Skip to Content

Professor Jason Rothman

BA Cornell, MA UCLA, PhD UCLA.

Jason Rothman

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

email :
Homepage :

External Address

School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences,
University of Reading, UK


I am a Professor of Multilingualism and Clinical
Language Sciences at the University of Reading (UK) and Professor II of Linguistics at the University of Tromsø (Norway). My work spans child L1, L2 and bilingual acquisition to adult heritage speakers of bilingualism, L2 and L3/Ln acquisition. The majority of my works examines the acquisition and processing of complex syntax and its interfaces with morphology, semantics and pragmatics, areas in which I have published over 100 articles and book chapters.

Recent External Appointments

  • Editorial Board, Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, John Benjamins. (2015 continuing)
  • Editor, Studies in Bilingualism, John Benjamins. (2015 continuing)
  • Editorial Board, International Journal of Bilingualism. (2013 continuing)
  • Editorial Board, Bilingual Processing and Acquisition, John Benjamins. (2013 continuing)
  • Series Editor, Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, John Benjamins. (2012 - 2015)
  • General Editor, Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, John Benjamins. (2010 continuing)
  • Associate Editor, Linguistics, Hispania. (2010 continuing)
  • Editorial Board, Hispania. (2010 continuing)
  • Editoral Board, EUROSLA Yearbook. (2009 continuing)
  • Editorial Board, EUROSLA Monograph Series. (2009 continuing)

Selected Publications


  • Becker, M., Grinstead, J., & Rothman, J. (Eds.). (2013). Generative Linguistics and Language Acquisition. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins.
  • Cabrelli Amaro, J., Flynn, S., & Rothman, J. (Eds.). (2012). Third Language Acquisition in Adulthood. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins.
  • Potowski, K., & Rothman, J. (Eds.). (2011). Bilingual Youth: Spanish Speakers in English-Speaking Societies. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins.
  • Iverson, M., Ivanov, I., Judy, T., Tyrzna, M., Rothman, J. & Slabakoca, R. (Eds.). (2010). Proceedings of the Mind-Context Divide Workshop. Somerville: Cascadilla Press.

