Anna Maria Di Sciullo

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Anna Maria Di Sciullo is a full professor in the Linguistics Department and Associate professor in the Cognitive Computation PhD program at the University of Quebec at Montreal. Di Sciullo’s work has focused on the role of symmetry, asymmetry and symmetry breaking in the understanding of the Language Faculty and the interfaces with the external systems.

Her contributions to theoretical linguistics are centered on asymmetry as a cornerstone of the Language Faculty and on the asymmetry preserving principles reducing the complexity brought about by experience. Her research on the asymmetry of morphological relations provides a further understanding of the regularity of form and interpretation of word internal argument, aspect and operator structures. Her work in biolinguistics points to the pervasiveness of symmetry breaking in language ontogeny as well as in patterns of variance in phylogeny.

Di Sciullo’s work in computational linguistics led to the formulation of the Asymmetry Recovering Parser, generating deterministic parses for linguistic expressions. She developed a search engine sensitive to asymmetric relations, which has been used by the Government of Quebec to search and retrieve online legal information. Her work on the interface between the Language Faculty and mathematics led to the engineering of a sentiment mining system based on a compositional calculus applied to asymmetric relations.

Since 1998, she has directed major collaborative research projects funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and by the Fonds de recherche du Québec. She has received numerous research awards, among which the Research Award of the Board of Directors of the University of Quebec in 2001. In 2004 she founded the Federation on Natural Language Processing, bringing together the main actors in the area of theoretical linguistics, computational linguistics and information technology, and in 2007 she founded the International Network on Biolinguistics, bridging biology, linguistics and bioinformatics.


  • Cinque, Guglielmo (2004). "Restructuring and functional structure". In Beletti, Adriana. Structures and beyond. The cartography of syntactic structures. Oxford University Press. pp. 132–191. ISBN 978-0-19-517197-6. 
  • Cinque, Guglielmo (2006). Restructuring and functional heads. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-517954-5. 
  • Uriagereka, Juan (2012). Spell-out and the Minimalist Program. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-959353-8. 
  • Moro, Andrea (2008). The boundaries of Babel. The Brain and the Enigma of Impossible Languages. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-26-251506-1. 
  • Pylkkanen, Liina (2008). Introducing Arguments. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-26-266209-3. 
  • Collins, John (2011). The Unity of Linguistic Meaning. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-969484-6. 
  • Hinzen, Wolfram; Sheehan, Michelle (2013). The Philosophy of Universal Grammar. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-965483-3. 

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