Martí-Franquès COFUND Fellowship Programme


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Arts and Humanities

Supervisor name and surname:

Evelina Leivada

Supervisor email:

Supervisor short biography

Co-supervisor name and surname:

Isabel Oltra-Massuet

Co-supervisor email:

Co-supervisor institution:


Co-supervisor short biography

PhD programme:

Cognitive Science and Language

Title of the research project:

Language processing and the bilingual mind

Description of the research project:

The aim of this project is to investigate the ways in which the presence of linguistic input from two proximal varieties affects the ability of adult neurotypical speakers to provide stable acceptability judgments about the structures that form part of their native repertoires. Through eliciting and examining acceptability judgments that target different domains of grammar, this project will foster comparisons across monolingual and bilingual speakers of Spanish and Catalan.

Acceptability judgments are a reliable tool in linguistic research that can provide valuable insights into the patterns of variation that Universal Grammar permits. Equally well established is the idea that acceptability judgments should be understood as points on a spectrum. More importantly, their position on the spectrum is affected by a variety of extra-grammatical factors such as gradience, frequency, and competing grammars. Assuming that Universal Grammar does not dictate the relevant orderings, the input effects have to be investigated for the surfacing patterns to be explained. The presence of variation in the input may affect judgments in ways that remain to be defined. Could it be the case that the ‘gray area’ of partial acceptability judgments is bigger in bilingual populations compared to monolingual ones? Is the stability of judgments affected more or less in the bilingual populations?

This project will answer these questions through testing monolingual speakers of Spanish and bilingual speakers of Spanish and Catalan, in timed forced choice tasks, something that will enable tapping into both accuracy and speed. The same structures will be tested through various tasks and in different point in times in order to determine whether the judgments provided by the bilingual population are as stable as those of the monolingual population. This combination of an on-line and an off-line measure will provide better insights into the ways the various structures are processed in the bilingual mind.
Ethics: This project involves ethical aspects.

Workplace location: Campus Catalunya, Tarragona

Gross anual salary:

27103.20 €


Full time

Working hours:

37.5 hours a week

Expected start date:

15 March 2021

European union This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 945413