Dr Danijela Trenkic



I joined the department in February 2004, after holding a lecturing post in English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Portsmouth, and a research post at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.I graduated from the University of Belgrade (English language and literature) and completed my MPhil and PhD at the Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge.

I am a member of the Centre for Research in Language Learning and Use, and am also collaborating with colleagues in the Psycholinguistics Research Group at the department of Psychology. We are currently investigating how grammar is processed in a second language using the eye-tracking technology.



As a linguist, I believe that questions related to language education and teaching can only be answered in the light of what we know about how languages are learnt, how they are accessed in production and comprehension, and how language (and other types of) knowledge are represented in the mind. My primary research interests are in second language acquisition, pragmatics and discourse comprehension, and general linguistic theory. Some of the specific topics I have looked at, or am interested in at the moment, include:

  • grammar processing in a second language
  • the role of input, attention, instruction and metalinguistic knowledge in second language acquisition and learning
  • the acquisition of definiteness
  • form-meaning connections in second language learning
  • factors shaping developmental patterns in second language acquisition
  • near-nativeness and sources of optionality in near-native grammars
  • the effect of bi-modal input (text and sound) on the development of second language listening comprehension
  • the structure of the nominal phrase definiteness, both as a category of meaning, and as a grammatical category
  • computing the definiteness status of discourse referents in languages with and without articles
  • Relevance Theory

Research group(s)


I am happy to supervise well qualified students in any of the above areas, but would also welcome linguistically informed proposals on other aspects of language comprehension and language learning

External activities


President, European Second Language Association

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (from 2004/5)



Philological Society


Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323461