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

Matthew Loder

A second-year undergraduate at Rutgers, he is currently pursuing a double major in linguistics and philosophy, with minors in math and Spanish. He speaks conversational Spanish, and also understands some French and Norwegian. Just embarking on his linguistics journey, he is interested in issues of L2 acquisition and creole languages. He currently works with Dr. Viviane Déprez on perception of negative concord in French. He is still considering what he plans to do after graduation, but may be interested in a career in law.


Paul Mera

A third year undergraduate majoring in Exercise Science and minoring in French. A native speaker of Haitian Creole. He is currently helping Dr. Viviane Deprez with Haitian Creole.

Ilona Orlova

A linguistics major and double minor in French and German. She also speaks fluent Russian and can understand some Ukrainian. Only after spending three years at Rutgers pursuing a chemistry major did she realize that linguistics was her calling.  She is currently working with Dr. Viviane Deprez on the perception of negative concord in French. 

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.


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.

She is currently employed as an Assistant in the Language and Learning Laboratory of Dr. K. Middleton at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute