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

Marit is 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.


Martin Schweinberger Martin Schweinberger is Associate Professor in the AcqVA Aurora Center and he holds an additional appointment as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Language Technology at the University of Queensland, Australia.

As a language data scientist with a PhD in English linguistics, Martin has specialized particularly on corpus linguistics and quantitative, computational analyses of language data and he has been establishing the Language Technology and Data Analysis Laboratory (LADAL), which is hosted by the University of Queensland.

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.


Zeynep Sancak Sert 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.  Zeynep is currently pursuing her MA in English Acquisition and Multilingualism at the department of language and culture at UiT. In addition to the AcqVA Aurora Lab, Zeynep is affiliated with the PoLaR Lab. She is supervised by Fatih Bayram and Vincent DeLuca and her research uses EEG to understand the processing of English as an L2 by Norwegian speakers.


We will soon hire an associate professor of quantitative methods (50%) with responsibilities in the AcqVA Aurora Lab.


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.


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 fo Queensland.


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