Arild Hestvik, PhD

Lab Director
Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science
University of Delaware

Office: room 101
125 East Main Street
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-6809
Laboratory: McKinly Suite 125
Phone: 302-831-7007
email: hestvik at udel dot edu

Cognitive neuroscience of language and behavioral psycholinguistics

My lab studies how the brain encodes mental representations in real time at the phonological, morphosyntactic and syntactic levels. We use behavioral measures (reaction time and categorical judgments) and electrophysiological measures of brain activity (EEG and its derivative, event-related potentials). Another research interest is to use the same methods to pinpoint differences between normally developing populations and language impaired populations, such as children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). The working hypothesis is that SLI arises from an interaction between normal predispositions for grammar construction, and impaired development of real-time processing mechanisms. Research

See also ResearchGate,, PubMed

Work in progress

  1. Bristol, R., Tebaldi, J. and Hestvik, A. (2013) Electrophysiological evidence of an emotiomal blink: Negative emotional content impairs language processing. 2013 Cognitive Science Graduate Student Conference, University of Delaware.pdf
  2. Bristol, R., Tebaldi, J., Athanasopoulou, A., Hestvik, A. and Durvasula, K. (2013) The Effects of Motor Priming on Categorical Perception. Paper presented at Penn Linguistic Consortium, UPENN, Philadelphia, PA.pdf
  3. Chandlee, J. & Hestvik, A. (2011). ERP Measures response to violation of voicing constraint. Poster presented at the Neurobiology of Language Conference, Nov 10.11, 2011, Annapolis, MD. NLC 2011 poster
  4. Hestvik, A., Stoehr, A., Kurban, E. (2011). Event-related brain potential indices of hyper-active gap-filling. Poster presented at Neurobiology of Language Conference, Nov 10-11 2011, Annapolis, MD. NLC 2011 poster
  5. (With Valerie Shafer and Hia Datta) Mismatch negativity and vowel processing in adult and child monolingual and bilingual speakers. In prep. CUNY Graduate Center and University of Delaware. ICPLA 2010 presentation
  6. Hestvik, A., Shafer, V., Schwartz, R. G., Ullman, M., Neumann, Y., Rinker, T. (Submitted). Brain responses to contextually ungrammatical verb inflection. ms.
  7. Berntzen, K. & Hestvik, A. (in prep.) Movement vs. tree-size as predictor of difficulty for agrammatics: Evidence from Northern Norwegian aphasics. Ms. 2003 conference presentation
  8. Dong, R. & Hestvik, A. (2012) Processing of tense violations by Chinese 2nd language learners of English. Spoken presentation at symposium "ERP studies if adult second language acquisition," Presented at Society for Psychophysiological Research, 52 Annual Meeting, Sept 19-23, 2012,New Orleans.abstract
  9. Bradley, E. & Hestvik, A. (2010). Testing the sensory hypothesis of the early left anterior negativity with auditory stimuli. MS., University of Delaware. Presented at LSA 2010 LSA 2010 extended abstract

Under review

  1. Schwartz, R.G., Swinney, D., Hestvik, A., Seiger-Gardner, L., Almodovar (2015) Processing binding relations in Specific Language Impairment. Under review. click
  2. Dong, Z., Hestvik, A. Hermon, G. (2014). How naive-like us L2 processing? An ERP study of tense morphology and filler- gap dependencies. Submitted.pdf
  3. Vogel, I., Hestvik, A. & Pincus, N. (submitted) Perception and bias in the processing of compound and phrasal stress: The effect of synthetic vs. natural speech. Ms, University of Delaware.
  4. Hestvik, A., Tropper, B., Shafer, V. & Schwartz, R. G. (Submitted). Impaired syntactic predictions in children with specific language


