Basque, French and Spanish -i.e. the three main languages spoken in the Basque country- belong to different language families and display distinct grammatical properties. This makes the assessment of Basque-French and Basque-Spanish bilingual speakers with language disorders, a valuable domain of inquiry for identifying dissociations in language impairment that could not be observed in bilinguals speaking two languages that belong to the same family. The study of behavioural dissociations in language processing is meant to throw light on the underlying neurocognitive organization of human grammar.
On the other hand, Basque is said to be one of the oldest languages of Europe and yet very few studies have concerned language impairment in Basque speakers. Since Basque is a language isolate, its study will provide new and original data to the field of clinical linguistics and neurocognitive science of language.
My research is theoretically and empirically driven: I am particularly interested in studying verb argument structure effects on lexical and morphosyntactic processing and verb inflection deficits in agrammatic aphasia and Specific Language Impairment. At the same time, I am developing language assessment tools suitable for Basque speakers and adaptable to other languages, in order to contribute to cross-linguistic research development in clinical linguistics and neuroscience of language (Cf. Projects). Moreover these studies allow multilingual speakers with language deficits to be assessed in their native language(s) and the language(s) they use on a daily basis.