ICREA Academia

M. Teresa Espinal

ICREA Academia 2009 & 2015

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona · Humanities

I have a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Philology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - UAB, 1978), a Master of Arts in Linguistics (University of London, 1981), and a PhD in Theoretical Linguistics (UAB, 1985). Postdoctoral research stays at the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, University of Utrecht, and Université Paris 7-CNRS, and visiting professor at UNICAMP. I am Professor of Linguistics at the UAB (since 1999) and a member of the Center for Theoretical Linguistics (CLT). I have published five books, and edited two special issues of journals. I am the author of a number of articles in specialized journals (Language, Journal of Linguistics, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Frontiers in Psychology. Language Sciences, Journal of Pragmatics, The Linguistic Review, Linguistics, International Journal of Lexicography, Linguisticae Investigationes, Probus, Glossa, Annual Review of Linguistics, Lingua, among others), and in edited volumes.

Research interests

My main research interest is the theory of language. The most recent research focuses on the structure and meaning of negation in natural languages (single negation, expletive negation and double negation readings at the syntax-semantics interface and at the syntax-prosody-gesture interface), rejecting responses to negative assertions and questions, reference to kinds and to other generic expressions, the structure and meaning of bare nominals in Romance, weak referentiality and event modification, expletive determiners, the structure of vocatives, and the semantics of number, among other topics. Previous research dealt with different adverbial expressions and the adjunct / disjunct asymmetry, and the syntax and semantics of idioms. While the final goal of this theoretical research is to understand the structure of language, on a more applied level I am developing experimental research on how speakers assign specific readings to linguistic expressions.


Linguistic theory, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, experimental linguistics