Jennifer Austin

Jennifer Austin


jbaustin [at]



Office Location

Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies
Conklin Hall - Rm. 413
175 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102


Jennifer Austin is a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at Rutgers University, Newark. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Cornell University with a minor in Cognitive Science, and before coming to Rutgers-Newark she taught at Williams College. Her research interests include first and second language acquisition, language contact, and the effects of bilingualism on language and cognition. She co-authored the book Bilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking World: Linguistic and Cognitive Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and has written articles on syntactic and morphological development in children learning Basque, Spanish, and English. Austin is a member of the graduate faculty in Global Urban Studies and in Psychology at Rutgers-Newark and in Spanish and Portuguese at Rutgers-New Brunswick.  In addition, she is a co-founder of HoLa, a dual-language charter school in Hoboken, NJ, and a co-founder and the faculty advisor of the Lives in Translation Project. 

Courses Taught


Rutgers-Newark: Language Acquisition, History of the Spanish Language, Latino Bilingualism, Teaching Methodologies for World Languages, Introduction to Linguistics 

Rutgers, New Brunswick: Bilingual Language Acquisition (graduate seminar)



Bilingualism, Language Acquisition, Hispanic Linguistics


Ph.D., Linguistics, minor in Cognitive Science, Cornell University

B.A., English and Spanish, Earlham College



Austin, Jennifer, Blume, María and Sánchez, Liliana. (2015) . Bilingualism in the Spanish-speaking world: Linguistic and cognitive perspectives. Cambridge University Press.

Edited Volume

Austin, Jennifer (editor). (2019). Special issue on Bilingual Morphology. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 2(1).  

Journal Articles

Sánchez, Liliana, Goldin, Michele, Hur, Esther, Jiménez, Abril, López Otero, Julio, Markovits, Jennifer, Thane, Patrick and Austin, Jennifer. (Accepted). Dominance, language experience, and increased interaction effects on the development of pragmatic knowledge in heritage bilingual children: Acceptance of null and overt subjects in Spanish and English. Heritage Language Journal.

Thane, Patrick, Goldin, Michele, Hur, Esther, Jiménez, Abril, López Otero, Julio and Austin, Jennifer. (2022). Where we are and where we ought to be: The need for research-based assessments for dual-language immersion learners. NABE Journal of Research and Practice.

Foursha, Cassandra, Blacker, Katy, Austin, Jennifer, and Van de Walle, Gretchen. (2021). Who is kissing whom?  Two-year-olds’ comprehension of pronouns, case and word order. Psychology of Language and Communication 1(1), 4-28

Syrett, Kristen, Austin, Jennifer, & Sánchez, Liliana. (2021). Establishing upper bounds in English monolingual and Heritage Spanish-English bilingual language development.  Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics  28(1), 39-64.

Austin, Jennifer. (2019). Representation and processing in bilingual morphology. Editorial. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 2(1): 1-5.

Syrett, Kristen, Lingwall, Anne, Perez-Cortes, Silvia, Austin, Jennifer, Sánchez, Liliana, Baker, Hannah, Germak, Christina, and Arias-Amaya, Anthony. (2017). Differences between Spanish monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual children in their calculation of entailment-based scalar implicatures. Glossa Special Issue: Acquisition of Quantification 2(1):31, 1-19.

Syrett, Kristen, Austin, Jennifer, Sánchez, Liliana, Germak, Christina, Lingwall, Anne, Perez-Cortes, Silvia, Arias-Amaya, Anthony, and Baker, Hannah. (2017). The influence of conversational context and the developing lexicon on the calculation of scalar implicatures: Insights from Spanish-English bilingual children. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 7(2): 230-264.

Austin, Jennifer. (2015). Transfer and contact-induced variation in child Basque. In Carmel O’Shannessy, (ed), special research topic: Acquisition in Contact. Frontiers in Psychology 5, 1576.

Austin, Jennifer, Blume, María and Sánchez, Liliana. (2013). Syntactic development in the L1 of Spanish-English bilingual children. Hispania 96 (3): 542-61.

Austin, Jennifer. (2013). Markedness, input frequency and the acquisition of inflection: Evidence from Basque/Spanish bilingual children. Special issue of the International Journal of Bilingualism on Basque bilingualism edited by Pilar Larrañaga and Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes. 17(3): 259-283.

Austin, Jennifer. (2012). The case-agreement hierarchy in acquisition: Evidence from children learning Basque. Special issue of Lingua on ergativity edited by Beatriz Fernández and Itziar Laka. 122(3): 289-302.

Austin, Jennifer. (2010).  Rich inflection and the production of finite verbs in child language. Morphology 20 (1), 41-69.

Austin, Jennifer. (2009). Delay, interference and bilingual development: The acquisition of verbal morphology in children learning Basque and Spanish. International Journal of Bilingualism 13 (4): 447-479.

Austin, Jennifer. (2007). Grammatical interference and the acquisition of ergative case in bilingual children learning Basque and Spanish. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 10(3): 315-331.

