I am the Head of Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, School of Humanities.
I am the co-director of the ESRC-funded SPLLOC project which investigates the acquisition of Spanish morphosyntax by English learners. SPLLOC is the first corpus of learner oral data completely open-access and freely available to the research and teaching communities.
I am the PI of an AHRC research project investigating native language attrition, changes in the grammars of native speakers as the result of learning a second language.
- I am a member of the editorial board of ‘Second Language Research’, the ‘Spanish Heritage Journal’ and ‘Sintagma’. Ex member of the editorial board of ‘Studies in Second Language Acquisition’ and the ‘Journal of the European Second Language Association’.
- Ex-member of the ‘European Second Language Association’ (EuroSLA) Executive Committee.
- Member of the ‘ESRC Peer Review College’.
- Associate Member of the Centre for Research & Enterprise in Language (CREL). University of Greenwich, UK.
- Associate Member of the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM). University of Reading, UK.
- Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) (ordinary member).
Service to the Department (Modern Languages and Linguistics):
- Head of Department (2021-2024)
- REF Champion for Impact (REF2021)
- Deputy Head of Department (2018-2019)
- Head of Research (2016-2019)
- Linguistics Section Leader (2011-2015)
Service to the University:
- Member of the University’s Senate (2020-2023)
- Member of the REF-Impact review working group (2021)
- Member of the QS World Rankings Advisory Group (2019-2020)
- Member of the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel (2021-2024)
- External examiner for MA (Taught) programmes in Linguistics and Linguistics and ELT at the University of Leeds (2018-2022)
- Major Areas of research: formal second language acquisition, bi/multilingualism and native language attrition.
- Other Areas of Interest: heritage language acquisition, linguistic interfaces, learner corpora, task design in L2 research, L3 acquisition, Spanish linguistics, syntactic variation and language contact.
My research interests lie in the areas of language development (first and second language acquisition, bilingualism and language attrition), and syntactic theory (syntax and the interfaces, information structure, Romance syntax and Hispanic linguistics), both within a generative framework.
My research has mainly centred on the analysis of information structure and focus, in particular how word order in Spanish is affected by both prosodic and syntactic constraints. I have conducted extensive research on the L2 acquisition and attrition of Spanish word order and subject pronouns by advanced English speakers.
I am also interested in the acquisition of Spanish tense and aspect morphology, and how English learners of Spanish figure out that Spanish marks the imperfective/perfective distinction with specific verbal morphology, unlike English.
I also work on grammatical attrition, changes on native grammars due to influence from a second language or dialect.
Current PhD Students
External roles and responsibilities
I am a Professor of Linguistics interested in formal second language acquisition, syntactic theory and grammatical attrition. Originally from Spain, I joined the department in 2004 after receiving my PhD in Applied Linguistics from Boston University. My thesis analysed the prosodic and syntactic constraints of focus marking and how these affect word order in Spanish. Most of my research since has focused on investigating how adult speakers of Spanish learn these and other language-specific constraints. A revised version of my thesis, which also includes L2 acquisition and L1 attrition data, was published by John Benjamins in 2013 (Domínguez, L. 2013. Understanding Interfaces: L2 acquisition and native language attrition of Spanish subject realization and word order variation. Amsterdam: John Bejamins).
My research on syntax, second language acquisition and first language attrition is framed within the generative (Minimalist) programme.