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Interview Keynote speaker Theo Marinis

This is our final interview before the start of the conference on Sunday: last, but certainly not least, keynote speaker Theo Marinis!

Please introduce yourself

I am Theo Marinis, Professor of Multilingualism at the University of Konstanz and at the University of Reading and Director of the Centre for Multilingualism at the University of Konstanz.

Tell us a bit more about your research

I have two main lines of research. My first line of research focuses on how multilingual children acquire and process their languages in real-time. The majority of humans on earth are multilingual and yet most of our knowledge on how language develops in children and how children process language comes from monolingual children. In particular we have limited understanding on how multilingual children process in real-time the languages they speak, how that changes over time as children grow up and their environment changes, for example through attending school and develop literacy skills. My second line of research focuses on children with language impairment, such as Developmental Language Disorders and Autism. I am particularly interested in these groups because their difficulties in particular aspects of language can demonstrate how the system of language is organized, how language relates to other areas of cognition and which aspects of language are particularly vulnerable when children develop in an atypical way.

What are your expectations of COM2019?

This is the first time I attend COM and I am very excited about joining the group of other researchers that attend COM regularly, listening to their talks and receiving feedback for my study.

And finally, what are you particularly proud of in terms of your research career?

First of all I am proud that some of my research inspired other people to start using on-line sentence processing tasks with bi-/ multilingual populations and children. Second, I am proud of having been able to train many (12 so far) bright and enthusiastic PhD students from many different countries, most of which have pursued a career in the academia. Third, I am proud of the research collaborations I was able to set up through international and interdisciplinary projects funded by the European Union that are providing novel research findings that bring the science forward and promise to make a real impact to the society.

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