My current scientific activities include:

  1. Research on cognition from a crosslinguistic perspective (use of innovative research methods that combine offline (e.g., production/categorization) and online (e.g., eye tracking) experimental designs for the investigation of the impact the properties of different languages have on the verbal and non-verbal cognitive abilities of speakers with/without language impairment);
  2. Research on discourse analysis (e.g., development of a corpus-based method for automatized discourse analysis of bilingual adults, children, speakers with aphasia);
  3. Research on aphasia & assessment (e.g., development of comprehensive assessment tools for mono-/bi-/multi-linguals that provide an accurate picture of the performance speakers have in each of their languages).

More specifically, in my studies I have been focusing on several topics related to the Language-Thought relationship. I am interested in how the language(s) we speak influence(s) the way we perceive and understand the world around us and whether losing our language means obligatorily losing our ability to think and perform non-verbal tasks (categorizing, reasoning, decision making etc.). I have been working on these topics from different perspectives and across several thematic areas:


As a cognitive scientist and within my research projects on spatial cognition (cf. LANGACROSS I and II projects), I investigate from a cross-linguistic perspective what is the impact of the specific linguistic properties on our verbal and non-verbal behaviour. I use innovative research methods that combine offline (production, categorization, memory, comprehension tasks) as well as online experimental designs (involving eye tracking and reaction time measures) to study the verbal and non-verbal performance of speakers with and without language impairment, the performance of adults vs. children and that of monolingual vs. bilingual speakers and second language users.


As a specialist in discourse analysis and within my research projects on bilingualism (cf. BILda and INEXDEB projects) I have developed a corpus-based method for the automatization of discourse analysis and more specifically a multi-level annotation tool that takes into consideration the most common discourse markers, morphosyntactic, semantic and phonological errors as they occur in monolingual/bilingual uses by adults, children, second language learners and speakers with aphasia.


As a specialist in language impairment and within my research projects on aphasia (cf. COST-CAT and CAT-Tavistok projects) I have been investigating how people with aphasia deal (in language and beyond) with the most crucial aspects of human perception (e.g., spatial components, existential entities) combining this line of research with more applied topics such as language and cognitive assessment. In the last years I have been involved in the development of a standardized diagnostic tool (Comprehensive aphasia Test, Swinburn et al., 2004) which I currently adapt into French, while together with researchers from 15 other countries we aim to provide a comparable tool that could be used around Europe for a more accurate diagnostic picture of the performance bilingual/multilingual speakers have in each of their languages at the phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic level, in language comprehension, production, reading and writing.

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