Antonella Sorace

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Antonella Sorace is an experimental linguist, specializing in bilingualism across the lifespan. She is currently Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh,[1] as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh[2] and of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.[3][4]

Sorace received a first degree from the University of Rome 'La Sapienza', a Master of Arts degree from the University of Southern California, and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh.

Sorace's research has focused on multilingual acquisition across the lifespan, with a particular focus on highly advanced or near-native second language speakers, the changes in the native language of second language learners, and differences in acquisition in younger or older bilingual children. She is also the originator of the influential interface hypothesis. The hypothesis posits that linguistic structures that are sensitive to conditions external to the language domain, such as pragmatic, discourse, or contextual information, may remain variable in bilingual speakers, even at very advanced proficiency levels. She has recently turned her attention to the interactions between language and general cognition, which may partly be responsible for this variability.

Sorace is known for her research on the lexicon-syntax interface and especially for her work on gradience in split intransitivity across languages.[5][6] She has contributed to experimental linguistics methods by pioneering the use of Magnitude Estimation for the elicitation of acceptability judgments.[7][8]

Sorace is also the founder and director of Bilingualism Matters, an information and public engagement centre with branches in Europe and the United States, which aims to bridge the divide between researchers and the community at large about the facts and benefits of learning multiple languages, particularly among children.[9]

Selected publications[edit]

  • (2015) Vega-Mendoza, M., West, H., Sorace, A. and Bak, T. The impact of late, non-balanced bilingualism on cognitive performance. Cognition 137: 40-46.
  • (2014) Sorace, A. Input, timing, and outcomes in a wider model of bilingualism. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 4: 377-380.
  • (2011) Sorace, A. Pinning down the concept of "interface" in bilingualism. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 1: 1-33.
  • (2009) Sorace, A., Serratrice, L., Filiaci, F. and Baldo, M. Discourse conditions on subject pronoun realisation: testing the linguistic intuitions of older bilingual children. "Lingua" 119: 460-477.
  • (2007) Belletti, A., Bennati, E. and Sorace, A. Theoretical and developmental issues in the syntax of subjects: evidence from near-native Italian. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25: 657-689.
  • (2004) Tsimpli, T. Sorace, A., Heycock, C. and Filiaci, F. First language attrition and syntactic subjects: a study of Greek and Italian near-native speakers of English. International Journal of Bilingualism 8: 257-277.
  • (2003) Sorace, A. Near-Nativeness. In M. Long and C. Doughty (eds.), Handbook of Second Language Acquisition, 130-152. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • (2000). Sorace, A. Gradients in auxiliary selection with intransitive verbs. "Language" 76: 859-890.
  • (1996) Bard, E.G., Robertson, D. and Sorace, A. Magnitude Estimation of linguistic acceptability. Language 72: 32-68.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Index: Linguistics and English Language". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Royal Society of Edinburgh: Antonella Sorace". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Antonella Sorace - home page". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Connecting the Fellowship - Alex Dunedin". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  5. ^ Bard, Ellen Gurman; Robertson, Dan; Sorace, Antonella (1996). "Magnitude Estimation of linguistic acceptability". Language. 72 (1): 32–68. doi:10.2307/416793. JSTOR 416793.
  6. ^ Sorace, Antonella (2011). "Gradience in split intransitivity: the end of the Unaccusative Hypothesis?". Archivio Glottologico Italiano.
  7. ^ Experimental Methods in Language Acquisition Research. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 2010. pp. 57–72.
  8. ^ Sorace, Antonella; Keller, Frank (2005). "Gradience in linguistic data". Lingua. 115 (11): 1497–1524. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2004.07.002.
  9. ^ "Message from the Centre's Director". Retrieved 4 June 2015.