Syntaxe et psycholinguistique


Adriana Belletti

Professeure ordinaire

+41 (0) 22 37 97342

Adriana Belletti is professor of Linguistics at the University of Geneva and at the University of Siena.

She has been a student and then a researcher at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, a visiting scholar and research affiliate at the Department of Linguistics of MIT. She has taught in various linguistics departments and research institutes – e.g. UCLA-USA; UFSC-Florianopolis, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil; Brisbane, Australia; University of Paris-7; DEC-Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris – and in various international summer institutes - e.g LSA/USA; GLOW/Girona, Barcelona, Spain; Ealing, ENS-Paris. She has been in several national and international PhD committees. In 1987 she was awarded the Prix Latsis of the University of Geneva.

She has participated in a number of research projects both at the national and international level, and is currently the Principal Investigator of the project Theory, experimentation, applications: long distance dependencies in forms of linguistic diversity, funded by the Italian Ministry for Higher Education. She is a member of the ERC-SynCart project at the University of Geneva. She has been a member of the International Consortium for Linguistics Cambridge - Connecticut - Hyderabad - Nanzan - Siena - Tsing Hua; of the European Action COST/A33, Cross-linguistically robust stages of Children's Linguistic Performance; of the European Action COST/IS 0804, Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistic Patterns and the Road to Assessment.

Her fields of research are: theoretical comparative syntax; comparative studies in L1, L2/ bilingual language acquisition and forms of language pathology.

Some representative publications include:

  • The Acquisition of Italian, with Maria Teresa Guasti, Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 2015.
  • 'The Focus map of clefts: Extraposition and Predication', in U. Shlonsky (ed.), Beyond Functional Sequence, The cartography of Syntactic Structures  V. 10, 42-59, New York:Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Structures and Strategies, New York, Routlegde, Leading Linguists Series, 2009.
  • 'Relativized Relatives: Types of intervention in the acquisition of A’ dependencies', with Naama Friedmann and Luigi Rizzi, Lingua, vol. 119, 2009.
  • 'Theoretical and developmental issues in the syntax of subjects: Evidence from near-native Italian', with Elisa Bennati and Antonella Sorace, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25, 2007.
  • 'Aspects of the low IP area', in L. Rizzi (ed.), The Structure of CP and IP, The cartography of Syntactic Structures  V. 2, 16-51, New York:Oxford, University Press, 2004.
  •  Generalized verb movement: Aspects of verb syntax. Turin, Rosenberg & Sellier, 1990.
  • 'The Case of Unaccusatives', Linguistic Inquiry, 19.1, 1988.

 Some recent publications can be downloaded from the SynCart Project Repository:





(A non exhaustive list of) Publications in alphabetical order:  

Balaban, Noga, Adriana Belletti, Naama Friedmann, Luigi Rizzi. 2016. Disentangling Principle C: A contribution from individuals with brain damage. Lingua, 169, 1-20. IF. 1.24

Belletti A. (1978). Strutture coordinate e possessivi. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa,, vol. 3, p. 127-142, ISSN: 0391-2809

Belletti A. (1981). Frasi ridotte assolute. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa,, vol. 6, p. 3-32, ISSN: 0391-2809

Belletti A. (1982). Morphological Passive and Pro-drop: The Impersonal Construction in Italian. In: -. Journal of Linguistic Research. vol. 2, 4, p. 1-34, Indiana University Linguistic Club

Belletti A. (1991). Syntaxe du verbe, structure de la phrase et ordre des mots. In: -. Cahiers de la Faculté des Lettres. vol. 4/1, p. 44-48, Genève:Université de Genève.

Belletti A. (ed.) 2004. Structures and Beyond. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, vol.3., New York:Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0195171977

Belletti A. 1980. Italian Quantified NPs in LF. Journal of Italian linguistics. Vol. 1/2, p. 1-18, ISSN: 0921-2809  IF: NA.

Belletti A. 1982. On the Anaphoric Status of the Reciprocal Construction in Italian. Linguistic review. Vol. 2, p. 101-137, ISSN: 0167-6318 IF: NA.

Belletti A. 1987. Los inacusativos como asignadores de caso. In: Violeta Demonte e Marina Fernández Lagunilla eds.. Sintaxis de las lenguas románicas. p. 167-230, Madrid:ediciones el arquero, Fundación José Ortega y Gasset

Belletti A. 1988. The Case of Unaccusatives. Linguistic inquiry. vol. 19, p. 1-34, ISSN: 0024-3892 IF: NA.

