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Heather Marsden works primarily in second language (L2) acquisition, focussing on the L2 acquisition of phenomena at the syntax–semantics interface, with a special interest in the L2 acquisition of Japanese and other East Asian languages.
She obtained her first degree in Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge, and a Diploma in Translation (Japanese to English) from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. She worked as a translator, a language teacher, and a language teaching materials editor, before beginning her academic career in Linguistics with an MA and PhD at the University of Durham.
My research investigates multilingual language acquisition from the perspective of generative linguistic theory. I am particularly interested in the second (or non-native) language (L2) acquisition of linguistic structure at the interfaces of syntax with semantics and discourse, and in the role of input in shaping acquisition. I use psycholinguistic methods to investigate questions such as the following:
I am also interested in research that integrates L2 acquisition theory and language teaching practice, both at the level of collaborative research and at the level of knowledge exchange. I am particularly interested in the L2 acquisition of East Asian languages, and of languages commonly taught at secondary level in the UK (Spanish, German and French).