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Professor Roumyana Slabakova

Professor Roumyana Slabakova

Chair in Applied Linguistics

Research interests

  • 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?

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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.