Julio Villa-García

Julio Villa-García


  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile


[BA (Hons) Oviedo '05; Dip. Kent '05; MA Essex '07; MA Connecticut '10; PhD Connecticut '12]

CV in English; CV en español

Keywords: linguistics, theoretical syntax, syntactic variation, applied linguistics, the acquisition of syntax, bilingualism, English, Spanish, Romance

Since the beginning of 2022, Dr Julio Villa-García [xúli̯o βíʝa ɣaɾθía] has been a «María Zambrano» Visiting Researcher (funded by the European Union, #NextGenerationEU) in the Theoretical Linguistics Group (LINGUO) at his alma mater the University of Oviedo, in the Principality of Asturias (Spain).

Thus, he is currently on secondment from his post as Senior Lecturer (USA: Associate Professor; Sp.: Profesor Titular de Universidad) in the Department of Linguistics & English Language at The University of Manchester, UK.

Dr Villa-García was born in Avilés, in the Principality of Asturias, Spain. In the course of his PhD at the University of Connecticut, Dr Villa-García was trained as a theoretical syntactician and as a language acquisitionist, working within the framework of Minimalism. His current interests lie in the areas of Spanish/Romance and English Linguistics (esp. syntax, with particular attention to its (micro-)variation). Other interests include child language acquisition, bilingualism and the application of theoretical linguistics research to foreign-/second-language pedagogy.

Dr Villa-García's focus is Spanish/Romance and English syntax and, to a lesser extent, monolingual and bilingual first language syntactic acquisition. His reserach has appeared in premiere professional journals, including (but not limited to) Glossa, Languages, The Linguistic Review, Probus, Journal of Linguistics, and Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics, as well as in prestigious outlets, such as Cambridge University Press (CUP), Oxford University Press (OUP), De Gruyter Mouton, Akal, Cascadilla Press, and John Benjamins. Dr Villa-García's research into syntax so far has been concerned with issues pertaining to: 

- syntactic variation, esp. microvariation (i.e., dialectal variation in syntax);

- the syntax-phonology interface;

- the structural geometry of the leftmost portion of (Spanish and English) clauses (i.e., the CP/left periphery) and its consequences for clausal structure and for syntactic theorising more generally;

- complementiser systems (i.e., that-like elements), esp. reduplicative complementisers (cf. recomplementation);

- subjecthood (from any standpoint);

- locality of movement (i.e., constraints on long-distance dependencies);

- left-dislocations/topics, including topicalisations and hanging topics, questions, and exclamatives (and their implications for word order possibilities);

- negative imperatives (i.e., commands);

- clitics (i.e., weak pronouns), including enclisis/proclisis in the West Iberian Romance language Asturian and the phenomenon of clitic climbing;

- ellipsis; and

- polarity (i.e., yes/no) and emphasis. 

Dr Villa-García has presented widely on a host of topics in syntax and its variation and acquisition, alongside engagement and knowledge-transfer topics such as multilingualism as well as the benefits of applying the scientific method to the teaching/learning of foreign languages. His 2019 TEDx talk on Why Bilingualism is So Natural can be viewed on YouTube, and a 2019 interview for the Spanish Radio and Television Corporation (RTVE) on the Spanish language around the world can be listened to here. (The CV contains links to other relevant talks). Since 2021, Dr Villa-García has been the scientific coordinator of the Bilingualism Series organised by the Instituto Cervantes of Manchester and Leeds, now in its third edition. His recent book manuscript Lingüística para la vida (Linguistics for Life) will be published by Akal (Madrid) (Linguistics Series).

Dr Villa-García has supervised BA, MA, PhD and postdoctoral students working mainly on the theoretical (Minimalism) and descriptive syntax of English, Spanish and Romance. Occasionally, Dr Villa-García has supervised topics on the acquisition of syntax and translation.

Dr Villa-García's full updated CV can be accessed and downloaded in .pdf format here. A summary of his professional record over the last two decades is provided here in reverse chronological order:

Jan. 2022-Dec. 2024 - «María Zambrano» International Talent Attraction Grant holder, Visiting Researcher, Theoretical Linguistics Group (LINGUO), Department of English, French and German Philology. University of Oviedo, Spain (EU-funded)

[I3 Programme Certificate of Outstanding Research Trajectory (I3/2021/0664), Ministry of Universities, Spain, 2023]

2020-2022 (currently on leave) - Senior Lecturer, Linguistics & English Language, University of Manchester, UK

[accredited as Profesor Titular de Universidad (Arts & Humanities) by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA) as of 23 October 2020] 

2015-2020 - Lecturer (confirmed in post in 2017), University of Manchester, UK

2012-2015 - Assistant Professor (tenure-track), Villanova University, USA

2007-2012 - PhD in Linguistics, University of Connecticut, USA

2007-2010 - MA in Linguistics, University of Connecticut, USA

2006-2007 - MA in Linguistics, University of Essex, UK

2005-2006 - Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Washington, DC, USA

2004-2005 - Diploma in European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, UK

2000-2005 - BA (Hons) in English Studies, University of Oviedo, Spain

Overall, Dr Villa-García's work philosophy in academia has always been to try to strike a balance between research, teaching, service, and knowledege transfer/external engagement, including, needless to say, internationalisation.

His Oviedo web page can be found here.




For previous courses taught at the University of Oviedo, at The University of Manchester, at Villanova University, and at the University of Connecticut, see CV. Dr Villa-García's historical narrative and summative teaching evaluations for all courses taught to date are publicly available in .pdf format here (and the CV contains a summary).


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Linguistics, University of Connecticut

… → 2012

Master of Arts, Linguistics, University of Connecticut

… → 2010

Master of Arts, Linguistics, The University of Essex

… → 2007

Bachelor of Arts, English Studies, Universidad de Oviedo

… → 2005

Diploma, University of Kent

… → 2005

External positions

«María Zambrano» Research Scholar, Universidad de Oviedo

1 Jan 202231 Dec 2024

Areas of expertise

  • P Philology. Linguistics


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