Austin, Jennifer. (2006). Dative overmarking in Basque: Evidence of Spanish-Basque convergence. Euskalingua 9, 136-145.

Santlemann, Lynn, Berk, Stephanie, Austin, Jennifer, Somashekar, Shamita and Lust, Barbara. (2002). Continuity and development in the acquisition of inversion in yes/no questions: Dissociating movement and inflection. The Journal of Child Language. 29(4):813-842.

López, Luis and Austin, Jennifer. (1997). Theories of VP structure and the typology of structural case.  Linguistic Analysis. 27:186-219.

 Book Chapters, Working Papers and Conference Proceedings

Austin, Jennifer, Sánchez, Liliana, Pérez-Cortés, Silvia, and Giancaspro, David. (2021). The development of person and number agreement in child heritage speakers of Spanish learning English as a second language. In Gita Martohardjono and Suzanne Flynn (eds.), Language in Development and Use: A cross-linguistic perspective. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

 Austin, Jennifer. (2020). Cross-language contact in the developing grammars of bilingual children. In Evangelia Adamou and Yaron Matras (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Language Contact. London: Routledge, 219-239.

Sánchez, Liliana and Austin, Jennifer. (2020). Negation in L2 acquisition and beyond. In Viviane Déprez and M. Teresa Espinal (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Negation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 615-634.

Austin, Jennifer. (2020). Differential object marking in the speech of children learning Basque and Spanish. In Silvina Montrul and Alexandru Mardale (eds.), The Acquisition of Differential Object Marking. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 51-75.

Choi, Koeun, Lapidow, Elizabeth, Austin, Jennifer, Shafto, Patrick and Bonawitz, Elizabeth (2018). Preschoolers are more likely to direct questions to adults than to other children (or selves) during spontaneous conversational act. In Kalish, C., Rau, M., Zhu, J., & Rogers, T.T. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Madison, WI: Cognitive Science Society.

Austin, Jennifer, Sánchez, Liliana and Perez-Cortes, Silvia (2017). Null subjects in the early acquisition of English by Spanish heritage bilingual children. In Silvia Perpiñán and David Heap (eds.), Proceedings of the 44th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL). Amsterdam:John Benjamins, 209-227.

Austin, Jennifer. (2017). The role of defaults in the acquisition of Basque dative and ergative morphology. In Jessica Coon, Diane Massam and Lisa Travis, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Ergativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 646-664. 

Austin, Jennifer. (2013). Ergativity in child Basque. In Edith Banvin and Sabine Stoll, (eds.), The  Acquisition of Ergativity. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 35-70.

Foursha, Cassandra, Austin, Jennifer and Van de Walle, Gretchen. (2006). Is language processing identical in monolinguals and early, balanced bilinguals?
 In David Bamman, Tatiana Magnitskaia and Colleen Zaller, (eds.), Proceedings Supplement of the 30th 
Boston University Conference on Language Development.

Austin, Jennifer, Blume, María, Parkinson, David, Lust, Barbara and Núñez del Prado, Zelmira. (1998). Interactions between pragmatic and syntactic knowledge in the first language acquisition of Spanish null and overt pronominals. In José Lema and Esthela Trevino, (eds.), Theoretical Research on Romance Languages: Selected Papers from the Twenty-sixth Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages. Amsterdam, New York: John Benjamins. 35-52.

Austin, Jennifer, Blume, María, Parkinson, David, Proman, Reyna, Lust, Barbara and Núñez del Prado, Zelmira. (1997). The acquisition of Spanish null and overt pronouns: Pragmatic and syntactic factors. In Shamitha Somashekar, Kyoko Yamakoshi, María Blume and Claire Foley (eds.), Papers on language acquisition: Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics 15, 160-177.

Austin, Jennifer, Blume, María, Parkinson, David, Proman, Reyna, Lust, Barbara and Núñez del Prado, Zelmira. (1997). The status of pro-drop in the Initial State: Results from new analyses of Spanish. In Ana Teresa Pérez-Leroux and William Glass (eds.), Contemporary Perspectives on the Acquisition of Spanish. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press, 37-54.

Austin, Jennifer, Blume, María, Parkinson, David, Proman, Reyna, Núñez del Prado, Zelmira and Lust, Barbara. (1996). Current challenges to the parameter-setting paradigm: The pro-drop parameter. In Charlotte Koster and Frank Wijnen (eds.), Proceedings of the Groningen Assembly on Language Acquisition 1995. Groningen: Centre for Language and Cognition, 87-97.

Austin, Jennifer and López, Luis. (1995). Nominative, absolutive and dative languages. In Jill  Beckman, (ed.), Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth North Eastern Linguistic Society. Amherst, MA: GLSA, 1-16.

Austin, Jennifer and López, Luis. (1995).  Nominative, absolutive and dative languages. In Joao Costa, Rob Goedemans, and Ruben van de Vijver, (eds.), Proceedings of ConSOLE III. Leiden, 1-16.