  1. Hestvik, A., Durvasula, K. (2015). Neurobiological evidence for voicing underspecification in English. Accepted, Brain and Language. click
  2. Epstein, B., Hestvik, A. (2013). ERPs reveal atypical processing of subject vs. object Wh-questions in children with Specific Language Impairment. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. pdf
  3. McCauley, S. Hestvik, A. & Vogel.I. (2013) Perception and bias in the processing of compound versus phrasal stress: Evidence from event-related brain potentials. Language and Speech 56:1, March 2013, pp23-44. pdf
  4. Fortunato-Tavares, T., C. R. F. de Andrade, D. M. Befi-Lopes, A. Hestvik, B. Epstein, L. Tornyova, R. G. Schwartz (2012). "Syntactic Structural Assignment in Brazilian Portuguese-Speaking Children with Specific Language Impairment." Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.pdf
  5. Hestvik, A., Bradley, E., Bradley, C. (2012). Working memory effects of gap-predictions in normal adults: An event-related potentials study. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. pdf
  6. Hestvik, A., R.G. Schwartz, and L. Tornyova (2010). Relative clause gap-filling in children with Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. pdf
  7. Fortunato-Tavares, T., C. N. Rocha, C. R. F. d. Andrade, D. M. Befi-Lopes, E. Schochat, A. Hestvik and R. G. Schwartz (2009). "Linguistic and auditory temporal processing in children with specific language impairment." Pro-Fono Revista de Atualiza-o Cientica 21(4): 279-284. pdf
  8. Hestvik, A., Maxfield, N., Schwartz, R. G., & Shafer, V. L. (2007). Brain responses to filled gaps. Brain and Language, 100(3), 301-316. pdf
  9. Hestvik, A., Nordby, H. & Karlsen, G. (2005).Antecedent reactivation by surface and deep anaphora in Norwegian. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 46(3), 229-238. pdf
  10. Sekerina, I. A., Stromswold, K., & Hestvik, A. (2004). How do adults and children process referentially ambiguous pronouns? Journal of Child Language, 31(1), 123-152. pdf
  11. Shapiro, L. P., Hestvik, A., Lesan, L., & Garcia, R. (2003). Charting the time-course of sentence processing: Reconstructing missing arguments in VP-ellipsis constructions. Journal of Memory and Language, 49(1),1-19. pdf
  12. Hestvik, A., & Philip, W. (2001). Syntactic vs. logophoric binding: Evidence from Norwegian child language. In P. Cole, G. Hermon & J. Huang (Eds.), Syntax and Semantics: Long Distance Reflexives (Vol. 33). New York: Academic Press. pdf
  13. Hestvik, A. & Philip, W. (2000). Binding and Coreference in Norwegian Child Language. Language Acquisition, 8(3), 171-235. pdf
  14. Berman, S., & Hestvik, A. (1997). Split Antecedents, Noncoference, and DRT. In H. Bennis, P. Pica & J. Rooryck (Eds.), Atomism and Binding. Foris: Dordrecht. pdf
  15. Shapiro, L., & Hestvik, A. (1995). On-line comprehension of VP-ellipsis: Syntactic reconstruction and semantic influence. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 24(6), 517-532. pdf
  16. Hestvik, A. (1995). Reflexives and ellipsis. Natural Language Semantics, 3(2), 211-237. pdf
  17. Hestvik, A. (1995). Mentale grammatikker og barns sprktilegnelse. In Spraklig kompetanse: Hva er det og hvordan beskrives det? C. Fabricius-Hansen and A. Vonen (eds). Oslo, Novus. in the library
  18. Hestvik, A. (1992). "Lars Hellan: Anaphora in Norwegian and theTheory of Grammar." Book review, Norsk Lingvistisk Tidsskrift.
  19. Berman, S. and Hestvik, A. (1992). Proceedings of the Stuttgart Ellipsis Workshop. Arbeitspapiere des Sonderforschungsbereichs 340, Bericht Nr. 29. University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart and IBM Germany, Heidelberg. in the library
  20. Hestvik, A. (1992). LF-movement of pronouns and antisubject orientation. Linguistic Inquiry 23: 557-594. pdf
  21. Berman, S. and Hestvik, A. (1991). LF: A critical survey. Arbeitspapiere des Sonderforschungsbereichs 340, Sprachtheoretische Grundlagen f r die Computerlinguistik. Technical report, IBM Germany, Heidelberg. pdf
  22. Hestvik, A. (1991). Against the notion 'Governing Category'. In Proceedings of the Ninth West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Stanford University, Center for the Study of Language and Information. google books
  23. Hestvik, A. (1991). Subjectless binding domains. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 9(3) pdf
  24. Hestvik, A. (1986). Case theory and Norwegian impersonal constructions. Nordic Journal of Linguistics, 9,181-197. pdf


LING101 Introduction to Linguistics
LING404 Structure of Language--SPRING 2012 syllabus
CSC170 Introduction to Cognitive Science
CGSC496 Introduction to Psycholinguistics
CGSC696 Introduction to Psycholinguistics--SPRING 2012 syllabus
CGSC420/620 Research Methods in Cognitive Science
CGSC451/651 Experimental Cognitive Science
CGSC667 Research Methods in Psycholinguistics
LING890 Topics in Sentence Processing