Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Timothy Gupton

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics
Co-advisor of Sigma Delta Pi

(Ph.D. University of Iowa, 2010)

Research (my ORCID)

I am Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics specializing in syntax. In my research, I seek to discover insight on how language is represented within the human mind - in monolinguals and multilinguals alike. My theoretical interest focuses on the syntax of subjects, clitics and left-peripheral elements and their interaction with information structure. I additionally employ a variety of experimental methods based on second language acquisition and psycholinguistic research in order to elicit quantitative psycholinguistic grammar judgment data. My current research interests include the prosody of contrast and CLLD in Galician and Spanish, the L2/Heritage acquisition of word order variation in New Mexican border Spanish, and properties of grammatical subjects in Caribbean Spanish. (*Please note that I stopped posting pre-prints to Academia(dot)edu some time ago on account of their paywall.)


Selected peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings

1. Gupton, T., and Sánchez-Calderón, S. (to appear) Focus at the syntax-discourse interface in Spanish: optionality and unaccusativity reconsideredSecond Language Research

2. Knouse, S., Gupton, T., and Abreu, L. (2015). Teaching Hispanic Linguistics: Strategies to Engage LearnersHispania 98(2), 319-332. 

3. Gupton, T. (2014). Preverbal Subjects in Galician: Experimental Data in the A vs. A’ DebateProbus 26(1), 135-175. 

4. Gupton, T., and Lowman, S. (2013). An F Projection in Cibeño Dominican Spanish. In Cabrelli Amaro, Jennifer, Gillian Lord, Ana de Prada Pérez, and Jessi Elana Aaron (eds.). Selected Proceedings of the 16th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, 338-348. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 

5.  Gupton, T., and Leal Méndez, T. (2013). Experimental Methodologies: Two Case Studies Investigating the Syntax-Discourse InterfaceStudies in Hispanic & Lusophone Linguistics 6(1), 139-164.

6.  Gupton, T. (2012). Object Clitics in Galician and Complications for Clausal Analyses. In Geeslin, Kimberly and Manuel Díaz-Campos (eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 14th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, 272-284. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.


1. Gupton, T. (2014). The syntax-information structure interface: clausal word order and the left periphery in Galician. DeGruyter/Mouton.

Edited Volumes

1. Gupton, T., and Gielau, E. (2021). East and West of the Pentacrest: Linguistic studies in honor of Paula Kempchinsky. John Benjamins [OPEN ACCESS].

Peer-reviewed book chapters

1. Gupton, T. (2021). Aligning syntax and prosody in Galician, in Gupton, T., & Gielau, E., (eds). East and West of the Pentacrest: Linguistic studies in honor of Paula Kempchinsky. John Benjamins.

2. Leal, T., and Gupton, T. (2021). Acceptability Judgments in Romance Languages (Chapter 17), In Grant Goodall (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Syntax. Cambridge University Press. 

3. Gravely, B., and Gupton, T. (2020). Verbless DP interrogative constructions and enclisis in Galician (Chapter 5), In Juan J. Colomina-Almiñana and Sandro Sessarego (eds.), Language Patterns in Spanish and Beyond: Structure, Context and DevelopmentRoutledge.

4. Gupton, T. (2018). Syntax and Its Interfaces. In Geeslin, Kim (ed.). The Cambridge Handbook of Spanish Linguistics, 392-414. Cambridge University Press. 

5. Gupton, T. (2017). Early minority language acquirers of Spanish exhibit focus-related interface asymmetries: Word order alternation and optionality in Spanish-Catalan, Spanish-Galician, and Spanish-English bilinguals. In Lauchlan, Fraser and María Carmen Parafita-Couto (eds.). Bilingualism and Minority Languages in Europe, 214-241. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 

In review/revision

1. “Why we need a gradient approach to word order”. Levishna, N., Namboodiripad, S., Allassonnière-Tang, M., Kramer, M., Talamo, L., Verkerk, A., Wilmoth, S., Garrido Rodriguez, G., Gupton, T., Kidd, E., Liu, Z., Naccarato, C., Nordlinger, R., Panova, A., Stoynova, N.

