Patrícia Amaral

Patrícia Amaral

Professor, Spanish and Portuguese

Director, Graduate Studies

Adjunct, Linguistics


  • Ph.D., Hispanic Linguistics, Ohio State University, 2007
  • M.A., Linguistics, University of Coimbra, 1999
  • B.A., Classical Languages, University of Coimbra, 1996

About Patrícia Amaral

My research focuses on how lexical, contextual, and pragmatic factors affect interpretation in systematic ways. I have a longstanding interest in studying different types of meaning (e.g., presuppositions, conventional implicatures, conversational implicatures) and providing tests to identify them. I am also interested in how inferential mechanisms in interpretation play a role in semantic change and have recently been involved in several projects that study syntactic and semantic change in Ibero-Romance (particularly Portuguese and Spanish). In addition, I have worked on language contact; I have done some research on the morpho-syntax and semantics of Barranquenho, a variety spoken in the southeast of Portugal, close to the border. In my work I adopt a variety of methodologies, ranging from analyzing corpus data to experimental methods.


  • Syntax-semantics interface
  • Historical linguistics (syntactic and semantic change)
  • Lexical semantics
  • Romance linguistics
  • Experimental pragmatics