Belletti A. 1990. Generalized Verb Movement. Aspects of Verb Syntax. Rosenberg e Sellier, ISBN: 8870114244

Belletti A. 1990. On the Morphosyntactic Nature of the Sequence ‘Aux+Past Participle’ in Italian. In: Joan Mascaro & Marina Nespor eds.. Grammar in Progress. p. 25-32, DORDRECHT:Foris, ISBN: 9067654175

Belletti A. 1991. La frase comparativa. In: Lorenzo Renzi e Gian Paolo Salvi, a cura di. Grande Grammatica Italiana di Consultazione, vol. Vol. II, p. 832-853, Bologna:Il Mulino, ISBN: 8815028188

Belletti A. 1992. Agreement and Case in Past Participial Clauses in Italian. In: Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli eds. Syntax and the Lexicon. vol. Syntax and Semantics, vol.26, p. 21-44, NEW YORK:Academic Press, ISBN: 0126061076

Belletti A. 1994. Pas vs più. A Note. In: G.Cinque, J.Koster, J.Y. Pollock, L.Rizzi, R.Zanuttini. Paths Towards Universal Grammar.Studies in Honor of Richard Kayne. p. 25-34, ISBN: 087840287X

Belletti A. 1994. Verb Positions. Evidence from Italian. In: D. Lightfoot, N. Hornstein editors. Verb Movement. p. 19-40, Cambridge:Cambridge University Press , ISBN: 0521450411

Belletti A. 1999. Italian/Romance Clitics: Structure and Derivation.. In: H. VAN RIEMSDIJK ed.. Clitics in the Languages of Europe.. p. 543-579, Berlin:Mouton De Gruyter, ISBN: 3110157519

Belletti A. 2001. Agreement Projections. In: M.Baltin C.Collins eds. A Handbook of Contemporary Syntactic Theory. p. 483-510, OXFORD:Blackwell Publishers, ISBN: 0631205071

Belletti A. 2001. Inversion as Focalization.. In: A. HULK J.Y.POLLOCK EDITORS. Subject Inversion in Romance and the Theory of Universal Grammar. p. 60-90, New York:Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0195142691

Belletti A. 2001. Speculations on the possible source of ‘expletive’ negation in Italian comparative clauses. In: G.P.Salvi e G. Cinque eds. . Current Studies in Italian Syntax. Essays for Lorenzo Renzi. p. 19-37, Amsterdam: North Holland. ISBN: 0080438741

Belletti A. 2004. Aspects of the low IP area.. In: Rizzi,L. (ed.). The Structure of CP and IP. p. 16-51, New York:Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0195159489

Belletti A. 2006. (PAST) Participle Agreement: A Case Study. In: M. Everaert, H.Van Riemsdijk eds. The Blackwell Companion to Syntax. vol. 3, p. 493-521, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN: 1405114851

Belletti A. 2006. Extending Doubling to Non Local Domains: Complete vs Partial Copying + Deletion and Realated Reconstruction Issues. In:  Form, Structure and Grammar. p. 129-136, BERLIN:Akademie Verlag GmbH, ISBN: 3050042249

Belletti A. 2007. Answering strategies: A view from acquisition. In: S. Baauw; F. Drijkoningen, M. Pinto eds.. Romance languages and linguistic theory 2005.. p. 19-38, AMSTERDAM/PHILADELPHIA:John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN: 9789027248060

Belletti A. 2008. Acquisition meets comparison. Some notes.. In: Gavarro & M.J. Freitas (eds.).. Language Acquisition and Development- Proceedings of Gala 2007A. Barcellona, September 2007, p. 70-80, Cambridge Scholars Press., ISBN: 1847186181

Belletti A. 2011. Relatives relative to children and adults. Comparative Evidence with main focus on Italian . In: Gao Ming-le. Universals and Variation. p. 109-116, Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press, ISBN: 9787561930656  

Belletti A. 2012. Considering the complexity of relative clauses and passive from the Italian perspective.. In: Sandrine Ferré, Philippe Prévost, Laurice Tuller, and Rasha Zebib editors. Selected Proceedings of the Romance Turn IV Workshop on the Acquisition of Romance Languages. Newcastle:Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN: 9781443834988

Belletti A., Bennati E., Chesi C., Di Domenico E., Ferrari I. (editors). 2006. Language Acquisition and Development. Di -. NEWCASTLE:Cambridge Scholars Press, ISBN: 1847180280

