In the beginning of my research career around 1980, I worked mainly on syntax. I have published several papers on Icelandic syntax, especially diachronic and his­tori­cal syntax, but also some synchronic papers. In the past few years, I have been a member of a number of collaborative projects and networks on syntactic variation, such as Variation in Syntax (Tilbrigði í setningagerð)ScanDiaSyn (Scandinavian Dialect Syntax), NORMS (Nordic Center of Excellence in Microcomparative Syntax)NLVN (Nordic Lan­­guage Variation Network), and N’CLAV (Nordic Collaboration on Language Varia­tion Studies). I have also written articles and textbooks on Modern Icelandic pho­netics, phonology and mor­phology.

In the 1990s, my work on Old Icelandic corpora led me towards corpus linguistics. I was chief editor of the Con­cordance to the Ice­landic Family Sagas, which was pub­lished on a CD in 1996. Around the turn of the century, I became a pioneer in language technology at the University of Iceland and have since then been pro­ject leader or steering group member of several Icelandic language technology R&D pro­jects. The largest of these was Viable Lan­guage Technology Beyond English which received a three year Grant of Excellence from the Icelandic Research Fund in 2009. I was the PI of that project.

In recent years, I have become increasingly interested in language variation, language contact, and language change, and the effects that radical sociological and technological changes might have on the Icelandic language, especially within the digital domain. Together with Professor Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir, I am the PI of a project entitled Modeling the Linguistic Consequences of Digital Language Contact, which received a three year Grant of Excellence from the Icelandic Research Fund in 2016.

Furthermore, I have cooperated with companies from the software and telecommuni­cations industry and with people form the disabled community on various projects. Recently, I was a member of an Icelandic team which cooperated with Google on the building of an Icelandic speech recognition system for Android smartphones, and cooperated with the Icelandic Organization of the Visually Impaired and Ivona Software (now subsidiary of Amazon) on a new text-to-speech system for Icelandic.

Since the turn of the century, I have taken active part in Nordic/Baltic cooperation in language technology. I have par­ticipated in several pro­jects and networks in this area, including Nordic CLARIN Network, NorDokNetNLTNetNordisk NetordbogTvær­sprog­lig søgning på tekster og ordbøger, Nordtalk and Nordic Treebank Net­work. I was Icelandic representative on the Board of the Nordic Graduate School of Language Technology (NGSLT) from 2004-2009. From  2011-2013, I led the Ice­lan­dic part of the EU funded META-NORD project, which was a part of META-NET.

Participation in externally funded Language Technology R&D projects and networks:
2011-2013 Leader of Icelandic part, META-NORD
2010-2012 Steering group member, Icelandic Text-to-Speech System
2009-2011 Project leader, Viable Language Technology beyond English
2007-2008 Project leader, Context-sensitive Spell Checking
2006-2007 Steering group member, Icelandic Text Screening
2004-present Steering group member, Balanced Tagged Corpus of Icelandic
2004-2006 Steering group member, Ragga – a Text-to-Speech System for Icelandic
2004-2006 Steering group member, ISLEX – Scandinavian Web-based Dictionary
2003-2005 Network member, Nordic Treebank Network
2003-2004 Steering group member, Hjal – an Isolated Word Speech Recognizer for Icelandic
2002-2004 Project leader, Grammatical Tagger for Icelandic
2002-present Steering group member, Database of Icelandic Inflections
2001-2003 Network member, Nordtalk (Corpus based research on spoken language)
2001-2005 Network member, NorDokNet (Nordic Documentation Centres in LT)
1999-2002 Steering group member, ÍSTAL (Corpus of spoken Icelandic)


  • 2016 The University of Iceland annual Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2006 First prize in the competition Uppúr skúffunum arranged by the Research Liaison Office at the University of Iceland, for the project Context-sensitive Spell Checking (with Hrafn Loftsson and Sigrún Helgadóttir)
  • 1996 The annual award of Hagþenkir, association of Icelandic non-fiction writers, for Concor­dance to the Icelandic Family Sagas (with Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir, Guðrún Ingólfsdóttir, and Örn­ólfur Thorsson)