Book Chapters

  • Hyams, N., Mateu, V., Ortefelli, R., Putnam, M., Rothman, J., & Sanchez, L. (In Press). Parameters and language acquisition. In A. Fabregas, J. Mateu, & M. Putnam (Eds.), The Linguistic Handbook of Parameters. London, UK: Bloomsbury.
  • Iverson, M., & Rothman, J. (2015). Object drop in L2 Spanish, (complex) feature reassembly and L1 pre-emption: Comparing English, Chinese, European and Brazilian Portuguese learners. In T. Judy & S. Perpiñán (Eds.), The Acquisition of Spanish in Understudied Language Pairings (pp. 255-280). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.
  • VanPatten, B., & Rothman, J. (2015). What does current generative linguistic theory have to say about the explicit-implicit debate? In P. Rebuschat (Ed.), Implicit and Explicit Learning in Languages. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.
  • Rothman, J., & Judy, T. (2014). Portuguese Heritage Language Acquisition in The United States. In T. Wiley, J. Peyton, D. Christian, S.C. Moore, & N. Liu (Eds.), Handbook of Heritage and Community Languages in the United States: Research, Educational Practice, and Policy (pp. 268-287). New York: Routledge.
  • Rothman, J., & Pascual y Cabo, D. (2014). Approaches to Spanish Second Language Acquisition. In K. Geeslin (Ed.), Handbook of Spanish Second Language Acquisition (pp. 46-63). Maden: Blackwell.
  • Rothman, J., Giancaspro, D., & Halloran, B. (2014). English-Spanish Bilingual Learners of Portuguese as a Third Language: Non-Redundant Acquisition and its Typological Nature. In P. Amaral & A. Carvalho (Eds.), Portuguese/Spanish Interfaces Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • VanPatten, B., & Rothman, J. (2014). Against “rules”. In C. Laval & M.J. Arche (Eds.), The Grammar Dimension in Instructed SLA: Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 15-36). London: Continuum Press.
  • Long, D., & Rothman, J. (2013). Generative approaches and the Competing Systems Hypothesis: Formal Acquisition to Practical Application. In J. Schweiter (Ed.), Theoretical and Pedagogical Innovations in SLA and Bilingualism (pp. 63-83). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Pascual y Cabo, D., & Rothman, J. (2013). Multilingualism and Identity. In C. Chappel (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Rothman, J. (2013). Cognitive Economy, Non-Redundancy and Typological Primacy in L3 Acquisition: Evidence from initial stages of L3 Romance. In S. Baauw, F. Dirjkoningen, L. Meroni, & M. Pinto (Eds.), Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2011 (pp. 217-247). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Rothman, J., & VanPatten, B. (2013). Multiplicity and Mutual Exclusivity: The Case for Different SLA Theories. In M. del Pilar García Mayo, M. Junkal Gutiérrez Mangado & M. Martínez Adrián (Eds.), Contemporary Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (pp. 243-256). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Rothman, J., Cabrelli Amaro, J., & De Bot, K. (2013). Third Language (L3) Acquisition. In J. Herschensohn, & M. Young-Scholten (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 372-393). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rothman, J., Duarte, I., Pires, A., & Santos, A.L. (2013). How Early After All? Inflected Infinitives in European and Brazilian Portuguese L1 Production. In P. Stavrakaki, M. Konstantinopoulou, & M. Lalioti (Eds.), Advances in Language Acquisition Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press.
  • Santos, A.L., Rothman, J., Darte, I., & Pires, A. (2013). Early or Late Acquisition of Inflected Infinitives in European Portuguese? Evidence from Spontaneous Production Data. In M. Becker, J. Grinstead, & J. Rothman (Eds.), Generative Linguistics and Acquisition (pp. 65-88). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Ayoun, D., & Rothman, J. (2012). Generative Approaches to the Acquisition of Tense, Aspect and Mood in Adult L2. In R. Salaberry & L. Comajoan (Eds.), The Research Design and Methodology in Studies on Second Language Tense and Aspect (pp. 119-156). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Cabrelli Amaro, J., Flynn, S., & Rothman, J. (2012). Third Language (L3) Acquisition in Adulthood. In J. Cabrelli Amaro, S. Flynn & J. Rothman (Eds.), Third Language Acquisition in Adulthood (pp. 1-6). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins.
  • García Mayo, M., & Rothman, J. (2012). Generative L3: From the Initial Stages and Beyond. In J. Cabrelli Amaro, S. Flynn & J. Rothman (Eds.), Third Language Acquisition in Adulthood (pp. 9-32). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins.
  • Rothman, J., & Iverson, M. (2010). Independent normative assessments for bi/multilingualism, where art thou? In M. Cruz-Ferreira (Ed.), Multilingual Norms (pp. 33-51). Berlin/New York: Peter Lang.


