I am a linguist specializing in language acquisition by neurotypical and neurodivergent children, teenagers and adults. I earned my MA degree from Utrecht University in 1990, my PhD degree from UCLA in 1997, and was a Postdoc at MIT until 1998. From 1998-2011 I worked at Ben Gurion University in Israel as an Assistant and an Associate Professor. I have been affiliated with the University of Amsterdam since 2011.
My research varies from the study of language acquisition by typically developing monolingual Dutch-, English-, Italian-, Hebrew-, Russian- and Mandarin-acquiring children, to multilingualism (including L2) and the study of language disorders, particularly in individuals with Developmental Language Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Hemispherectomy.
A recurring theme in my research is the question as to whether grammar and pragmatics are two separate language components or not, what their respective roles and interaction are in language development, and how they interact with extralinguistic cognition. The linguistic phenomena I investigate to this end include object scrambling, clitic placement, Wh-movement, article drop, article choice, the mass/count distinction, subject drop, subject-verb agreement, Root Infinitives, Case, implicatures, information structure. I mostly use behavioral experimental techniques (onsite and online), but I also have an interest in eye-tracking, brain-imaging and electrophysiological techniques to collect data although I don't have much experience with these techniques yet.
Language (development) in Autism
1. Preparation MSC Doctoral Network grant proposal on Language, Brain and Genetics in Autism
2. Preparation Textbook on Language in Autism
3. Coordination LACA Network (Language Abilities in Children with Autism / Language And Communication in Autism)