Dr. Viviane Déprez : Director

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 micro-parametric 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.

Serena Luckhoff

A Cognitive Science major and a double minor in German and Dance, she speaks German, conversational French, and understands Vietnamese. She is interested in bilingualism, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and how studying language can aid in understanding the mind. After graduation, she wants to pursue a PhD and conduct interdisciplinary research integrating various Cognitive Science related fields.

Connor Kamiski

A major in Linguistics and Physics he knows Latin and is interested in
Audiology. After graduating he plans to do a masters and a Phd in
Audiology. For his undergraduate thesis he is working with Dr. Déprez
and Dr. Mc Collum on the interaction of the text and the tune in French
declarative questions

Graduate Students

Megan Gotovwski

Megan Gotowski is a PhD student in the Linguistic Department at Rutgers . She is primarily interested in syntax, semantics, and language acquisition. She has conducted research on various syntactic topics in (child and adult) French, including ongoing work on wh-in situ questions with Dr. Viviane Deprez. She is also currently conducting research on children's comprehension of comparative constructions and on sluicing constructions in French.

Graduate Alumni

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.

A graduate student in the Psychology Department and the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Sciences, she works on wh/quantifier interaction in adults and children using experimental techniques to approach linguistic problems. Her interest lies in methods of data collection in linguistics, as well as testing various groups of speakers both naive and with professional training. Asya is further engaged in a project on the acquisition of quantifiers such as 'every' and 'each' and in a project of the L2 acquisition of determiner. She is also a member of the Rutgers University Pysholinguistics lab. She is currently a Post-doctoral researcher at the university of Tubingen working on ambiguity in language

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.

Paul Merat

A third year undergraduate majoring in Exercise Science and minoring in French. A native speaker of Haitian Creole. He helped Dr. Viviane Deprez with investigation Haitian Creole number system and negation system

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

Jeremy Yeaton

A 2016 graduate from the School of Arts and Sciences double majoring in Linguistics and French Linguistics and minoring in Chinese who also speaks some Spanish and Russian, He worked with Dr. Viviane Deprez studying negative concord in standard French. His senior honors thesis focused on the role of intonation and context in disambiguating certain negative sentences in French and won a Henry Rutgers Award. Jeremy was also awarded the 2016 Rutgers Chancellor Leadership award. In the spring of 2015 he served as an intern for the School of Language Studies in the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. During the 2016-2017 academic year, he taught English in Bulgaria as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. After receiving a Master's from CogMaster at the ENS in Paris, Jeremy is now a Biological Signal Processing Engineer at Aix-Marseille University where he studies the neuroscience of language.

Mason McKenzy

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.

Marla Durand

A Junior in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University majoring in Linguistics and minoring in Psychology. She has developed a strong interest in the study of speech and hearing disorders and wants to learn how to help people with communication impairments improve their ability to communicate. In the Comparative and Experimental Syntax Lab, she assists Dr. Viviane Deprez in studying Negative Concord and the interpretation of negative sequences in the Haitian Creole language. After her undergraduate education, Marla plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in Audiology or Speech Pathology field of study. Outside of the lab, Marla has pioneered a club at Rutgers University called RU Speech and Hearing with a fellow classmate. She hopes to bring awareness to the University of the growing interest that Rutgers students have in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology and hopes to help encourage the return of the program here at Rutgers University.

Omar Ibrahim

A junior transferring to the School of Arts and Sciences from the School of Engineering, he is pursuing an Individualized Major in Cognitive Science with a language track focus and possible minors in Linguistics and Philosophy, or Psychology. He also works at the School of Communication and Information as a helpdesk technician. Working with Dr. Vivane Deprez, his primary role is maintenance of lab research technology.\

Taralynn Dorsaint

A junior in the School of Arts and Sciences double majoring in Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics and triple minoring in Political Science, International and Global Studies, and French. She speaks conversational Korean and is currently learning Russian. She currently works with Dr. Viviane Deprez on negative concord in Haitian Creole. She is still considering what she wants to do after graduation, but would ultimately like to work in government translation.

Safa Kamal

A sophomore undergraduate student in the Rutger's School of Environmental and Biological Sciences planning to major in Biological Sciences. Although her field of study at Rutgers University is not directly involved with linguistics, she am very interested in the neurological aspects behind the brain, and how it interprets the negations within sentences as well as language in general. Safa feels that this study will be help connect the bridge between Linguistics and Biology, allowing her to further expand on her knowledge.