  • Treffers-Daller, J., Daller, M., Furman, R., & Rothman, J. (2016). Ultimate attainment in the use of collocations among heritage speakers of Turkish in Germany and Turkish-German returnees. Bilingualism, 19(3), 504-519. doi:10.1017/S1366728915000139
  • Leal Méndeza, T., Rothman, J., & Slabakovaa, R. (2015). Discourse-sensitive clitic-doubled dislocations in heritage Spanish. Lingua, 155, 85-97. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2014.01.002
  • Rothman, J. (2015). Linguistic and cognitive motivations for the Typological Primacy Model (TPM) of third language (L3) transfer: Timing of acquisition and proficiency considered [Special Issue]. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 18(2), 179-190.
  • Leal Méndez, T., Rothman, J., & Slabakova, R. (2014). A rare structure at the syntax-discourse interface: Heritage and Spanish-dominant native speakers weigh in. Language Acquisition, 21(4), 411-429.
  • Long, D., & Rothman, J. (2014). Some caveats to the role of input in the timing of child bilingualism. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 4, 351-356.
  • Rothman, J., & Treffers-Daller, J. (2014). A prolegomenon to the construct of the native speaker: Heritage speaker bilinguals are natives too! Applied Linguistics, 35(1), 93-98.
  • Campos-Dintrans, G., Pires, A., & Rothman, J. (2013). Subject-to-subject raising and the syntax of tense in L2 Spanish: A full access approach. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 17(1), 38-55.
  • Cuza, A., Guijarro-Fuentes, P., Pires, A., & Rothman, J. (2013). The syntax-semantics of bare and definite plural subjects in the L2 Spanish of English natives [Special Issue]. International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(5), 634-652. doi:10.1177/1367006911435594
  • Rothman, J., & Halloran, B. (2013). Formal linguistic approaches to L3/Ln acquisition: A focus on morphosyntactic transfer in adult multilingualism. Annual Review of Applied Linguistic, 33, 51-67.
  • Rothman, J., & Iverson, M. (2013). Strong islands and null objects in L2 Spanish of Brazilian Portuguese natives: Do you know the learners who drop ____? Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35(4), 589-618. doi:10.1017/S0272263113000387
  • Pascual y Cabo, D., & Rothman, J. (2012). The (Il)logical problem of heritage speaker bilingualism and incomplete acquisition. Applied Linguistics, 33(4), 450-455. doi:10.1093/applin/ams037
  • Rothman, J., & Guijarro-Fuentes, P. (2012). Linguistic interfaces and language acquisition in childhood. First Language, 32(1-2), 3-16. doi:10.1177/0142723710396794
  • Slabakova, R., Kempchinsky, P., & Rothman, J. (2012). Clitic-doubled left dislocation and focus fronting in L2 Spanish: A case of successful acquisition at the syntax-discourse interface. Second Language Research, 28(3), 319-343.
  • Pires, A., & Rothman, J. (2011). An integrated perspective on comparative bilingual differences: Beyond the interface problem. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 1(1), 74-78.
  • Pires, A., Rothman, J., & Santos, A. (2011). L1 acquisition across Portuguese dialects: Modular and interdisciplinary interfaces as sources of explanation. Lingua, 121(4), 605-622.
  • Rothman, J. (2011). Syntactic transfer selectivity and typological determinacy: The typological primacy model. Second Language Research, 27(1), 107-127.
  • Rothman, J., & Iverson, M. (2011). Flexionar ou Não Flexionar, Eis a Questão: Infinitivos no Português como Segunda Língua (L2) [To inflect or not to inflect is the question indeed: Infinitives in second language (L2) Portuguese]. Letras de Hoje, 46(3), 28-43.
  • Rothman, J., & Slabakova, R. (2011). The mind-context divide: On linguistic interfaces and language acquisition. Lingua, 121(4), 568-576.
  • Rothman, J., Iverson, M., & Judy, T. (2011). Some notes on the generative study of L3 acquisition. Second Language Research, 27(1), 5-19.

Published Conference Proceedings

  • Judy, T., & Rothman, J. (2014). The processing of pronominal subjects by near-native L1 Persian-L2 Spanish adult bilinguals. In W. Orman & M.J. Valleau (Eds.), BUCLD 38: Proceedings of the 38th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 192-204). Somerville: Cascadilla Press.
  • Halloran, B., & Rothman, J. (2013). Exceptional case marking and restrictions on clitic solidarity in L2 Spanish. In S. Baiz, N. Goldman & R. Hawkes (Eds.), BUCLD 37: Proceedings of the 37th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 145-159). Somerville: Cascadilla Press.
  • Pascual y Cabo, D., Lingwall, A., & Rothman, J. (2012). Applying the interface hypothesis to heritage speaker (HS) acquisition: Evidence from Spanish mood. In A. K. Biller, E.Y. Chung & A.E. Kimball (Eds.), BUCLD 36: Proceedings of the 36th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 437-448). Somerville: Cascadilla Press.
  • Goodin-Mayeda, L., Renaud, J., & Rothman, J. (2011). Optimality Theoretic L2 re-ranking and the Constraint Fluctuation Hypothesis: coda nasals in the L2 English of L1 Spanish speakers. In M. Pirvulescu, M.C. Cuervo, A.T. Pérez-Leroux, J. Steele, & N. Strik (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2010) (pp. 66-77). Somerville: Cascadilla Press.
  • Iverson, M., & Rothman, J. (2011). L1 preemption and L2 learnability: The case of object drop in Brazilian Portuguese native learners of L2 Spanish. In N. Danis, K. Mesh & H. Sung (Eds.), BUCLD 35: Proceedings of the 35th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 296-307). Somerville: Cascadilla Press.
  • Santos, A., Duarte, I., Pires, A., & Rothman, J. (2011). Early inflected infinitives and late V-to-C movement. In N. Danis, K. Mesh & H. Sung (Eds.), BUCLD 35: Proceedings of the 35th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 540-552). Somerville: Cascadilla Press.
  • Slabakova, R., Rothman, J., & Kempchinsky, P. (2011). Gradient competence at the syntax-discourse interface. In L. Roberts, G. Pallotti & C. Bettoni (Eds.), EuroSLA Yearbook (pp. 218-243). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Slabakova, R., Rothman, J., Leal Mendez, T., Campos, G., & Kempchinsky, P. (2011). Pragmatic features at the L2 syntax-discourse interface. In N. Danis, K. Mesh & H. Sung (Ed.), BUCLD 35: Proceedings of the 35th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 564-576). Somerville: Cascadilla Press.