Belletti A., Bennati, E. A. Sorace 2007. Theoretical and developmental issues in the syntax of subjects: evidence from near native Italian. Natural language and linguistic theory. Vol. 25:4, p. 657-689, ISSN: 0167-806X IF: 2.19

Belletti A., Brandi L., Rizzi L. (eds.) 1979. Theory of Markedness in Generative Grammar Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

Belletti A., Chesi C. (2011). Relative clauses from the input: Syntactic considerations on a corpus based analysis of Italian. In: Moscati V., Servidio E.. Stil-Studies in Linguistics; MIT WPL/CISCL WP. vol. vol 4, ISSN:  2281-3128

Belletti A., Contemori C. (2011). Disentangling the mastery of object relatives in children and adults. Evidence from Italian . In: Moscati V. and E. Servidio eds. MITWPL- STiL - Studies in Linguistics CISCL WP. vol. Vol.4, ISSN:  2281-3128

Belletti A., Contemori C. 2010. Intervention and attraction: On the production of Subject and Object Relatives by Italian (young) children and adults. In: João Costa, Ana Castro, Maria Lobo and Fernanda Pratas eds. Language Acquisition and Development, Proceedings of Gala 2009. Lisbon, September 2009, p. 39-52, Cambridge Scholars Press Newcastle, ISBN: 1443823945

Belletti A., Contemori C. 2010. Intervention and attraction: On the production of Subject and Object Relatives by Italian (young) children and adults. In: João Costa, Ana Castro, Maria Lobo and Fernanda Pratas eds. Language Acquisition and Development, Proceedings of Gala 2009. Lisbon, September 2009, p. 39-52, Cambridge Scholars Press Newcastle, ISBN: 1443823945

Belletti A., Contemori C. 2012. Subjects in children's object relatives in Italian. Revue roumaine de linguistique. Vol. 57, p. 117-142, ISSN: 0035-3957 IF: 0.16

Belletti A., Friedmann N., Brunato D., Rizzi L. 2012. Does gender make a difference? Comparing the effect of gender on children's comprehension of relative clauses in Hebrew and Italian. Lingua, p. 1053-1069, ISSN: 0024-3841, doi: 10.1016/j.lingua.2012.02.007 IF: 1.09

Belletti A., Hamann C. 2000. "ça on fait pas!" On the L2 acquisition of French by two children with different source languages. In: -. BUCLD Proceedings. p. 116-127, Cascadilla Press, ISBN: 1-57473-052-5

Belletti A., Hamann C. 2004. On the L2/bilingual acquisition of French by two young children with different source languages.. In: P. Prvost , J. Paradis, eds., The acquisition of French in different contexts: Focus on functional categories. p. 147-174, Amsterdam/Philadelphia:John Benjamins , ISBN: 9027252912

Belletti A., Leonini C. 2004. Adult L2 Acquisition of Italian Clitic Pronouns and ‘Subject Inversion’/VS Structures.. In: J.van Kampen & S.Baauw eds... Proceedings of GALA 2003. Utrecht, September 2003, p. 293-304, LOT, ISBN: 9076864616

Belletti A., Leonini C. 2004. Subject inversion in L2 Italian.. In: Foster-Cohen S., Sharwood Smith M., Sorace A., Ota M.  eds.. Eurosla Yearbook.. p. 95-118, Amsterdam/Philadelphia:John Benjamins, ISBN: 9789027254542

Belletti A., Rizzi L. (1988). Remarques sur les verbes psychologiques, la Th-Théorie et le Principe de Liage. Lexique, vol. 7, p. 33-59, ISSN: 0756-7138

Belletti A., Rizzi L. (eds.). 1996. Parameters and Functional Heads. Essays in Comparative Syntax. New York:Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0195087933

Belletti A., Rizzi L. 1981. The Syntax of ne: Some Theoretical Implications. Linguistic review, vol. 1, p. 117-154, ISSN: 0167-6318. IF: NA.

Belletti A., Rizzi L. 1988. Psych-Verbs and Th-Theory. Natural language and linguistic theory, vol. 6, p. 291-352, ISSN: 0167-806X  IF: NA.

