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Maria Zubizarreta

Professor of Linguistics

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-3887
Office: GFS 301Q


Biographical Sketch

Maria Luisa Zubizarreta was born and raised in Asunción, Paraguay. She obtained her Maîtrise de Linguistique Générale from L’Université de Paris 8 in 1978, and her PhD in Linguistics from M.I.T. in 1982. From 1983-85, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale at L’Université Paris 5/CNRS (France). In 1985-86, she was a Visiting Professor at Tilburg University (The Netherlands). In 1987-88, she was an Assistant Professor at the Linguistics Program and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at University of Maryland, College Park, MD. In 1988, she joined the Linguistics Department at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) as an Associate Professor and in 1998, she was promoted to Full Professor. Her research focus is in theoretical linguistics (syntax and lexicon, syntax and prosody, syntax and semantics), as well as in second language acquisition.


Ph.D. Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 9/1982

Postdoctoral Training

Post-doctoral fellow, Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale, Université Paris 5/CNRS, Paris, France, 09/01/1983-07/30/1985  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Zubizarreta is interested in linguistic theory as a model of human's linguistic competence. This research program investigates the abstract principles that underlie human languages and the set of parameters that account for linguistic variations. This is achieved by in-depth comparative investigation of the grammar of different languages. Her research includes in-depth study of: (1) the lexicon-syntax interface in Romance, Germanic, and Korean (2) the interface of prosody, word order, and information structure in Romance and Germanic; she is currently extending her investigation to Turkish (3) second language prosody and grammatical knowledge, and what it teaches us about the mental representations of the languages in contact.

Research Keywords

Linguistic Theory, Syntax, Prosody-Information Structure Interface, Language contact and Language acquisition.

Research Specialties

Linguistic Theory, Syntax, Prosody/Information Structure Interface, Language contact and Language acquisition
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