conjugation, In: Isogloss. Open Journal of Romance Linguistics 7(9)pp. 1-35

Recent literature has highlighted the extent to which inflectional paradigms are organised into systems of implications allowing speakers to make full use of the inflection system on the basis of exposure to only a few forms of each word. The present paper contributes to this line of research by investigating in detail the implicative structure of European Portuguese verbal paradigms. After outlining the computational methods we use to that effect, we deploy these methods on a lexicon of about 5000 verbs, and show how the morphological and phonological properties of European Portuguese verbs lead to the observed patterns of predictability.

Olivier Bonami, SACHA BENIAMINE (2021)Leaving the stem by itself, In: All Things Morphology: Its independence and its interfacespp. 81-98 John Benjamins

Stem allomorphy plays a central role in the recent history of morphology, in no small part thanks to a research program initiated by Aronoff (1994). Yet, there is no agreed upon way of deciding whether some bit of form should be considered a proper part of a stem allomorph or an independent exponent. We explore the possibility of just doing away with the notion of stem allomorphy in inflection. We use computational methods to identify within each word a sequence of strings that do not take part in any alternation within that word’s paradigm. We then discuss the relationship of such sequences to the classical notion of a stem, and argue that discontinuous stems are both conceptually and empirically more satisfactory.

SACHA BENIAMINE, Matías Guzmán Naranjo (2021)Multiple alignments of inflectional paradigms, In: Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistic4

Most models of inflectional morphology rely at their core on the identification of recurrent and diverging material across inflected forms. Across theoretical frameworks, this can be expressed in terms of morpheme segmentation, rules, processes, patterns or analogies. Finding these recurrences in large structured lexicons is an important step in empirical computational morphology, where analyses are induced bottom-up from inflected forms. This can be done by aligning all the forms in each paradigm, a task of Multiple Sequence Alignments which is well known in other fields such as evolutionary biology and historical linguistics. In this paper, we present the specific problems which arise when aligning inflected forms, provide a simple alignment format, define evaluation measures and compare two implemented methods on 13 inflectional lexicons. Our intent is to provide the conditions for the inter-operability of future systems, and for incre-mental improvements in this fundamental step for quantitative morphology.

Sacha Beniamine, Olivier Bonami (2022)Inflection class systems
Fernando Perdigão, SACHA BENIAMINE, Ana R. Luís, Olivier Bonami (2021)European Portuguese Verbal Paradigms in Phonemic Notation Zenodo

This is a collection of European Portuguese verbal paradigms, in phonemic notation. They are suited for both computational and manual analysis.

SACHA BENIAMINE (2021)One lexeme, many classes: Inflection class systems as lattices, In: One-to-many-relations in morphology, syntax, and semanticspp. 23-51 Language Science Press

This paper discusses the nature of inflection classes (ICs) and provides a fully im-plemented methodology to conduct typological investigations into their structure.ICs (conjugations or declensions) are sets of lexemes which inflect similarly. Theyare often described as partitioning the set of lexemes, but similarities across classeslead some authors to favor hierarchical descriptions. While some formalisms allowfor multiple inheritance, where one class takes after two or more others, it is usuallytaken as an exceptional situation.I submit that the structure of ICs is a typological property of inflectional systems.As a result, ICs are best modelled as semi-lattices, which by design capture non-canonical phenomena. I show how these monotonous multiple inheritance hierar-chies can be inferred automatically from raw paradigms using alternation patternsand formal concept analysis. Using quantitative measures of canonicity, I comparesix inflectional systems and show that multiple inheritance is in fact pervasiveacross inflectional systems.

Additional publications