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Timothy Gupton

2021 summer pic
Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Professor of Spanish Linguistics
Co-advisor of Sigma Delta Pi

(Ph.D. University of Iowa, 2010)

Research (my ORCID)

Effective August 2024, I have been promoted to the rank of Professor

I specialize in syntax, which means that I study sentence structure and word order. In my research, I seek to discover insight on how language structure is represented within the human mind—in monolinguals as well as bilinguals/multi-linguals. I do this by focusing on a variety of constructions in language. 

My current research interests include the syntactic reflexes of information structure, interrogative constructions accompanied by null copula, the processing of control and raising in Brazilian Portuguese, subject-verb agreement mismatches, the prosody of contrast and CLLD in Galician and Spanish, the properties of grammatical subjects in Caribbean Spanish, and the L2/Heritage acquisition of mood selection and word order variation in New Mexican border Spanish. In addition to syntactic and cartographic tests, I additionally employ a variety of experimental methods based on second language acquisition and psycholinguistic research in order to elicit quantitative judgment data, which in turn, provides insight on the mental grammar.

*Please note that I stopped posting pre-prints to Academia(dot)edu some time ago on account of their paywall. Many are on Research Gate, but I now use OSF. Many of the links below are for pre-prints.


Peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings

1. Gupton, T., and Gravely, B. (forthcoming). What formal approaches to syntactic interfaces can tell us about the syntax of preverbal and prenominal constituents in Galician. Languages, New Developments in Galician Linguistics. (Accepted Jul. 15, 2024)

2. Merchant, D.C. and Gupton, T. (2024). Processing dissociations between raising and control in Brazilian Portuguese. Journal of Linguistics. (Accepted Nov. 27, 2023; online first in 2024; to appear in 2025)

3. Hodges, L., Knouse, S., and Gupton, T. (2023). La lingüística y sus beneficios para la enseñanza del españolHispanic Studies Review 7(2), 1-22.

4. Gupton, T. (2023). El foco, la estructura informativa y el ser focalizador en el español cibaeñoRevista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana 41, 143-166.

5. 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., and Stoynova, N. (2023). Why we need a gradient approach to word orderLinguistics: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences 61(4), 825-883.

6. Gupton, T., and Sánchez-Calderón, S. (2023). Focus at the syntax-discourse interface in Spanish: Optionality and unaccusativity reconsideredSecond Language Research 39(1), 185-229.

7. Gravely, B., and Gupton, T. (2022). Nanoparameters in Western Iberian Romance: Null copulas in Galician and AsturianIsogloss. Open Journal of Romance Linguistics 8(1)/16, 1-31.

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

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

10. 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. 

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

12. 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. Gravely, B., and Gupton, T. (2024). The left-peripheral syntax of Brazilian Portuguese cadê. in Guesser, S. et al. (eds.) Wh-exclamatives, imperatives and wh-questions: Issues on Brazilian Portuguese, 387-408.  DeGruyter.

2. 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, 41-67. John Benjamins.

3. Leal, T., and Gupton, T. (2021). Acceptability experiments in Romance Languages. In Grant Goodall (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Syntax, 448-476. Cambridge University Press. 

4. 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 Development. 97-121. Routledge.

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

6. 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. 

Book reviews
1. Gupton, T. (2021). review of Lusophone, Galician, and Hispanic Linguistics, Gabriel Rei-Doval & Fernando Tejedo-Herrero (eds.) Studies in Hispanic & Lusophone Linguistics 14(2), 497-507.

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

Manuscripts in revision
1. "The debate over inflected infinitives in Brazilian Portuguese". Gupton, T., Merchant, D.C., Modesto, M.

2. "On semantic plurality within the Spanish DP and ad sensum agreement: A Count-based mechanism for combinatorial variability" Gupton, T., Howe, L.C.

Upcoming and recent conference presentations
1.  Interrogatives and speaker objection in metalinguistic negation”. 25th Seoul International Conference on Generative Grammar (SICOGG). Dongguk University, Seoul, S. Korea. Aug. 16, 2023. (with Brian Gravely) (pdf presentation slides)

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

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

3.  "Aligning syntax and prosody in the Spanish of Galicia" (with María Morado-Vázquez)

Mentoring & Teaching

Past and present students, either under my direction or as part of a committee on which I served, have studied the following topics: student-directed input and the L2 acquisition of Spanish intransitive predicates, the L3 acquisition of morpho-syntax in Brazilian Portuguese (L1 English/L2 Spanish and L1 Spanish/L2 English), diachronic analysis of Galician clitics and complementizers, idiom processing in English, clitic left-dislocation in Spanish and other Romance languages, partitive clitics and clitic doubling in Spanish, L2 acquisition of (in)alienable possession in Spanish, cliticization in Old Spanish and Galego-Portuguese, the syntax of ello in Dominican Spanish, nominalized infinitives in Spanish, morpho-syntax and phonology of Quechua-Spanish bilinguals, 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. 

