• Acquisition of syntactic structures and principles.
  • Relationship between production and comprehension in child language.
  • The effects of processing and working-memory limitations in language development.
  • Word segmentation by monolingual and bilingual infants.
  • Cross-linguistic differences in language acquisition.
  • Romance languages (particularly Catalan and Spanish).


  • Mateu, Victoria & Nina Hyams. (to appear). On children’s late acquisition of raising ‘seem’ and control ‘promise’: Is a unified account possible? In Adriana Belletti & Chris Collins (eds.) Smuggling volume in Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Mateu, Victoria & Nina Hyams. (in press). On the learnability of implicit arguments. In Tania Ionin & 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. [link]
  • 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. [pdf]
  • Mateu, Victoria E. (2018). What cross-linguistic acquisition differences can tell us about invisible syntax: The case of Spanish ‘parecer’. Proceedings of the 41st Boston University Conference on Language Development [BUCLD 41]. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. [pdf]
  • Nina Hyams, Victoria Mateu, & Lauren Winans. (2017). Ellipsis meets wh-movement: Sluicing in early grammar. In Nicholas LaCara; Kier Moulton & Anne-Michelle Tessier (eds.) A Schrift to Fest Kyle Johnson. Linguistics Open Access Publications. 1.
  • 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. [pdf]
  • Charnavel, Isabelle & Victoria E. Mateu. (2015). The Clitic Binding Restriction revisited: Evidence for Antilogophoricity. The Linguistic Review 32(4). 671-701. [pdf]
  • 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.
  • Charnavel, Isabelle & Victoria E. Mateu. (2015). Antilogophoricity in clitic clusters. Proceedings of the 32nd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics [WCCFL 32]. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. [pdf]
  • Mateu, Victoria E. (2014). Object clitic omission in child Spanish: Evaluating representational and processing accounts. Language Acquisition 22. 240-284. [pdf]
  • Mateu, Victoria E. (2014). Clitic Omission in Spanish-speaking children: Evaluating the roles of competence and performance. Proceedings of the 38th Boston University Conference on Language Development [BUCLD 38]. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. [pdf]


  • Mateu, Victoria E. (2016). Intervention Effects in the Acquisition of Raising and Control: Evidence from English and Spanish. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Dissertation. [pdf]


LING 130 – Language Development

Description: This course is concerned with the question of how children naturally acquire their native language. The primary focus is on children’s development of grammatical knowledge and the various stages that they pass through on the way to adult competence. We will look at development in the various components of grammar- phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics/pragmatics – and we will also discuss some theories of language development. You will be introduced to child language data – what children perceive, say, and comprehend in the course of development – and learn how to analyze that data. We will also look at language acquisition in English and other languages, as well as language development in special populations and circumstances (e.g. bilingualism, children with SLI, acquisition beyond the “critical period”).

  • Class Syllabus (Fall 2018): [pdf]

LING C140 – Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition

Description: This course is an introduction to the study of child bilingualism and child and adult second language (L2) acquisition. The focus of the course will be on understanding the nature of the two simultaneously developing grammars/L2 grammar and the grammatical processes underlying bilingual/L2 acquisition. We will cover various components of the developing grammars, including phonetics/phonology, morphology, and syntax, and we will consider topics such as age effects/critical period in L2 acquisition, the role of Universal Grammar, input and learning principles, the relation of the L2 (and L3) grammar to the L1 grammar, cognitive and neurolinguistic effects of bilingualism/ L2 acquisition, bilinguals with SLI, heritage speakers, and the grammar and pragmatics of code-switching.

  • Class Syllabus (Winter 2019): [pdf]

LING C135 – Neurolinguistics

Description: Neurolinguistics is the study of how language is represented in the brain: that is, how and where our brains store our knowledge of the language (or languages) that we speak, understand, read, and write, what happens in our brains as we acquire that knowledge, what happens as we use it in our everyday lives, and what happens when we have a neurological disorder or damage to certain areas of the brain. This class will survey four major topics in Neurolinguistics: 1) Neuroanatomy, hemispheric specialization for language, and techniques to study this; 2) Language processing in the healthy brain from early speech perception to higher level semantic interpretation; 3) A range of acquired and developmental language disorders, including speech sound disorders, aphasias, Specific Language Impairment, and Autism Spectrum Disorder; 4) Other issues of interest such as the Critical Period for first and second language acquisition, Sign Language and the Brain, and Bilingualism and the Brain.

  • Class Syllabus (Fall 2017): [pdf]