2. "Acceptability and processing of control phenomena in Brazilian Portuguese: Evidence against the Movement Theory of Control"

Book reviews

1. Gupton, T. (to appear). review of Lusophone, Galician, and Hispanic Linguistics, Gabriel Rei-Doval & Fernando Tejedo-Herrero (eds.) Studies in Hispanic & Lusophone Linguistics.

2. Gupton, T. (2018). Focus-related Operations at the Right Edge in Spanish: Subjects and Ellipsis by Iván Ortega-Santos (review). Language 94(1), 225-228. 

Articles in preparation

1.  "Verbless DP interrogative constructions and enclisis in Portuguese and Galician" (with Brian Gravely)

2.  "El sujeto, la estructura informativa y ser focalizador en el español cibaeño" 

3.  "La lingüística y sus beneficios para la enseñanza de lengua y gramática" (with Stephanie Knouse and Laurel Abreu)

4.  "A formal approach to ad sensum agreement in Spanish binominal expressions" (with Chad Howe, in revision)

Projects in various stages of development

1.  "Language typology, change, and innovation: The preverbal field in Cibaeño Dominican Spanish" (solo book-length project)

2.  "Aligning syntax and prosody in the Spanish of Galicia" (with María Morado-Vázquez, in data analysis)

3.  "Information Structure and Mood Selection in New Mexico Border Spanish" (with Kathryn Bove, pilot stage)

Recent conference presentations

1.  "Against a rigid word order account of Cibaeño Dominican Spanish: an experimental approach”. 30th Colloquium of Generative Grammar (CGG). Oviedo, Spain. June 30-July 2, 2021

2.  "Information structure and word order acceptability in Cibaeño Dominican Spanish: an experimental approach", Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE2020, workshop on New Perspectives on Word Order Flexibility), August 26-27, 2020

I am also working on a number of international collaborations as well as an Experimental Research in Linguistics Initiative (ERLI), which focuses on developing, exploring, and adapting psycholinguistic research tools of various types. 


I am a faculty advisor for the Delta Gamma chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish Honors Society at UGA. 

I taught for UGA en Costa Rica in summer 2014 and 2015, and UGA en Buenos Aires (UGABA) since summer 2016. I have been Director of UGABA since fall 2016. For summer 2021, we offered Virtual Buenos Aires.

Potential graduate students: Are you considering graduate studies in linguistics or Hispanic linguistics? Unsure of what that entails or what you can study related to syntax? Please send me an email so we can explore the possibilities.

If you are interested in multilingualism and heritage languages, please contact me or my co-organizer, Dr. Joshua Bousquette, to take part in the Heritage Languages Reading Group. We meet weekly during the academic year via Zoom with experts, colleagues, and interested graduate students at University of Florida, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and New Mexico State University. 

Past and present students, either under my direction or as part of a committee on which I served, have studied the following topics: diachronic analysis of Galician clitics and complementizers, student-directed input and the L2 acquisition of Spanish intransitive predicates, partitive clitics and clitic doubling in Spanish, idiom processing in English, the discourse-pragmatics interface with syntax in Finnish, cliticization in Old Spanish and Galego-Portuguese, the syntax of ello in Dominican Spanish, the L3 acquisition of morpho-syntax in Brazilian Portuguese (L1 English/L2 Spanish and L1 Spanish/L2 English), nominalized infinitives in Spanish, morpho-syntax and phonology of Quechua-Spanish bilinguals, the second language acquisition of French prosody, Tunisian Arabic-French code switching, and bare nominals in Spanish. Feel free to email me with questions! If you haven't read it, I also strongly recommend the book Surviving Linguistics by Monica Macaulay. 


