Adjunct Members

Adjunct members:

Stephanie Durrleman (University of Geneva)

My research focuses on both children and adults on the autistic spectrum, in the aim of elucidating (1) how they fare in the realm of complex syntax, (2) how their syntax compares to that of other clinical populations, such as Developmental Language Disorder, (3) how their syntax relates to cognition and (4) how findings on these various points can shape novel remediation tools.

Selected publications

2018: DURRLEMAN, S., HINZEN, W., FRANCK, J. (2018). False belief and relative clauses in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Communication Disorders. SILLERESI, S., TULLER, L., DELAGE, H., DURRLEMAN, S. BONNET-BRILLHAULT, F., MALVY J.,  & PREVOST, P. ‘Sentence repetition and language impairment in French-speaking children with ASD’, Language Acquisition and Language Disorders Series, John Benjamins. GUASTI, T. DELAGE, H. DURRLEMAN, S. ‘Comprehension of clitic pronouns and articles in French-speaking children with autism, specific language impairment and developmental dyslexia’ Language Acquisition and Language Disorders Series, John Benjamins.

2017: DURRLEMAN, S., DELAGE, H., PREVOST, P., TULLER, L. The comprehension of passives in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Glossa. DURRLEMAN, S., BURNEL, M. & REBOUL, A. ‘Theory of mind in Specific Language Impairment revisited: links with syntax, comparisons with Autism Spectrum Disorder’. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. BURNEL, M., PERRONE-BERTOLOTTI, M, DURRLEMAN, S., REBOUL, A, BACIU, M. ‘Role of two types of syntactic embedding in belief attribution in adults with or without Asperger syndrome’. Frontiers in Psychology. DURRLEMAN, S. ‘Grammar and Theory of Mind in Autism’. Formal Models in the Study of Language. Springer. DURRLEMAN, S., GATIGNOL, P., DELAGE, H. ‘Can theory of mind be improved thanks to grammatical training? A study of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Specific Language Impairment (‘La théorie de l’esprit peut-elle s’améliorer grâce à un entraînement grammatical? Une étude chez les enfants atteints de troubles du spectre autistique et de troubles spécifiques du langage’). Actes du XVII° Congrès de L’Union Nationale pour le Développement de la Recherche et de l’Evaluation en Orthophonie (UNADREO), Paris. DELAGE, H., GATIGNOL, P., DURRLEMAN, S.. ‘Working memory training to improve syntax: A training study in children with specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorder (‘Entraîner la mémoire de travail pour améliorer la syntaxe: Une étude d’entraînement chez les enfants présentant un trouble spécifique du langage et un trouble du spectre autistique’). Actes du XVII° Congrès de L’Union Nationale pour le Développement de la Recherche et de l’Evaluation en Orthophonie (UNADREO), Paris.

2016: DURRLEMAN, S., BURNEL, M. & REBOUL, A. ‘Connections between complementation sentences, executive functioning and theory of mind in autism.’ Innovative Investigations of Language in Autism Spectrum Disorder, The American Psychological Association and Walter de Gruyter. DURRLEMAN, S. & DELAGE, H. ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder and Specific Language Impairment: Overlaps in syntactic profiles’, Language Acquisition. DURRLEMAN, S., MARINIS, T., FRANCK, J.. ‘Syntactic complexity in the comprehension of wh-questions and relative clauses in typical language development and autism’. Journal of Applied Psycholinguistics. DURRLEMAN, S., BURNEL, M., THOMMEN, E. FOUDON, N., SONIE, S., REBOUL, A., FOURNERET, P. ‘The language-cognition interface in ASD: Complement sentences and false belief reasoning’, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. DELAGE, H. & DURRLEMAN, S. (2016). From language to cognition and vice-versa: Relationships between syntax, working memory and theory of mind in Specific Language Impairment and in Autism. Actes des Entretiens de Bichat.

2015: DURRLEMAN, S. & FRANCK, J. ‘Exploring links between language and cognition in autism spectrum disorders: complement sentences, false belief, and executive functioning’. Journal of Communication Disorders.

2014: DURRLEMAN, S., HIPPOLYTE, L., ZUFFEREY, S., IGLESIAS, K., HADJIKHANI, N. ‘Complex Syntax in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Study of Relative Clauses’. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders.


Anna Gavarro (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

My research focuses mainly on the acquisition of syntax in typically developing children. However, I have also done some work on the characterization of Developmental Language Impairment and on language breakdown in Broca’s aphasia, and I have started investigating grammar in Autism Spectrum Disorders. I am coauthor of two papers on the comprehension of passives in ASD (with Y. Heshmati, Catalan Journal of Linguistics 2014, and with K. Jensen and K. Schroeder, Autism and Developmental Language Impairments, 2018). I have recently coedited with S. Durrleman a volume entitled Investigating Grammar in Autism Spectrum Disorders (Frontiers in Psychology, 2018).


Aviya Hacohen (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

I have a strong specialization in theoretical linguistics, with an emphasis on syntax and the semantics/pragmatics interface, and I am particularly interested in the reciprocal relationship between linguistic theory and experimental psycho-and neurolinguistics as well as the development of syntax and the semantics/pragmatics interface in typical and atypical populations, such as ASD and SLI. 


Nick Riches (Newcastle University)

I am a researcher with a strong background in theoretical linguistics interested in whether language difficulties in autism are similar or different to those experienced by individuals with developmental language difficulties. My research addresses production and comprehension of particular syntactic structures including relative clauses (Riches, N. G., Loucas, T., Charman, T., Simonoff, E., & Baird, G. (2010). Sentence Repetition in Adolescents with Specific Language Impairments and Autism: an Investigation of Complex Syntax. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders45(1), 47–60. and compound nouns ( Riches, N. G., Loucas, T., Baird, G., Charman, T., & Simonoff, E. (2012). Interpretation of compound nouns by adolescents with specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorders: An investigation of phenotypic overlap. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology14(4), 307–317.)


Ana Lucia Santos (University of Lisbon)

I am a researcher who works on the acquisition of syntax in monolingual and bilingual settings. Although I have mostly worked with typically developing children, I have become interested in cases of atypical development and, in particular, in the comparison between cases of SLI and cases of linguistic impairment in autism. My research addresses production and comprehension of ellipsis, namely VP ellipsis (Santos, Ana Lúcia 2009. Minimal Answers. Ellipsis, syntax and discourse in the acquisition of European Portuguese. John Benjamins), as well as production and comprehension of inflected and non-inflected infinitive clauses (e.g. Santos, A. L., A. Gonçalves, & N. Hyams 2016. Aspects of the acquisition of object control and ECM-type verbs in European Portuguese. Language Acquisition, 23(3), 199-233; Santos, A. L. & A. Gonçalves (eds.) 2018. Complement clauses in Portuguese: Syntax and acquisition. John  Benjamins).​


Spyridoula Varlokosta (University of Athens)