Melinh Lai

Melinh is a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences and is currently double majoring in Linguistics and Biology. Her role in the lab involves assisting in the research on Negative Concord as well as acting as a general lab secretary. She is fascinated by the underlying neural mechanisms behind linguistic faculties and hopes to find an additional research position in a neuroscience lab in order to pursue an academic career studying neurolinguistics. Melinh was recently awarded "Best Research Writing Paper" by the School of Arts and Sciences for her paper, "Time Travel in Science Fiction: What Time Travel Reveals About the Present" at the first annual Rutgers Undergraduate Research Writing Conference.

Colin Annand

Colin Annand is pursuing a double major in Linguistics and Psychology and is interested in investigating the functions of human communication and specifically, comprehension. He served and taught English in Haiti and intends to pursue field research in the area of Haitian Creole. He is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar at Rutgers University and plans to apply to graduate programs in Psycholinguistics.

Brieanna Durso

  • A senior in the school of Arts and Sciences majoring in French linguistics and minoring in Linguistics, she is very interested in Creoles of French, particularly Haitian Creole. The project she works on with Dr. Vivienne Deprez deals with Negative Concord in French and French Creoles. Brieanna would like to one day work as an interpreter and translator of French and English and an ESL instructor. She is also interested in pursuing her interests in Speech Pathology.

Christina Downes

A double major in French Linguistics and Linguistics, she also speaks conversational Italian and is learning Arabic. Christina wants to work as a translator in the future, and to travel to Europe and Asia. She is a Junior at Rutgers.

Shirley Huang

A senior in the School of Arts and Sciences doubling majoring in Psychology and French Linguistics and double minoring in Biological Sciences and Linguistics. She is working in the Linguistics and French Departments with Dr. Viviane Deprez studying second language acquisition of French articles. She plans to earn my Master's degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and rehabilitate language in patients with brain trauma degree. Shirley is now a graduate Student in Speech Pathology at Boston University in the Child Language Laboratory. Shirley graduated with a Master in Speech pathology from Boston University

Jenette McCourt

A senior in the School of Arts of Sciences, her background in biological anthropology has led to a fascination with human language acquisition. She is an Anthropology major and also minoring in Linguistics and English. She is currently working in the Comparative and Experimental Syntax Lab with Dr. Viviane Deprez and the research team, studying the interpretation of negative sequences in second language acquisition and in English. She will be applying to graduate schools this year and is interested in a career that allows her to help others and continue to investigate language capability. Jeanette has now a Master Degree in Speech Pathology from Temple University.

Mike Ortega

A graduate from the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University with a double major in Linguistics & Italian and a minor in Spanish. He spends most of his time reading, practicing his foreign language skills and blogging. Mike is currently pursuing his J.D. at the Rutgers Newark School of Law. Mike has now graduated from Rutgers School of Law and is Associate Trademark Consultant at Interbrand.

Ankita Patel

A graduate of Class of 2014, Ankita is now starting her pre-professional year for Speech-Language Pathology at Kean University. She graduated from the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers with a major in Linguistics and a minor in Psychology. As a research assistant, she helped out with the Determiners Project as well as the Negative Concord Project. She also helped with the lab’s website. One of her many interests include photography and graphic design.

Tan Chen

A graduate from the Class of 2011 with a major in French Linguistics and a minor in Economics. He worked with Professor Vivianne Déprez from Fall 2010 to Spring 2011. He describes himself as pretty chill, probably too relaxed to the point that lazy might be the word to describe him. So, he does not stress about things, and goes with the flow. But he believes in efficiency, so when he does things, he wants to see it done as fast as possible with as little effort as possible. He is always looking for an easier way to do things, and sometimes he ends up spending more time, but that's the price of trial and error.

Mihir Sarwade

A graduate from Rutgers University in 2011 with a double major in Genetics and French. He is currently pursuing a Professional Science Masters' degree (MBS) here at Rutgers, with a concentration in Biotechnology and Genomics. Though his current training doesn't reflect it, he has always been interested in languages, both written and spoken. Whether it's learning the etymology of interesting words or comparing the way languages phrase certain equivalent sentences, he likes observing the fluidity and constant evolution of languages. Through working on this project, as well as personal observation, he has learned the importance of distinguishing the two as separate systems that don't necessarily affect each other.