Antonella Sorace

Antonella Sorace

Professor of Developmental Linguistics, University of Edinburgh


Antonella Sorace (Laurea, University of Rome; MA, University of Southern California; PhD, University of Edinburgh) is Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. In her career she has held research appointments and visiting professorships at numerous institutions, including the University of Tromsø, the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, the University of Hamburg, and the University of Siena. Her research focuses on a number of interrelated questions that bring together linguistics, experimental psychology and cognitive science, and her research achievements and publications span different sub-fields of scientific enquiry. She is a world leading authority on bilingualism over the lifespan and is particularly well known for her studies of exceptionally talented (“near-native”) adult second language speakers; for her research on the changes (“attrition”) that take place in the native language of advanced second language speakers; for her investigation of bilingual language acquisition in early and late childhood, and of the effects of bilingualism in non-linguistic domains. She is also internationally known for her contribution to language typology, especially for her research on constrained variation at the lexicon-syntax interface, which she has investigated in many languages, and her studies of gradience in natural language. Moreover, she has given an important contribution to experimental methods in linguistics by pioneering the use of Magnitude Estimation as a technique for the elicitation of linguistic acceptability judgments. She is committed to disseminating the findings of research on bilingualism outside academia. She is the founding director of the information and consultancy centre Bilingualism Matters and was awarded a Beltane Fellowship for Public Engagement.


The University of Edinburgh

Selected Publications:

  • Vega-Mendoza, M., West, H., Sorace, A. and Bak, T. 2015. The impact of late, non-balanced bilingualism on cognitive performance. Cognition 137: 40-46.
  • Chamorro, G., Sorace, A. and Sturt, P. 2015. What is the source of L1 attrition? The effects of recent re-exposure on Spanish speakers under L1 attrition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. DOI: 10.1017/S1366728915000152.
  • Bak, T., Vega-Mendoza, M. and Sorace, A. 2014. Never too late? An advantage on tests of auditory attention extends to late bilinguals. Frontiers in Psychology, volume 5, article 485.
  • Filiaci, F., Sorace, A. and Carreiras, M. 2013. Anaphoric biases of null and overt subjects in Italian and Spanish: a crosslinguistic comparison. Language and Cognitive Processes, doi:10.1080/01690965.2013.801502.
  • Heycock, C., Sorace, A., Hansen, Z and Wilson, F. 2013. Acquisition in variation (and vice-versa). Language Acquisition 20: 5-22.
  • Heycock, C., Sorace, A., Hansen, Z., Wilson, F. and Vikner, S. 2012. Detecting the late stages of syntactic change: the loss of V-to-T in Faroese. Language 88: 558-600.
  • Unsworth, S., Argyri, F., Cornips, L., Hulk, A., Sorace, A. and Tsimpli, I. 2012. On the role of age of onset and input in early child bilingualism in Greek and Dutch. Applied Psycholinguistics, doi:10.1017/S0142716412000574.
  • Roehm, D., Sorace, A. and Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. 2012. Processing flexible form-to-meaning mappings: evidence for enriched composition as opposed to indeterminacy. Language and Cognitive Processes, doi:10.1080/01690965.2012.712143.
  • Serratrice, L. Sorace, A. Filiaci, F. and Baldo, M. 2011. Pronominal objects in English-Italian and Spanish-Italian bilingual children. Applied Psycholinguistics, doi:10.1017/S0142716411000543.
  • Sorace, A. 2011.Pinning down the concept of “interface” in bilingualism. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 1: 1-33. • Bard, E.G., Frenck-Mestre, C. and Sorace, A. 2010. Processing auxiliary selection with Italian intransitive verbs. Linguistics 48: 325-362.
  • Sorace, A. and Serratrice, L. 2009. Internal and external interfaces in bilingual language development: Beyond structural overlap. International Journal of Bilingualism 13: 1-16.
  • Treccani, B., Argyri, E., Sorace, A. and Della Sala, S. 2009. Spatial negative priming in bilingualism. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 16: 320-327.
  • Sorace, A., Serratrice, L. Filiaci, F. and Baldo, M. 2009. Discourse conditions on subject pronoun realization: testing the linguistic intuitions of older bilingual children. Lingua 119: 460-477.
Antonella Sorace