Personal Website: www.victoriamateu.com
Victoria Mateu completed her Ph.D. in 2016 at the UCLA Department of Linguistics and then held a position as Lecturer in Linguistics and Lab Manager of the UCLA Language Lab for three years. She joined the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 2019.
The core of her research program consists in using experimental methodologies to investigate how children and adults represent language, particularly Spanish. Specifically, she is interested in investigating: (i) what morphosyntactic constraints operate in these two populations, and (ii) crosslinguistic differences – between Spanish and English primarily – and what divergent developmental paths can tell us about the underlying grammars of these languages. She is also interested in language processing and assessing whether children’s difficulties have their roots in their developing grammar or their developing performance system.
In addition to child and adult L1 syntax, she has also investigated word prosody and segmentation abilities in monolingual and bilingual Spanish and English infants, and is interested in further exploring how different populations acquire linguistic properties particular to Spanish.
- Ph.D. (2016). Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of California Los Angeles.
- M.A. (2013). Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of California Los Angeles.
- B.A. (2011). English Philology, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Granada (Spain)
- Language Acquisition with an emphasis on Spanish and English
- Acquisition of syntactic structures
- Word and morpheme segmentation in infants
- First Language Acquisition
- Theoretical Syntax, particularly syntax of Romance languages (Spanish, Catalan)
- Language Processing
SPAN/PORTGSE M35 – Spanish, Portuguese, and the Nature of Language
Description: Introduction to what is known about the Human Language with an emphasis on Spanish and Portuguese data. We will explore the nature of Language –what it means to know a language, how it differs from other animal systems of communication, and common misconceptions about Language and the field of Linguistics. We will critically examine the different features of language structure –phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics; as well as various psycholinguistic aspects of language, including first and second language acquisition, bilingualism, language loss, language and the brain, and how language interacts with other cognitive domains.
SPAN 100B – Spanish Syntax
Description: This course examines basic principles of generative syntax as they apply to specific syntactic structures of Spanish and English primarily. The goals of the course are: (i) to learn basic techniques of syntactic analysis (e.g. constituent analysis, proposing and justifying syntactic structures and movement rules); (ii) to gain a deeper understanding of particular aspects of Spanish syntax. No previous knowledge of (generative) syntax is assumed. Coursework emphasizes argumentation, the ability to construct and work with a formal system, and experimentation. It is taught in Spanish.
SPAN 160 – Topics in Spanish Linguistics: Child Language Acquisition
Description: This course is concerned with the question of how children acquire their native language. After laying the theoretical framework, the course explores how children gain competence in different aspects of the language — the sound system (phonetics and phonology), word meaning (lexical semantics), word formation (morphology); and sentence structure (syntax) — on their journey towards adult competence. Beyond general theory, which transcends any one language, there will be a focus on Spanish (and other Romance languages) and English.
The course primarily considers monolingual and typical language development, but also examines “nontypical” circumstances such as acquisition beyond the “critical period”, bilingual and child L2 development, and language disorders.
SPAN 204B – (Spanish) Generative Syntax
Description: This course examines basic principles of generative syntax as they apply to specific syntactic structures of Spanish and English primarily. The goals of the course are: (i) to learn basic techniques of syntactic analysis (e.g. constituent analysis, proposing and justifying syntactic structures and movement rules); (ii) to become acquainted with some of the theoretical principles of syntactic theory; and (iii) to gain a deeper understanding of particular aspects of Spanish syntax. No previous knowledge of (generative) syntax is assumed. Coursework emphasizes syntactic argumentation (with few ad hoc postulations), problem solving, the ability to construct and work with a formal system, and experimentation.
SPAN 256B – Studies in Spanish Linguistics: First Language Acquisition of Spanish Morphosyntax
Description: This course is designed to introduce students to current acquisition theory and empirical studies (naturalistic and experimental) of Spanish (and Romance)-speaking children’s grammatical development. We investigate the more widely studied areas of (morpho‐)syntactic development such as agreement, explicit and null arguments, verb structure, A- and A’‐movement, as well as some issues in semantic/pragmatic development. We explore these topics within the context of more general questions about language development such as the role of (innate) grammatical principles, input frequency and learning, as well as various performance-related and methodological issues. Although the focus is on typically developing monolingual Spanish-speaking children, we also examine bilingual development in relation to some of these topics.
Mateu, Victoria & Megha Sundara. (2022). Spanish input facilitates English learning infants’ segmentation of English words. Cognition, 218, 104936.
The ManyBabies Consortium. (2021). A multi-lab study of bilingual infants: Exploring the preference for infant-directed speech. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science. 4(1). 1-30.
Mateu, Victoria & Nina Hyams. (2021). Structural intervention effects in the acquisition of sluicing. Language Acquisition 28. 6-38.
Mateu, Victoria E. & Nina Hyams (2021). On children’s late acquisition of raising seem and control promise: Is a unified account possible? In Adriana Belleti & Chris Collins (eds.) Smuggling 222-254. Volume in Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Liu, Minqi, Nina Hyams, & Victoria Mateu (2020). Late Intervention Effects in the Acquisition of Mandarin Sluice-like Constructions. Proceedings of the 44th Boston University Conference on Language Development [BUCLD 44]. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Mateu, Victoria & Nina Hyams. (2020). The structure of silence: A look at children’s comprehension of sluicing. Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistics Society [NELS 49]. Volume 2. 265-278.
Mateu, Victoria E. (2019). Intervention effects in the acquisition of raising: Evidence from English and Spanish. Language Acquisition.1-34.
Mateu, Victoria E. & Nina Hyams (2019). On the learnability of implicit arguments. In Ionin, Tania & Matthew Rispoli (eds.) Three Streams of Generative Language Acquisition Research. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.
Sundara, Megha & Victoria Mateu. (2018). Lexical stress constrains English-learning infants’ segmentation in a non-native language. Cognition 181. 105-116.
Mateu, Victoria E., Nina Hyams & Lauren Winans. (2018). Intervention effects in early grammar: Evidence from sluicing. Proceedings of the 42nd Boston University Conference on Language Development [BUCLD 42]. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Mateu, Victoria E. & Nina Hyams. (2016). One is the loneliest number: The acquisition of Spanish indefinite ‘un’. Proceedings of the Generativist Approaches to Language Acquisition: North America 6 [GALANA 6]. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Charnavel, Isabelle & Victoria E. Mateu. (2015). The Clitic BindingRestriction revisited: Evidence for Antilogophoricity. The Linguistic Review 32(4). 671-701.
Hyams, Nina, Victoria Mateu, Michael Putnam, Robyn Orfitelli, Jason Rothman, & Liliana Sánchez. (2015). Parameters in language acquisition. In A. Fabregas, J. Mateu, & M. Putnam (eds.) Contemporary linguistic parameters. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.
Mateu, Victoria E. (2014). Object clitic omission in child Spanish: Evaluating representational and processing accounts. Language Acquisition 22. 240-284.