1988–1995 Graduate studies in linguistics (theoretical syntax, formal semantics and computational
linguistics), at the university of Rochester, Rochester, NY; Ph.D. dissertation: Layers in
the Determiner Phrase, on the interface between syntactic structures and meaning in the
noun phrase.

1982–1987 B.A. (“Laurea”) in “Lettere - Psicolinguistica”, University of Rome La Sapienza; advisor:
Domenico Parisi, CNR;

Academic career and teaching activities

2014– Associate professor (General Linguistics)  at the Dept. of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences and at the  Center for Mind/Brain Sciences - CIMeC, University of Trento, Rovereto (TN), Italy

2006– present Member of Centro Interdipartimentale Mente e Cervello (CIMeC) at the University of Trento, Rovereto venue.

2005- present Permanent research and teaching position at the Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, University
of Trento, then Associate Professor ("Professore Associato") at the Dept. of Psychology and Cognitive Science (DIPSCO)

2000-2005 Permanent research and teaching position at the University of Bergamo (“Ricercatore

1999-2000 Temporary research position at the Facoltà di Lingue, University of Bergamo, Italy.

1997-1999 “Marie Curie” Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, with a EU Research
Training Grant; project: WWW-Based Hypertexts for On-Line Scientific Discussion and




2010– Introduction to Human Language (with C. Finocchiaro, in 2010; C. Finocchiaro e R. Job in 2011, then as single instructor).
2014– Advanced Topics in Language and Cognition.
2014– Logical Structures in Natural Language (with Raffaella Bernardi, then as single instructor);
2014–2016 Scientific Communication (with Sang Ah Li, James Haxby and Marius Peelen)

2009– Various “CLIC Topic Seminars”


2009–13 Informatica per le Discipline Umanistiche e Linguistiche ‘Informatics for Humanities’;
2009-11 "Strutture Logiche del Linguaggio" `logical structure of language'
2009 Introduction to Human Language (international master course @DISI, UNITN);

Previous teaching duties

1998 Theoretical Linguistics I, Dept. of Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh.
1998 Fondamenti di informatica ‘Intro to Informatics’, Facoltà di lingue, Università di Bergamo.
1989-1995 LISP for Cognitive Sciences; teaching assistent for Cognition, Introduction to Cognitive Science, Introduction to Linguistics Syntactic Theory, University of Rochester, NY, USA.

2000- Supervisor for the PhD Theses of Eva Vecchi (with Marco Baroni), Rossella Varvara, Sara Zanellini (con Gabriele Miceli)


Research interests
  • Theoretical  linguistics (syntax/semantics interface)
  • Formal semantics, distributional semantics and their relation
  • Computational models of linguistic phenomena
  • Models for linguistic education
  • Psycholinguistics (sentence processing)


Research work


2017– 20 P.I. for the Italian PRIN grant: TREiL: Technologies for Research and Education in Linguistics.
2014–19 University of Trento P.I. for the EU Cooperation class project Atheme; coordinator: Lisa Cheng, University of Leiden; 5 year, 5M euros.
2012–14 P.I. for the post-doc grant assigned to Michelangelo Falco: La specificità all’interfaccia sintassi/semantica: una nuova prospettiva ed una base empirica allargata ‘Specificity at the syntax/semantics interface: new prospectives and broader empirical bases’.
2011–16 Collaborator in the ERC grant “COMPOSES” (P.I. Marco Baroni; 1,1M euros).
2007–10 Member of the NWO-funded network grant Bantu, Chinese, Romance nouns and noun phrases
2008 Member of the Italian PRIN grant: Il genere grammaticale e i modelli di elaborazione
del linguaggio ‘Grammatical gender and models of language processing’ (University of Trento P.I. Roberto Cubelli).
2000 British Academy “Joint Activity Grant” with prof. C.Heycock, with the project: “Conjunction and Plurality: a case study in the integration of syntax and semantics”.
2008–09 Six month sabbatical as an invited scholar at Rutgers University, USA.


2014 Main organizer of the conference 40esimo Incontro di Grammatica Generativa, Trento, February 13–15.
2013 Co-organizer (with F. Vespignani, U.Hassan) of the conference: Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing AMLAP, Riva del Garda, September 6–8.
2013 Co-organizer (with G. Boleda e A. Herbelot) of the workshop Toward a Formal Distributional Semantics, IWCS, Potsdam, March 19
2010 Co-organizer (with Alessandro Lenci) of the workshop Compositionality and Distributional Semantic Models, European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI), August 2010, Copenhagen.

Memberships in societies and scientific committees
  • Habitual reviewer for the following international journals: Journal of Linguistics, Language, Lingua, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Journal of Germanic Linguistics, Linguistic Inquiry, Lingua e Linguaggio, Glossa.
  • Reviewer for NSF, ERC projects.
  • Reviewer for the abstract and/or proceedings of the following international conferences: GLOW, IGG, Going Romance, NELS, EMNLP, SALT (tjheoretical linguistics); NACL, IWCS, StarSEM (computational linguistics)
  • 2001 ACL Publication chair
Awards and honours


VII 2016 "Dispositivo didattico per l’apprendimento o l’esercizio nell’uso di strutture linguistiche," patent pending, Italian registration n. 102016000078443.

