A native of Paris, France, who grew up in German Speaking 
Switzerland, I came to the United States to complete my Phd in the Department of  Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT. After graduating I joined the Rutgers  Department of  Linguistics.  I also became a Research affiliate of the Cognitive Science Lab at Princeton University until 1993 , then a member of the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Sciences  and of the Rutgers Graduate Faculty of Psychology and I am currently a member of the Lab on Language, Brain and Cognition in Lyon.

My background is in theoretical syntax, and I continue to produce research in this domain, principally centered on the structure of  nominal constituents, the syntax semantic interface of determiners, number systems, negative concord and questions & quantifiers interactions. My current research aims at understanding microparametric variations  and the relations between semantics/pragmatics and the grammaticalization of features like definiteness, specificity, person, number and negation in Romance, Creole languages and L2 acquisition. For some years now, I have been developing a more experimental approach to my research, combining the use of corpus search, psycholinguistic experiments in the acquisition of a second language,  and ERP in collaboration with colleagues. I am also interested in broader cognitive issues that concern the evolution of language and more particularly an exploration of potential parallelisms between language syntax and the motor system.

Current Members

Graduate Students

Luca Iacoponi

A graduate student in Linguistics, he studied in Italy, Poland and Hong Kong before starting his PhD at Rutgers. During his BA in Salerno, he mainly worked at the development of theoretically informed tools for the analysis of spoken language corpora, collaborating with the Language Understanding and Speech Interfaces Laboratory of the University of Naples. For his MA, he worked on both theoretical and experimental linguistics at the Laboratory of Phonetics in Pisa. In 2012 he started his PhD at Rutgers, and two years later he began working with Dr. Viviane Deprez on the interpretation of Multiple Negative Expressions in Italian.

Undergraduate Students

Krysta Duquette

A Linguistics and Psychology double major. She is interested in the neurological aspects of Linguistics, language acquisition, Creoles, aphasia, and connections between Psychology and Linguistics. She is also interested in studying the linguistics aspects of signed languages. After graduating with her Bachelors from Rutgers, she aspires to earn her PhD at McGill University in Montréal.


Mason McKenzie

Mason is a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences. He is a double major in Linguistics and French. His interests include French and francophone syntax, semantics, negation, and language acquisition. Mason is currently preparing to spend the final year of his undergraduate studies in Paris and hopes to pursue a PhD after graduating.