2nd talk of the LATE Lunches Series (2016/2017 semester 1)
Guest speaker: Antonella Sorace (Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh)
Title: “Why multilingualism matters: language, cognition, and practical implications"
Bio: Antonella Sorace (Laurea, University of Rome; MA, University of Southern California; PhD, University of Edinburgh) is Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. In her career she has held research appointments and visiting professorships at numerous institutions. Her research focuses on a number of interrelated questions that bring together linguistics, experimental psychology and cognitive science, and her research achievements and publications span different sub-fields of scientific enquiry. She is a world leading authority on bilingualism over the lifespan and is particularly well known for her studies of exceptionally talented ("near-native") adult second language speakers; for her research on the changes ("attrition") that take place in the native language of advanced second language speakers; for her investigation of bilingual language acquisition in early and late childhood, and of the effects of bilingualism in non-linguistic domains. She is also internationally known for her contribution to language typology, especially for her research on constrained variation at the lexicon-syntax interface, which she has investigated in many languages, and her studies of gradience in natural language. Moreover, she has given an important contribution to experimental methods in linguistics by pioneering the use of Magnitude Estimation as a technique for the elicitation of linguistic acceptability judgments. She is committed to disseminating the findings of research on bilingualism outside academia. She is the founding director of the information and consultancy centre Bilingualism Matters and was awarded a Beltane Fellowship for Public Engagement.