Dr Julio Villa-García

Lecturer in Spanish Linguistics and Syntax

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BA-MA Oviedo '05; Dip. Kent '05; MA Essex '07; MA Connecticut '10; PhD Connecticut '12

[On Institutional Research Leave (research sabbatical) during the 2018-2019 academic year]

Dr Julio Villa-García [xúli̯o βíʝa ɣaɾθía] was born in Avilés, in the Principality of Asturias, Spain, in the year Spain last hosted the FIFA World Cup. In the course of his PhD at the University of Connecticut, Dr Villa-García was trained as a theoretical syntactician and as a language acquisitionist, working within the framework of Minimalism. His current interests include Spanish/Romance and English Linguistics (esp. syntax), Dialectal Microvariation in Syntax, Bilingualism, and First and Second Language Acquisition, including the application of theoretical linguistics research to the foreign-/second-language classroom. After pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English Studies and Linguistics at Oviedo (Spain), Kent, Essex (UK), and Connecticut (USA), Dr Villa-García became an Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics at Villanova University, in Philadelphia, PA, USA. In September 2015, he was appointed permanent Lecturer in Spanish Linguistics and Syntax in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Manchester, in the UK, and was confirmed in post in May 2017. Dr Villa-García's full updated CV can be accessed in .pdf format here.

On the research side, Dr Villa-García's focus is Spanish/Romance syntax and, to a lesser extent, monolingual and bilingual first language acquisition. His research is concerned with issues pertaining to the syntax-phonology interface, the structural geometry of the leftmost portion of (Spanish) clauses (i.e., the CP/left periphery), complementiser systems (i.e., that-like elements), locality of movement (i.e., long-distance/filler-gap dependencies), left-dislocations and questions, negative imperatives (i.e., commands) and clitic (i.e., weak pronoun) directionality, ellipsis, polarity, emphasis, as well as subjecthood from any standpoint. The results of his recent acquisitional and syntactic research have appeared in a number of peer-reviewed papers, and the findings of his long-term investigation into the syntax of Spanish sentences featuring various que 'that' complementisers are reported in his book The Syntax of Multiple-que Sentences in Spanish: Along the left periphery, published by John Benjamins (Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Vol. 2, 2015). His interest in the (grammatical) structure of the clausal left edge and complementisers in general continues to the present day, with current projects that delve into such issues across Spanish varieties and beyond.

Dr Villa-García has presented widely on a host of topics in syntax and its acquisition, alongside engagement and knowledge-transfer topics such as multilingualism as well as the benefits of applying the scientific method to the teaching/learning of foreign languages.

Dr Villa-García teaches units in the BA in Linguistics and the BA in English Language (Minimalist Syntax, previously also First and Second Language Acquisition), in the MA in Linguistics (Introduction to Grammatical Theory), as well as in the BA in Spanish (Spanish Linguistics). He welcomes BA, MA and PhD students working mainly on the theoretical (Minimalism) and descriptive syntax of English, Spanish and Romance, but also on topics related to the acquisition of syntax.

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