Belletti A., Rizzi L. 1991. Notes on Psych-Verbs, Th-Theory, and Binding. In: R.Freidin. Principles and Parameters in Comparative Grammar. p. 132-162, Cambridge Mass.:MIT PRESS, ISBN: 0262061406

Belletti A., Rizzi L. 1996. Su alcuni casi di accordo del participio passato in francese e in italiano. In: Paola Benincà, Guglielmo Cinque, Tullio De Mauro, Nigel Vincent. Italiano e dialetti nel tempo. Studi di grammatica per Giulio Lepschy. p. 7-22, Roma:Bulzoni, ISBN: 8871198883

Belletti A., Rizzi L. 2002. Some concepts and issues in linguistic theory. In: Chomsky, N.. On nature and language. p. 1-44, CAMBRIDGE:Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 0521815487

Belletti A., Rizzi L. 2012. Moving Verbal Chunks in the Low Functional Field. In: Brugè L., Cardinaletti A., Giusti G., Munaro N., Poletto C.. Functional Heads. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, vol.7, p. 129-137, New York:Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199746729

Belletti A., Rizzi L. 2013. Intervention in grammar and processing. In: C.Cecchetto, I.Caponigro eds.. From Grammar to Meaning: The Spontaneous Logicality of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Belletti A., Shlonsky U. 1995. The order of verbal complements. A comparative study. Natural language and linguistic theory, p. 489-526, ISSN: 0167-806X. IF: NA.

Belletti A.(ed.). 1993. Syntactic Theory and the Dialects of Italy. p. 7-353, TORINO:Rosenberg & Sellier, ISBN: 8870115097

Belletti, A. .2013. “Contributing to linguistic theory, language description and the characterization of language development through experimental studies”, in Becker M., Grinstead J., Rothman J. (eds.) Generative Linguistics and Acquisition, Studies in Honor of Niana Hyams,  John Benjamins Publihishing Company, 309-324

Belletti, A. .2013. On Fin: Italian che, Japanese no, and the selective properties of the copula in clefts, in Miyamoto Y. et al. eds. Deep Insights, Broad Perspectives. Essays in Honor of Mamooru Saito, Kaitakusha Co., Ltd, Tokyo, p 42-55

Belletti, A. (2008). The CP of Clefts. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa,, vol. 33, p. 191-204, ISSN: 1122-4428

Belletti, A. 2005. Answering with a Cleft: The Role of the Null Subject Parameter and the VP periphery. In: -. Contributions to the Thirtieth "Incontro di Grammatica Generativa". Venezia , February 26-28, p. 63-82, Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia, ISBN: 8875430950

Belletti, A. 2005. Extended doubling and the VP periphery. Probus, vol. 17:1, p. 1-35, ISSN: 0921-4771. IF: NA.

Belletti, A. 2007. Kinds of Evidence for Linguistic Theory. In: -. Selected Papers on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Thessaloniki, p. 285-303, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, ISBN: 9789608692459

Belletti, A. 2009. Structures and Strategies. New York: Routledge, ISBN: 9780415962018

Belletti, A. 2010. La frase comparativa. In: G.Salvi L.Renzi. Grammatica dell'italiano antico. Bologna: Il Mulino, ISBN: 9788815134585

Belletti, A. 2013. Contributing to linguistic theory, language description and the characterization of langauge development throug experimental studies. In: M.Becker, J.Grinstead and J.Rothman eds. Generative Linguistics and Acquisition , 309-324, Amsteredam/Philadelphia: JoJhn Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN. 978 90 272 5316 3

Belletti, A. 2013. Revisiting the CP of Clefts. In: -Discourse and Grammar. From Sentence Types to Lexical Categories. Berlin: de Gruyter, 91-114 ISBN 978-1-61451-215-8

Belletti, A., L. Rizzi. 2013. Ways of Avoiding Intervention: Some Thoughts on the Development of Object Relatives, Passive and Control. In M.Piattelli-Palmarini,& R.Berwick eds. Rich Languages from Poor Inputs, 115-126, Oxford University Press,  ISBN: 978-0-19-959033-9

Belletti, Adriana & Cristiano Chesi. 2014. A syntactic approach toward the interpretation of some distributional frequencies: Comparing Relative clauses in Italian corpora and in elicited production. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa, n.35, pp 1-29.

