Universiteit Leiden

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Maria del Carmen Parafita Couto

University Lecturer

Dr. M. Parafita Couto
+31 71 527 2644

Maria Carmen Parafita Couto studies the impact of bilingualism and language contact on language structure, mostly the syntax of code-switching.

More information about Maria del Carmen Parafita Couto

Fields of interest

  • Bilingualism
  • Language contact
  • Code-switching
  • Dialect syntax
  • Linguistic interfaces
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Integration of corpus studies and experimental research


I study the impact of bilingualism and language contact on language structure, mostly the syntax of code-switching. My research program takes a cross-disciplinary approach using converging methodological tools ranging from corpus data to behavioural methods, and more recently also electrophysiological measures.  

Teaching activities

  • Spanish Syntax
  • Bilingualism in the Spanish speaking world
  • De Erfenis van Trajanus
  • Master: Language variation and language change in Latin America

Curriculum vitae

I received my PhD in Linguistics at the University of Kansas (2005). After three years as an assistant professor of Spanish and Linguistics at Kenyon College (Ohio, USA), I joined the ESRC Center for Research on Bilingualism (Bangor, Wales) as a project researcher (2008-2012). Before moving to Leiden, I spent one year as a faculty member at the School of Humanities at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow).

I have worked with colleagues to develop a research center (CeIBA- Centro para la investigación del bilingüismo y aprendizaje) on language, bilingualism and education at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. I am also an affiliate member of the Bilingualism Research Centre at Bangor University, the Bilingualism Research Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the ELEBILAB at the University of the Basque Country, and the Centre for the Comparative Study of the Americas at Swansea University.

University Lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics

Work address

Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden
Room number 1.10


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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