Conferences and lectures


2020 Abstract Noun Conjunction, Sinn un Bedeutung 25 conference,  September 3-5.
2019 To Infinitives and Beyond, invited talk, University of Bochum, May 21.
2018 Linguistics through the Looking Glass, Convegno AISC, Pavia (plenary speaker)
2018 On beyond “The”, DGFS, Università of Stoccarda, 7–9 marzo, (plenary keynote speaker).
2018 Exemplar-based Genericity, Incontro di Grammatica Generativa, University of Roma III, February 1–3
2017 Two Levels for Definiteness (with C. Heycock and L. Cheng), GLOW ASIA, University of Singapore, February 20–22
2016 Two levels for definiteness, (with L. Cheng and C. Heycock), University of Frankfurt (invited speaker).
2016 Two levels for definiteness (with L. Cheng e C. Heycock) and The PuzzLing language model: Designing a game to teach language structures (with Luca Ducceschi), University di Londra, QMUL (invited speaker).
2016 Two levels for definiteness, (with L. Cheng e C. Heycock), Workshop "DP and CP-Adjunction, and Beyond", University of Hamburg (invited speaker).
2016 Genericity in Natural Language, course at the “European Summer School in Language, Logic and Information (ESSLLI 2016)”, University of Bolzano, August 21–26 (with E.G.Katz).
2016 ite Predicates with and without Determiners (with L. Cheng and C. Heycock),“Workshop on the Semantic Contribution of Det and Num”. Barcelona, May 27th 2016 (invited speaker).
2016 Syntax, Materialized (with Luca Ducceschi), poster presented at the 42 nd “Incontro di Grammatica Generativa”, University of Lecce, Italy, February 18–20
2015 Understanding Subkinds, University di Edinburgh (invited speaker).
2015 In and out of kinds, University of Geneva (invited speaker).
2015 Overt partitives and covert ones (with Michelangelo Falco), University di Duesseldorf (invited speaker).
2015 Similarity, Prominence and Distributions, poster presented at the workshop “Prominence”, University of Koeln.
2015 Licensing ellipsis in DP: the role of NP raising (with Michelangelo Falco), poster presented at the 41 st Incontro di Grammatica Generativa, ‘Università per stranieri of Perugia’, Italy, February 26–28.
2015 Partitive specificity and the format for indefinites. (with Michelangelo Falco), 39 th Incontro di Grammatica Generativa, University of Modena and Raggio Emilia, Italy, February 21–23.
2014 Conjunctions, Abstract Subjects and Agreement, University College London (invited
2013 Abstract Mass Nouns and Mass/Count Elasticity, workshop “Countability”, September 16–17, University of Düsseldorf (invited speaker)
2012 Countability, Number and (In)definiteness in Chinese Nominals, workshop “Mass/Count in Linguistics, Philosophy and Cognitive Science” Paris, École Normale Supérieure, December 19–21 (invited speaker).
2011 Understanding (Sub)kinds, Workshop “Genericity: From Morphology to Cognition”, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, October 2011 (invited speaker).
2011 Comparative Correlatives at the Left Periphery (withV. Bianchi), Workshop “Left Periphery: where syntax and discourse meet”, Verona, Luglio 2011 (invited speaker).
2010 Number, classifiers and noun classes (with Lisa Cheng, Jenny Doetjes and Rint Sybesma), Bantu, Chinese, Romance Nouns and Noun Phrases - Network Final Conference, October 27–29, Universiteit Leiden.
2010 , Chinese and Romance definite nominal predicates (with Lisa Cheng and CarolineHeycock), Bantu, Chinese, Romance Nouns and Noun Phrases - Network Final Conference, 27–29 ottobre, Universiteit Leiden.
2010 On compositional Vector-Space Semantics, ILIKS Meeting, Trento (invited speaker).
2010 Abstract Mass Nouns and Corpus-based Analyses, Empirical, Theoretical and Computational Approaches to Countability in Natural Language, Bochum, 22–24 settembre
2009 Pronominal Modifiers, Nominal Systems across Languages Workshop, Barcelona, September 14-16 (invited speaker)

2008–09 During a sabbatical half-year in the US I have given talks at: Dept. of linguistics, Yale University, New Haven CT — Dept. of linguistics, New York University, New York, NY— Dept. of linguistics, University del Quebeq, Montreal, Canada — Dept. of linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington DC — Dept. of linguistics, Rutgers University, New
Brunswick, NJ — Dept. of cognitive science, Rutgers University

2007 Deverbal Compounds: Words, Phrases or Either? (with Marco Baroni ed Emiliano Guevara), XXXIII Incontro di Grammatica Generativa, March 2–4 , Università of Bologna.
2006 On the interpretability of φ-features, The Syntax and Semantics of grammatical features, Università di Stuttgart, February 23
2006 Number Features and Interpretability Bantu-Romance Connection Workshop, University
of Leeds, May 26-28
2005 “Genericity in Natural Language” (with E.G. Katz) course at European Summer School
in Language, Logic and Information (ESSLLI 2005), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, 15–19 agosto.
2005 Singular quantifiers and domain widening in Italian, XXXI Incontro di Grammatica Gen-
erativa, May 2–4, University of Rome III.
2004 Manufacturing Plurality, Copenhagen Determination Symposium, Copenhagen Businness School, August 26-28 2004.
2004 Singular determiners in Italian, University of Konstanz, 17 ottobre 2003.
2003 On Certain / Specific phenomena, ESSLLI 2003 Workshop on Specificity, University of Wien, Austria
2003 Bare NPs and DP-internal number agreement(s) (with C.Heycock), Workshop on Agree-
ment, University of Lisbon, Portogallo

Other work


Hands-on presentation of the educational puzzle "Puzzling", designed to foster a comparative undertstanding of linguistic structures across Italian, German and English 

  • EDUCA 2018 (Rovereto)
  • EDUCA 2017 (Rovereto)
  • DRONGO Language Festival 2016 (Utrecht)

Festival della Scienza, Genova

  • 2014 Public Talk "La parole nel tempo" (Words in Time)
  • 2022 Interactive Lab: “PuzzLing: the multilingual puzzle” (Oct. 10 – Nov 1)