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Indiana University Bloomington
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Laurent Dekydtspotter

Professor Second Language Studies
Professor French and Italian
Office: Ballantine Hall 611
Phone: (812) 855-2221


  • Ph.D. Linguistics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  • M.A. TESOL/Applied Linguistics Washington State University, Pullman Washington
  • B.A. English. UniversitĂ© Catholique de l'Ouest Angers, France

Research Interests

Development of interpretive knowledge: phrasal semantics, lexical semantics and grammatically computed pragmatic inferences. Sentence processing: information integration in L2 processing

Professor Dekydtspotter’s primary research foci lie in the degrees to which second language learners can acquire sentence types that are not grammatical in the learner's native language as well as with the precise manner in which second language perceivers in various stages of development go about interpreting sentences of the target language input, with special interest in the integration of information from various domains: context, pragmatics, prosody, semantics and syntax. The reason for the focus on semantics is that not all ways of combining words together have the same semantic consequences. Aspects of one's semantic intuitions results from the precise way in which one goes about putting the sentence together. In fact, interpretive research developed at IU suggests that L2 learners develop grammars that are in the same range as native systems. The reason for the second focus on processing is that not all ways of combining information together have the same consequences for language understanding. In a string of experiments, Professor Dekydtspotter has investigated the extent to which context can override syntactic information in the manner in which L2 learners perceive sentences. Our research so far found a deep syntactic reflex in second language acquirers of French, at the low intermediate proficiency level and beyond. This threatens the notion that L2 perceivers do not process sentences as deeply as natives, relying on lexical and contexual information instead.