Laboratory of the Aurora Center for Language Acquisition, Variation, and Attrition
AcqVA Aurora Lab



Marit Westergaard

Marit Westergaard is Director of the AcqVA Aurora Center as well as the AcqVA Aurora Lab.

Marit is a Professor of English Linguistics at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, and since 2015 she has also held a 20% Adjunct Professorship at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She has been a fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters since 2016.

Marit’s work spans L1/L2/L3 and bilingual acquisition, heritage languages and language attrition, multilingualism, micro-variation, comparative syntax and diachronic change, focusing on word order as well as various DP phenomena (especially grammatical gender). She has directed or been involved in a number of externally financed research projects, funded by the RCN, CAS, EEA/Norway grantsMSCA, etc. (see her website for more information).


Natalia Mitrofanova

Natalia Mitrofanova is one of the PIs of AcqVA Aurora and a University Lecturer in the Department of Language and Culture. 

Natalia’s work has focused on language acquisition and processing by monolingual and multilingual children and adults. She has expertise in a variety of experimental paradigms ranging from acceptability judgements and elicited production tasks to online Visual World eye-tracking experiments.

Natalia has worked on Russian, Norwegian, English, German and Spanish (in different combinations), and the following linguistic phenomena: locative utterances, grammatical gender, morphological case, verbal aspect, and word order. She is interested in conducting research on the crossroads of theoretical linguistics, language acquisition and psycholinguistics.


Serge Minor

Serge Minor is Associate Professor of quantitative methods affiliated with the AcqVA Aurora Lab. He also currently holds a position as Postdoctoral researcher in an NRC-funded project focusing on semantic processing.

Serge’s research interests lie in the domain of semantic and syntactic processing, in particular the processing of verbal aspect. He has expertise in the application of statistical methods to the analysis of psycholinguistic data, notably Visual World eye-tracking and Likert scale judgement data. He also has a keen interest in emerging web-based research methodologies, such as webcam-based eye-tracking.

Serge has a background in theoretical semantics and syntax, and has worked on topics related to the grammar of quantification, number and person features, verbal aspect, control constructions, and locative expressions. Serge’s work in the lab involves assisting lab members in designing and running psycholinguistic experiments (both offline and web-based), and in conducting statistical analysis of the experimental results.


Martin Schweinberger

Martin Schweinberger  is part-time Associate Professor II in the AcqVA Aurora Center and Lecturer in Applied Linguistics as well as co-director of the Language Technology and Data Analysis Laboratory (LADAL) at the University of Queensland, Australia. In addition, Martin is board member of The International Computer Archive of Modern and Medieval English (ICAME) and he is  steering committee member of the Australian Text Analytics Platform – an ARCD funded project aimed at establishing a text analytics infrastructure in Australia. As a language data scientist with a PhD in English linguistics, Martin has specialized particularly on corpus linguistics and quantitative, computational analyses of text and speech.

Martin’s research focuses on understanding language variation and change, determinants of language use and linguistic variability, as well as language acquisition. Furthermore, Martin is also interested in and an avid proponent of computational humanities, reproducible research practices, as well as data science and management.


Jagoda Dyga is a research assistant at AcqVA Aurora Center. She supports the lab by assisting AcqVA Aurora researchers in their studies and handling administrative aspects of the lab. Jagoda has recently graduated from MA program in Theoretical Linguistics at the University of Tromsø. In addition to the AcqVA Aurora Lab, Jagoda is affiliated with the ADIM project as a research assistant.


All members of the UiT Aurora Center for Language Acquisition, Variation, and Attrition (AcqVA Aurora) are members of the AcqVA Aurora Lab. You find an overview of the AcqVA Aurora members under the PEOPLE tab here.


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The AcqVA Aurora Lab collaborates and shares digital resources with the Language Technology and Data Analysis Laboratory (LADAL) in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Queensland.

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