Belletti, Adriana & Luigi Rizzi. Forthcoming. On the Syntax and Pragmatics of Some Clause-peripheral Positions. In Formal Models in the Study of Language,  Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy and Psychology series, Blochowiak Joanna, Cristina Grisot, Stephanie Durrlemann-Tame, Christopher Laezlinger eds., Springer

Belletti, Adriana & Maria Teresa Guasti, 2015. The Acquisition of Italian. Morphosyntax and its interfaces in different modes of acquisition, Language Acquisition and Language Disorders series /LALD series, John Benjamins Publishing Company,  pp. 326

Belletti, Adriana & Valentina Bianchi. 2016. Definitness Effect and Unaccusative Subjects: An Overview and some New Thoughts. In Definitness effects: Bilingual, typological and diachronic variation. S.Fischer, T.Kupisch, E.Rinke (eds.). Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 14-65

Belletti, Adriana. 2014. Notes o Passive Object Relatives. In P.Svenonius ed. Functional Structure from Top to Toe, New York:Oxford University Press, 97-114 (peer reviewed)

Belletti, Adriana. 2014. Parametric variation and syntactic computations. Elements to disentangle lateness in (modes of) acquisition. Commentary on: Early, late or very late? Timing acquisition and bilingualism (I.M.Tsimpli). In Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 4:3, 315-320. DOI 10.1075/lab4.3.02bel. ISSN 1879-9264. John Benjamins Publishing Company (invited commentary)

Belletti, Adriana. 2015. The Focus map of clefts: Extraposition and Predication. To appear in U.Shlonsky ed. Beyond Functional Sequence, Cartography of Syntactic Strucutres.  New York: Oxford University Press, 42-59

Belletti, Adriana. 2016. (Past) participle agreement: a case study. In Martin Everaert & Henk van Riemsdijk (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Syntax. Blackwell Publishers. Updated version of 2006 contribution

Belletti, Adriana. Forthcoming.  On the acquisition of complex derivations with related considerations on poverty of the stimulus and frequency. Forthcoming in Syntactic complexity from acquisition, Elisa Di Domenico ed., Cambridge Scholars publishing

Belletti, Adriana. Forthcoming. Labeling (Romance) Causatives. Forthcoming. In Elements of comparative syntax: Theory and description, Enich Aboh, Eric Haeberli, Genoveva Puskas, Manuela Shonenberg eds. De Gruyter 

Belletti, Adriana. Forthcoming. On a-Marking Topics in the Italian Left Periphery. Forthcoming in Beyond the veil of Maya. From sounds to structures, Roberto Petrosino, Pietro Carlo Cerrone & Harry van der Hulst (eds.), Mouton

Contemori C., Belletti A. 2013. Relatives and Passive Object Relatives in Italian speaking children and adults: Intervention in production and comprehension. Applied psycholinguistics. ISSN: 0142-7164. p. pp. 1021-1053. DOI: IF: 1.38

Friedmann N., A. Belletti, L.Rizzi. 2009s. Relativized Relatives: Types of intervention in the acquisition of A’-dependencies. Lingua, vol. 119, p. 67-88, ISSN: 0024-3841. IF: 1.20

Friedmann, Naama, Luigi Rizzi, and Adriana Belletti. forthcoming. No case for Case in locality: Case marking the object does not help the interpretation when intervention blocks A-bar chains. To appear in Glossa.

Gavarró Algueró A., Guasti M.T., Tuller L., Prévost P., Belletti A., Cilibrasi L., Delage H., Vernice M. (2011). The acquisition of partitive clitics   in Romance five‐year‐olds. Iberia, vol. 3, p. 1-19, ISSN: 1989-8525

Hamann C., A. Belletti (2006). Developmental patterns in the acquisition of complement clitic pronouns. Comparing different acquisition modes with an emphasis on French. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa,, vol. 31, p. 39-78, ISSN: 1122-4428

Manetti, C. & Belletti, A. 2015. Causatives and the acquisition of the Italian passive. In Language Acquisition and Development, Cornelia Hamann & Esther Ruingendijk eds, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 282-298

Manetti, Claudia, Vincenzo Moscati, Luigi Rizzi, Adriana Belletti. 2016. The role of Number and Gender Features in the comprehension of Italian Clitic Left Dislocations. BUCLD 40, Proceedings of the 40th annual Boston Conference on Language Development, J.Scott and D. Waughtal eds., 229-240

Varlokosta, S., A. Belletti, J.Costa, N.Friedmann, A.Garvarro, K Grohman, M.T.Guasti, L.Tuller et al. 2015. A Crosslinguistic Study of the Acquisition of Clitic and Pronoun Production, Language Acquisition, 00:1-35, 2015, ISSN: 1048-9223 print/1532-7817 online. DOI: 10.1080/10489223.2015.1028628. IF: 1.16