Interview with the Visiting Professor Joao Costa
1. Please provide a brief outline of your training and scientific activity.
I graduated at the University of Lisbon, and did my PhD in the Netherlands, at Leiden University, with a one year stay at MIT. After that, I moved back to Lisbon, and started working at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where I am based. My research focuses on the syntax of Portuguese, under a comparative perspective. In the last decade, I started working on language development, studying the acquisition of normal and impaired language. I have also dedicated part of my research time to the area of educational linguistics.
2. Please state your reasons for choosing Venice and the Department for your research and teaching stay.
This was the response to a very nice invitation. I was very honored, since this university and this department are a reference in theoretical linguistics, and sets an example in language teaching due to its capacity to attract students and to promote the effective learning of many foreigner languages. In particular, it is very exciting to see the growth of Portuguese learners in Venice.
3. Have you ever had a research collaboration with the teaching staff of Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies in the past?
It is impossible to be a linguistic and not read the work of several professors at the Department. Professor Guglielmo Cinque, Professor Anna Cardinaletti, Professor Giuliana Giusti are part of those “obligatory readings” for everyone studying Linguistics. For this reason, and due to my admiration for their work, we met at several occasions in many conferences and events.
I would also emphasize the role played by the teachers of Portuguese in the promotion and dissemination of the language. I recently met Vanessa Castagna and was very impressed by her view on language teaching.
4. What are your expectations regarding our University in general and our Department in particular?
I’m looking forward to this collaboration. I am sure this will be a great opportunity to learn from the students and from the teaching staff.
Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies