I am  an emeritus senior research scientist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, member of the Laboratoire Structures Formelles du Langage, CNRS-Paris 8.

    My first interests in developmental psycholinguistics focused on  the relationship between cognitive constraints (perception, memory and attention) and linguistic specificities from early development to adult competence through a functionalist approach.  My investigations on various issues in language acquisition such as the study of topic/comment structures,  the presupposed information in connectives, the resolution of anaphoric ambiguities by children and adults, showed that language acquisition is not driven by an innate module for language but better explained by  theories known as "emergentist" or "usage-based "ones.

    Pioneer in promoting crosslinguistic studies of language acquisition in France since 1980, I proposed to revisit language acquisition  in putting the emphasis on processing instead of competence. I contributed to the development of the Competition Model in a collaborative international consortium coordinated  by  E. Bates  & B. Macwhinney. The Competition Model (CM) is an integrative-activation  model of language comprehension and language use  that emphasizes qualitative and quantitative linguistic variations across languages.

    Within this connectionist model of linguistic performance, I showed a strong correlation between cue validity and cue strength in sentence processing, comprehension and production, studied  across structurally and functionnaly different languages: French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Modern Greek, Polish, Swedish and Moroccan Arabic. To get more information about the microstructure of on-line sentence processing in  children and adults, I proposed to implement the CM with the notion of cue cost (cue perceptibility, cue assignability, cue localness) and I conducted a set of experiments showing the productivity of such a notion in the online processing of sentences. The crosslinguistic results clearly demonstrated that cue validity could be highly constrained by cue cost in monolinguals and bilinguals. I extended my research to various populations, atypical children (SLI) and old adults to access to specific competitions between morphological and word order cues looking at their relationship with processing speed. 

    More recently,  in an ongoing international program,  with my colleagues  I  study the dynamics of transfers in bilingual acquisition and processing   combining off-line and on-line behavioral methods with neuro-imaging ERP ones  to get more information about  the neural bases of these bilingual processes and their neuro-behavioral plasticity. 

    Finally, I commit myself to spreading new knowledge about language acquisition to larger audience.

   My main publications concern various issues in language acquisition and processing: 

·       Language Acquisition Theory

·       Developmental Studies on Anaphora in sentences and narratives

·       Lexical Development and Presupposition in connectives

·       Elaborating the Competition Model 

·       Crosslinguistic Studies of Language Processing in Children and Adults

·       On-line Sentence Processing in monolinguals and bilinguals