Conference Presentations, Colloquia, and other presentations

  • Banon, J.A., Rothman, J., & Miller, D. (2015, September). Event related potentials (ERP) evidence for the acquisition of uninterpretable features in adult L2 acquisition while considering the role of morphological markedness and L1 transfer. Poster session presented at the 12th Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition (GALA 12), Nantes, France.
  • Rothman, J. (2015, May). Heritage language bilingualism and why different is not Incomplete. Invited paper presented at the 2nd Languages in the Globalised World (LGW) Conference, Leeds Beckett University, UK.
  • Rothman, J. (2015, April). Bilingual advantages: Understanding and using the cognitive gains of bilingualism. Invited paper presented at the GUST English Language and Literature (GELL) Second International Conference, Gulf University for Science & Technology, Kuwait.
  • Rothman, J. (2015, April). Empirical and theoretical issues in third (or more) language acquisition. Invited paper presented at the Experimental Methods in Language Acquisition Research (EMLAR XI), Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
  • Rothman, J. (2015, March). Different? Yes. Incomplete? No: Sourcing (some) differences in heritage language bilingualism to input quality differences. Colloquium at the CSD Speaker Series, Northwestern University, USA.
  • Rothman, J. (2015, January). On the economy and selectivity of linguistic transfer as seen in adult multilingualism: What evidence from Spanish and Portuguese reveal. Invited paper presented at the Bilingualism in the Hispanic and Lusophone World (BHL), Leiden University, The Netherlands.
  • Rothman, J. (2015, January). Sourcing (some) differences in heritage language bilingualism and why different is NOT deviant NOR incomplete. Colloquium at the The Institute for Language and Culture, University of Southampton, UK.
  • Castro, T., Rothman, J., & Oliveira, T. (2014, December). Early and late successive bilingual acquisition within micro parametric domains: Null objects in 1st and 2nd generation Brazilians in Portugal. Paper presented at the Going Romance, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal.
  • Rothman, J. (2014, October). Bilingualism and cognition: What pscyholinguistic research tells us about the benefits of bilingualism and other realities. Invited presentation given at the 42nd Conference Texas Association for Bilingual Education, Texas USA.
  • Iverson, M., & Rothman, J. (2014, August). Extreme first language attrition: Replacing the notion of a steady state for a state of equilibrium? Paper presented at the International Applied Linguistics Association World Congress, Brisbane.
  • Rothman, J. (2014, August). Trickle-down L1 attrition effects in heritage language bilingualism: The role of input in explaining difference across generations. Invited presentation given at the CLaS-CCD Bilingualism Workshop, Macquarie University.
  • Rothman, J. (2014, June). Bilingualism and multilingualism with heritage languages: Theory and issues for practice. Invited presentation given at the National Association for Teaching English and Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA), University of Sheffield, UK.
  • Bañón, J.A. & Rothman, J. (2014, May). Introducing a neurolinguistic methodology to testing the principally selective nature of previous language influence in L3 acquisition Invited presentation given at the Language Knowledge and Development in Native and Non-Native Speakers, Aristotole University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • Rothman, J. (2014, May). On the structural and economic basis of transfer in third language (L3) initial stages and its implications for L3 development over time. Invited presentation given at the Multilingual Perspectives Workshop, Mannheim University, Germany.
  • Rothman, J. (2014, March). Input issues and general bilingualism effects in the grammatical outcomes of heritage speaker bilingualism. Colloquium at the Ibero-Romance Linguistics Seminars, University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Rothman, J. (2014, February). Transfer at the initial stages of adult third language acquisition: Motivating the formal role typological plays and why this occurs. Colloquium at the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York, UK.
