Professor Roumyana Slabakova is the Chair of Applied Linguistics at the University of Southampton. She is Head of Research of the Modern Languages and Linguistics department. Professor Slabakova has published over seventy articles in first-tier scholarly journals and thirty chapters; she has written four monographs and edited three volumes. She is the co-Editor of the journal Second Language Research (SAGE) and of the book series Language Acquisition and Lingustic Disorders (John Benjamins). She sits on numerous scientific advisory boards and is a foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
- Roumyana Slabakova's research is grounded in generative linguistic theory and explores the second language (L2) acquisition process. Her theoretical focus is the acquisition of grammatical structure and its interaction with meaning. She uses online and offline psycholinguistic methodologies to investigate the following theoretical issues:
- What is the linguistic nature of the bilingual and multilingual grammar?Are there some properties of language (e.g. words, sounds, sentence structure) that are easier to acquire than others (e.g. functional morphemes, grammatical meanings)? Are there are some properties, such as pragmatic universals, that will come for free in the grammar of the learner?Can lexical, phrasal and sentence meaning be acquired in the L2? How does the interface between form and meaning affect the L2 acquisition of meaning?What is the effect of the native language in the acquisition of a second language? What are the effects of the native and the second language in the acquisition of a third language?How does linguistic and processing complexity affect knowledge of meaning in the L2? How do children acquiring their native language and adult L2 learners compare in this respect?
Professor Slabakova is currently working on multilingual acquisition of definiteness and genericity. She is also actively elaborating on her Scalpel Model, which endeavours to explain third and additional language development.
Current PhD Students
Professor Slabakova teaches modules on second language acquisition theory, linguistic approaches to language acquisition and to English grammar. She is very happy to advise and supervise postgraduate students working in formal approaches to second and third language acquisition, heritage language acquisition, and first language attrition.
External roles and responsibilities
- Albert Valdman Award (2018)
- The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2019)
- Member of The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (2020)