Dept. of Linguistics, MC-168
707 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Office: 4120 Foreign Languages Bldg.
I was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina and completed my undergraduate university education in Argentina. I received a Masters in English from the University of Cincinnati and a PhD in Linguistics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I have been a professor in SUNY-Albany and I came to the University of Illinois in 1999.
I am a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and in the Department of Linguistics and I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in Spanish and in English. I was Head of the Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese from 2010-2013 and Head of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese from 2015-2016. In 2010 I founded the University Language Academy for Children, an after school and summer camp Spanish program for 4-16 year old children, which I directed until 2018.
Second language acquisition
heritage language acquisition
Grounded in linguistic theory and using psycholinguistic methodologies,my research explores the following theoretical issues:
- the linguistic nature of interlanguage and bilingual grammars
- the role of the “other” language in the acquisition or loss of a language
- the reasons why some L2 learners/bilinguals reach the level of proficiency and linguistic knowledge of native speakers while others fall short of that level even when optimal conditions for learning are provided,
- the linguistic selectivity of acquisition and loss, or why linguistic “success” or “failure” affects certain grammatical areas (vocabulary, sounds, meaning, verb endings, and discourse) but not others (sentence structure)
- the differences and similarities between linguistic processes attested in second language acquisition and bilingualism and other developmental processes typical of historicallanguage change and first language acquisition.
PhD. McGill University, Montreal
National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) Faculty Fellowship Program. Project Title: Analyzing and Visualizing Linguistic Variation in Monolingual and Bilingual Speakers. Montrul, S. (PI), David Durbin (co-PI), Scott Nicholson (NSCA collaborator). $24,977 for 1 year (AY 2021-2022).
National Institutes of Health, NICHD. NIH R03HD099491. Validating New Measures of Later Language Development with Spanish and English Monolinguals and Bilinguals. Montrul, S. (PI), Yan, X., Montag, J., Christianson, K. and Hadley, P. Amount: $142,614. Duration 24 months (2020-2022).
Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Initiative Small Grants Program, University of Illinois. Project Title: Oral Language Development in School-age Dual Language Learners. Montrul, S. (PI), Montag, J., Christianson, K. and Hadley, P. Requested amount: $20,000 for 1 year (AY 2018-2019).
National Science Foundation, BCS, Perception, Action and Cognition. BCS-1431324 PI: Darren Tanner, co-PI: Silvina Montrul. Cognitive and Neurocognitive individual differences in native and non-native language processing. Amount $391,376. Duration 36 months (2014-2018).
National Science Foundation, Linguistics and International Programs. PI: Silvina Montrul, Co-PIs: Rakesh Bhatt and Roxana Girju. (Proposal No. BCS-0917593, ARRA). Research project title: Differential Object Marking in Spanish, Hindi and Romanian Heritage Speakers. Amount $303,444. Duration 36 months (2009-2012)
Spanish & Prtuguese
- SPAN 252: Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
- SPAN 305: The structure of Spanish
- SPAN 307: Bilingualism
- SPAN/LING 588 Seminar in Second Language Acquisition
- LING 489: Theoretical Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
- LING 514: Research Design and Statistics
- LING 529: Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism
- LING 560: Seminar in Bilingualism
Additional Campus Affiliations
Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
Professor, French and Italian
Professor, Global Studies Programs and Courses
Professor, Center for Global Studies
Affiliate, Center for Social and Behavioral Science
Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Professor, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Professor, Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies
Professor, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Honors & Awards
University Scholar 2013
Montrul, S. (2023). Doing Romance Linguistics: A Multilingual Acquisition Perspective. Isogloss, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/isogloss.299
Montrul, S. (2023). Heritage Languages: Language Acquired, Language Lost, Language Regained. Annual Review of Linguistics, 9, 399-418. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-linguistics-030521-050236
Coskun Kunduz, A., & Montrul, S. (2022). Sources of variability in the acquisition of Differential Object Marking by Turkish heritage language children in the United States. Bilingualism, 25(4), 603-616. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728921001000
Coşkun Kunduz, A., & Montrul, S. (2022). Relative clauses in child heritage speakers of Turkish in the United States. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. https://doi.org/10.1075/lab.21027.cos
Montrul, S. (2022). Heritage language speakers inform the critical period hypothesis for first and second language acquisition. In T. Leal, E. Shimanskaya, & C. A. Isabelli (Eds.), Generative SLA in the Age of Minimalism. Features, interfaces, and beyond. Selected proceedings of the 15th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (pp. 265-286). (Language Acquisition and Language Disorders; Vol. 67). John Benjamins Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1075/lald.67.11mon