  • Rothman, J. (2014, February). Heritage speaker bilingualism: Input issues in grammatical outcomes. Colloquium at the Department of Education, Oxford University, UK.
  • Rothman, J. & Bañón, J.A. (2014, February). Insights from L2 ERP studies as a motivation for its application at the initial stages of L3 research: Examining the processing of gender and number. Colloquium at the CASTL Colloquium, University of Tromso, Norway.
  • VanPatten, B., & Rothman, J. (2014, February). Against rules. Colloquium at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Houston, UK.
  • Rothman, J. (2014, January). Typological similarity and cognitive economy delimit transfer in L3 acquisition: Updating the typological primacy model. Invited presentation given at the 22nd Conference of the Student Organization of Linguistics in Europe (ConSOLE XXII), University of Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Rothman, J. (2013, December). Cognitive economy, non-redundancy and typological primacy in adult multilingual acquisition. Colloquium at the Institute of Intelligence Systems, University of Memphis, USA.
  • Rothman, J. (2013, October). Cognitive economy, non-redundancy and typological primacy in L3 acquisition: Evidence from the initial stages of L3 western romance. Invited presentation given at the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, University of Ottawa, Canada.
  • Rothman, J. (2013, April). Comparative structural determinism and cognitive economy guide multilingual acquisition: Transfer evidence in closely related language pairings. Invited presentation given at the 36th Generative Linguistics in the Old World Colloquium (GLOW), University of Lund, Sweden.
  • Rothman, J. (2012, October). Interfaces and heritage speaker bilingualism. Invited presentation given at the Acquisition at the Interfaces Workshop, University of Tromsø, Norway.
  • Rothman, J. (2012, May). The L3 connection: Highlighting the value of third language (L3) syntactic data for general linguistic and psycholinguistic questions. Invited presentation given at the Third Language Acquisition: A Focus on Cognitive Approaches, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain.
  • Rothman, J. (2011, December). On romance in third language acquisition. Invited presentation given at the Going Romance, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
  • Rothman, J. (2011, October). On the comparative fallacy of comparisons and why SLA is bilingualism. Invited colloquium at the (Why) Does SLA Need a Bilingual Turn?, Iowa State University, USA.
  • Rothman, J. (2011, May). What determines syntactic transfer in third language acquisition and why? What Spanish and Portuguese have to say. Invited presentation given at the Quebec-Ontario Dialogues on the Acquisition of Spanish, University of Ottawa, Canada.
  • Iverson, M., & Rothman, J. (2011, March). Strong Islands and Accusative Objects in BP-native/L2 Spanish: Do you know the learners who drop ____? Presentation given at the Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition, University of Washington, USA.
  • Rothman, J. (2011, February). “A” is for acquisition: A critical look at research trends and questions in generative SLA. Invited symposium conducted at the Applied Linguistics Graduate Program, University of the Basque Country, Spain.
  • Iverson, M., & Rothman, J. (2010, November). When L2 syntax is target-like and target-deviant at the same time: L1 preemption again! Presentation given at the Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Rothman, J., & Iverson, M. (2010, April). On the typology and syntactic L1 preemption: Brazilian Portuguese speakers acquiring L2 Spanish. Presentation given at the Hispanic Linguistic Symposium , Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Further Information

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
Email :
Web :

Sign up to receive CCD event and research announcements

Upcoming CCD Seminars

Full Seminar List

Macquarie Univeristy Logo University of Western Australia Logo The University of Sydney Logo

University of New South Wales Logo University of New England logo