Diogo Cosme (ABD)

María Morado Vázquez (ABD)

Caitlin Samples (exams defended)

James Fenton Gardner

Ningxian Li


Brian Gravely, Jr., PhD (2021), Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

Douglas Merchant, PhD (2019), Visiting Lecturer, San Diego State University

Diogo Cosme, MA (2016), PhD student, UGA Romance Languages

Devon Fischer, MA (2017), PhD student, UGA Linguistics

Eva Morón, MA (2018), English Instructor, Colegio Internacional Ánfora (Zaragoza, Spain)

Mary Virginia Rockwell (née Hahn), MA (2017), Spanish teacher, Grayson High School (Loganville, GA)

For Undergrads: CURO projects 

I typically only do CURO projects/directed readings (HONS 4960H, 4970H) with former students of mine. However, I occasionally make exceptions in the case of highly recommended syntax students. See my CV for past CURO students and project summaries. 

Courses taught: (Want to know more? You can find past syllabi for my classes and any UGA course here!)

FYOS 1001 - Galicia: Language, History, and Culture (fall 2014-17, 19, 20 in English)

SPAN 3050 - Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (summer 2016, 2020, 2021; spring 2017-21)

SPAN 4120 - Topics in Linguistics: The Languages of Spain (summer 2013, spring 2015)

SPAN 4120 - Topics in Linguistics: El bilingüismo en el mundo hispanohablante (fall 2019)

SPAN 4120 - Topics in Linguistics: La adquisición de segunda lengua (fall 2021)

SPAN 4651 - Advanced Spanish Grammar (spring 2022)

SPAN 4652 - Spanish Dialectology and Variation (spring 2015, summer 2015, fall 2020)

SPAN 4750 - Spanish Syntax (spring 2019, 2021)

SPAN 6350/ROML 6350 - Romance Linguistics: Theory and Analysis (fall 2016, 2020)

SPAN 6750 - Spanish Syntax (fall, odd-number years)

ROML 8000/LING 8280 - Generative Second Language Acquisition (spring 2019, in English)

SPAN 8010 - Topics: Bilingualism and Languages in Contact (spring 2017)

SPAN 8010 - Topics: Heritage Spanish (spring 2021)

SPAN 8750 - Advanced Spanish Syntax (spring, even-number years)

Note: I teach in the Department of Romance Languages and my SPAN linguistics classes are taught in Spanish, although I occasionally teach ROML/LING courses in English. In short, students who do not know Spanish will find it difficult to take courses with me. 


PhD in Spanish (Linguistics), University of Iowa

MA in Hispanic Linguistics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

BA in Romance Languages, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Research Interests:

Research Areas:

Hispanic Linguistics


Second Language Acquisition

Research Interests:

My primary interest is the representation of language in the monolingual and multilingual mind. In particular, I am interested in how discourse/information structure combines with word order, and what makes some word orders more acceptable than others. Although my primary languages of interest are Western Romance (Galician, Catalan, Spanish, Caribbean Spanish, European and Brazilian Portuguese) and English, I have interests in other languages as well, and have worked with Mandarin, Korean, Finnish, and Marathi. I am currently working on a book on the syntax of Dominican Spanish. 

I have number of research collaborations. I have worked with Dr. Carlos Gelormini Lezama (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina) to replicate his methodology experimentally testing Montalbetti's (1984) Overt Pronoun Constraint in Cibaeño Dominican Spanish. I have also been collaborating with Dr. Chad Howe (UGA) on ad sensum/attraction effects in Spanish. I am currently developing a study on information structure and mood selection in New Mexico Border Spanish with Dr. Kate Bove (New Mexico State University). 


2019: The 49th LSRL, which was hosted at UGA May 1-4, 2019, was awarded a National Science Foundation grant!

2018: I was awarded a 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant for research in the Dominican Republic. I spent the fall 2018 semester doing research on the Cibao variety (cibaeño). 

Selected Publications:

Gupton, T., and Gielau, E. (2021). East and West of the Pentacrest: Linguistic studies in honor of Paula Kempchinsky. John Benjamins.

Of note:

My doctoral students nominated me for a 2021 UGA mentoring award. I didn't win in the end, but it was an honor knowing that they had nominated me!

Other Affiliations:

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.