Universiteit Leiden

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Leticia Pablos Robles

Assistant Professor

Dr. L. Pablos Robles
+31 71 527 2106

Leticia Pablos Robles is an assistant professor within the track language and cognition in Experimental Linguistics. She is specialized in sentence comprehension and she has a special interest in topics such as: prediction in the brain, processing of long-distance dependencies and the use of prosodic/semantic/syntactic information in sentence processing. She has expertise in methods such as event-related potentials, eye-tracking and self-paced reading and has worked with languages of different language families (e.g., Basque, Spanish, Mandarin, Dutch, French and English). Data analysis is one of her core areas of expertise and she frequently provides statistical advice to researchers, students and PhD candidates. Besides her core area of interest, she also collaborates on projects on second language/bilingual processing, code-switching, replication studies, perception of translated medical texts, microvariation of grammatical constraints (via acceptability judgements) and the cognition and processing of quantities across different languages.

More information about Leticia Pablos Robles

Fields of interest

  • Sentence processing
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Prosody
  • Second Language Learning
  • Data Analysis
  • Cognitive Control
  • Code-switching


I work on syntactic processing and phenomena at the interfaces of syntax with semantics and prosody. Within syntactic processing, I examined long-distance dependencies (Clitic Left Dislocation, Wh-dependencies: ex-situ and in-situ), binding phenomena and island effects. For processing phenomena at the syntax-semantics interface, I worked mainly on Negative Polarity Items (NPIs), whereas for processing phenomena at the syntax-prosody interface I examined Wh-in-situ questions. In order to study some of these questions I conducted cross-linguistic research by comparing languages such as Basque and Spanish, or Mandarin and French, making use of both neural and behavioral experimental methods such as Event-Related Potentials (ERPs), eye-tracking or self-paced reading and different modalities (visual and auditory). At a more general level, I am interested in the dichotomy of language competence and performance and how these two systems may differ/be similar from each other.

Grants and awards


  • ​​​​​​​British Academy Small Research Grant, Reading University, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, Project: “Structural and Semantic Licensing of Negative Polarity Dependencies: evidence from Basque and Spanish” (Principal investigator), 2007 - 2010
  • Basque Government Post-doctoral Grant, University of Reading (UK), School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, 2006 - 2008
  • Basque Government Pre-doctoral Grant, University of Maryland (USA), Linguistics Deparment, 2002 - 2006


  • Teaching Excellence Award, University of Maryland, 2002

Curriculum vitae


University of Maryland, Linguistics Department, College Park, USA
Ph.D. in Linguistics,​​

Dissertation: “Pre-verbal Structure building in Romance Languages and Basque”

1999 University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain
BA in English Philology
Academic Appointments  
2017-present Leiden University, Leiden University Center for Linguistics (LUCL), The Netherlands
Assistant Professor (UD)
2014-2018 Leiden University, Leiden University Center for Linguistics (LUCL), The Netherlands
Post-doctoral Researcher in NWO Vrije Competitie Project “Understanding Questions”, PIs: Prof. Dr. Lisa L. Cheng, Prof. Dr. Jenny Doetjes
2011-2013 Leiden University, Latin American Department (LAS), The Netherlands
2009-2011 Leiden University, Leiden University Center for Linguistics (LUCL), The Netherlands
Post-doctoral Researcher
2008-2009 University of the Basque Country, English and German Philology Department, Spain
2008-2009 University of the Basque Country, ELEBILAB - Psycholinguistics Lab, Spain
Post-doctoral Researcher on the project “BRAINGLOT, Bilingualism and Cognitive Neuroscience”, PIs: Prof. Dr. Itziar Laka, Prof. Dr. Nuria Sebastián-Gallés
2006-2008 University of Reading, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, UK
Post-doctoral Researcher on the project “Structural and Semantic Licensing of Negative Polarity Dependencies: evidence from Basque and Spanish”


Key publications

  • Von Grebmer Zu Wolfsthurn, S., Pablos, L., & Schiller, N. O. (2021). Crosslinguistic interference in late language learners: An ERP study. Brain and Language, 221, 104993. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2021.104993
  • Von Grebmer Zu Wolfsthurn, S., Pablos, L., & Schiller, N. O. (2021). Noun-phrase production as a window to language selection: an ERP study. Neuropsychologia, 162, 108055. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2021.108055
  • Bosma, E., & Pablos, L. (2020). Switching direction modulates the engagement of cognitive control in bilingual reading comprehension: An ERP study. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 55, 100894. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2020.100894
  • Pablos Robles L., Doetjes J.S., Ruijgrok B.J. & Cheng L.L.S. (2019), Backward licensing of Negative Polarity Items in Dutch: an ERP investigation, Journal of Neurolinguistics, 51 (August 2019), 96-110. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroling.2018.12.001
  • Yang Y., Gryllia S., Pablos Robles L. & Cheng L.L. (2019), Clause type anticipation based on prosody in Mandarin, International Journal of Chinese Linguistics 6(1): 1-26.
  • Pablos L, Doetjes J. & Cheng LL.S. (2018). Backward Dependencies and in-Situ wh-Questions as Test Cases on How to Approach Experimental Linguistics Research That Pursues Theoretical Linguistics Questions. Frontiers in Psychology. 8: 2237. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02237.
  • Pablos, L., Doetjes, J., Ruijgrok B. & Cheng L.L.S. (2015). Active Search for Antecedents in Cataphoric Pronoun Resolution. Frontiers in Psychology. 6:1638. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01638.
  • Yoshida, M., Kazanina, N., Pablos, L. & Sturt, P. (2014). On the origin of islands. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29 (7), 761-770. doi: 10.1080/01690965.2013.788196.
  • Pablos, L. (2011). ‘Rich Agreement in Basque: evidence for pre-verbal structure building’ in Yuki Hirose, Jerry Packard & Hiroko Yamashita. (Eds). Processing and Producing Head-Final Structures. Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics. Springer: Dordrecht. ISBN 978-90-481-9213-7. doi: 10.1007/978-90-481-9213-7.


Assistant Professor

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics
  • LUCL Taalwetenschap

Work address

Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden
Room number 1.48



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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