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.

Current PhD students under my direction as major professor (*co-major professor)

Ningxian Li (successfully defended PhD dissertation Jan. 26, 2024)

Caitlin Samples (ABD; dissertating)

María González-Ferrer (ABD; dissertating)

James Fenton Gardner (proposal in progress)

Devon Fischer* (QP2 in progress)

Rocío Jiménez Segura (QP1 in progress)

Vanessa Revheim Cunha (coursework)


Steve Vázquez (data collection)

Daniel Noh (coursework)

Graduate placements of students under my direction as major professor 

María Morado Vázquez (2022), Lecturer, The Ohio State University

Diogo Cosme, PhD (2021), Assistant Professor, Salt Lake Community College

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

Douglas Merchant, PhD (2019), Lecturer, University of Michigan

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

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

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

I am also faculty co-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 directed UGA en Buenos Aires (UGABA) 2016-2022. 

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 2024 in English)

SPAN 3050 - Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (spring 2017-21, 24)

SPAN 3050E - Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (online, summer 2022)

SPAN 4120 - Topics in Linguistics: The Languages of Spain (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 4120/6120 - Linguistic transfer and Third Language (L3/Ln) Acquisition (summer 2023)

SPAN 4651 - Advanced Spanish Grammar (spring 2022)

SPAN 4652 - Spanish Dialectology and Variation (fall 2020, 2022, 2024)

SPAN 4750 - Spanish Syntax (spring 2019, 2021, 2023)

SPAN 6350/ROML 6350 - Romance Linguistics: Theory and Analysis (fall 2016, 2020, 2022, 2024)

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, 2025)

SPAN 8010 - Generative Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism (spring 2023)

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. 

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. Among these, 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. My colleagues nominated me for a 2024 UGA mentoring award. I haven't won one yet, but it was an honor being nominated on both occasions!


PhD in Spanish (Linguistics), University of Iowa

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

BA in Romance Languages, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Articles Featuring Timothy Gupton

The article entitled "El foco, la estructura informativa y el ser focalizador en el español cibaeño" [Focus, information structure, and focalizing ser in Cibaeño Spanish], authored by Dr.

The article "La lingüística y sus beneficios para la enseñanza del español" (Linguistics and its benefits for the teaching of…

The article "Why we need a gradient approach to word order" recently appeared (ahead of print) in the journal Linguistics. An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences. This project…

Congratulations to Javier Cabezas Zapata on the successful defense of his doctoral dissertation. In his dissertation, titled “¿Se Puede Medir La Gramaticalización? El caso de…

The article "Focus at the syntax–discourse interface in L2 Spanish: Optionality and unaccusativity reconsidered", by Dr. Timothy Gupton (UGA, Romance Languages) and Dr. Silvia Sánchez Calderón (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain) recently…

Dr. Brian Gravely and Dr. Timothy Gupton recently published an article in the journal Isogloss on null-copula constructions in Galician and Asturian. The article is open access.

Congratulations to University of Georgia's newest PhD in Romance Linguistics, Dr. María Morado-Vázquez, who successfully defended her dissertation, "La adquisición del orden sujeto-verbo en la intransitividad y la interfaz sintaxis-discurso: Un estudio…

Please join us in warmly congratulating Ingrid Abisambra Miccheli on the successful defense of her dissertation, "Cognición y selección de sujetos: Análisis comparativo entre narrativas escritas y orales en el discurso de español como L2". The committee lauded…

Congratulations to the organizers of the 49th Linguistics Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL) having been awarded a

Events featuring Diogo Cosme, Timothy Gupton
On Zoom

All are invited to attend Diogo Cosme's dissertation defense on Friday, November 19th at 10am via Zoom. 

"L3 Acquisition of the Portuguese Present Perfect by English-Spanish Bilinguals"

Major Professor: Dr. Tim Gupton (contact Dr. Gupton for link)


401 Gilbert Hall / Zoom

Enhorabuena and Parabéns to University of Georgia's newest PhD in Romance Linguistics, Dr. María Morado-Vázquez, on the successful defense of her dissertation, "La adquisición del orden sujeto-verbo en la intransitividad y la interfaz sintaxis-discurso: Un estudio sobre la entrada lingüística dirigida al estudiante"

More of My Students

PhD (2024)

My Graduate Students

Diogo Cosme pic

Diogo Cosme

PhD (2021), Romance Languages
Photo of Ningxian Li

Ningxian Li

PhD (2024), Hispanic Linguistics,…
Caitlin Samples

Caitlin Samples

PhD Student (ABD), Hispanic Linguistics
Headshot of Caroline

Caroline Schneider

Instructor of Spanish

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