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Personal profile

Personal profile

I was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina and completed my undergraduate university education in Argentina. I received a Masters in English from the University of Cincinnati and a PhD in Linguistics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I have been a professor in SUNY-Albany and I came to the University of Illinois last century, in 1999.

I am a Professor in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and in the Department of Linguistics.


PhD. McGill University, Montreal

Research Interests

Second language acquisition
heritage language acquisition

Professional Information

Grounded in linguistic theory and using psycholinguistic methodologies,my research explores the following theoretical issues:

  1. the linguistic nature of interlanguage and bilingual grammars
  2. the role of the “other” language in the acquisition or loss of a language
  3. the reasons why some L2 learners/bilinguals reach the level of proficiency and linguistic knowledge of native speakers while others fall short of that level even when optimal conditions for learning are provided,
  4. the linguistic selectivity of acquisition and loss, or why linguistic “success” or “failure” affects certain grammatical areas (vocabulary, sounds, meaning, verb endings, and discourse) but not others (sentence structure)
  5. the differences and similarities between linguistic processes attested in second language acquisition and bilingualism and other developmental processes typical of historicallanguage change and first language acquisition.

Honors & Awards

University Scholar 2013


National Science Foundation, Linguistics and International Programs. PI: Silvina Montrul, Co-PIs: Rakesh Bhatt and Roxana Girju. (Proposal No. BCS-0917593, ARRA). Research project title: Differential Object Marking in Spanish, Hindi and Romanian Heritage Speakers. Amount $303,444 for three years.


LING 514 Research Design and Statistics
SPAN 307 Bilingualism
SPAN/LING 588 Seminar in Second Language Acquisition
LING 529: Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism
LING 489: Theoretical Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
SPAN 252: Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

Office Address

University of Illinois
Dept. of Linguistics, MC-168
707 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Office: 4120 Foreign Languages Bldg.

Office Phone

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Research Output

Attrition, addition, and age

Montrul, S., Apr 1 2020, In : Second Language Research. 36, 2, p. 213-217 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

How Learning Context Shapes Heritage and Second Language Acquisition

Montrul, S., Feb 2020, The Handbook of Informal Language Learning. Dressman, M. & Sadler, R. W. (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell, p. 57-74

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Variational Learning in Child L2 Acquisition? Comprehension of Verbal Agreement in Spanish and English

    Morales Reyes, A. & Montrul, S., Jul 2 2020, In : Language Learning and Development. 16, 3, p. 211-230 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • An experimental investigation of differential object marking in Mexican Spanish

    Bautista-Maldonado, S. & Montrul, S. A., Feb 27 2019, In : Spanish in Context. 16, 1, p. 22-50 29 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Case marking in Hindi as the weaker language

    Montrul, S., Bhatia, A., Bhatt, R. & Puri, V., 2019, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 10, MAR, 461.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Activities

    • 6 Editorial activity
    • 4 Invited talk

    The Heritage Language Journal (Journal)

    Silvina Andrea Montrul (Editorial board member)

    2016 → …

    Activity: Editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Lingua (Journal)

    Silvina Andrea Montrul (Editorial board member)


    Activity: Editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Age and Experience in Heritage Language Processing

    Silvina Andrea Montrul (Keynote speaker)

    Aug 2016

    Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

    Annual Review of Applied Linguistics (Journal)

    Silvina Andrea Montrul (Editorial board member)


    Activity: Editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Second Language Research (Journal)

    Silvina Andrea Montrul (Editor)

    2011 → …

    Activity: Editorial work typesEditorial activity