Maria Cristina Cuervo
Honours BA in Linguistics and Literature, University of Buenos Aires
PhD in Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2003
Professor María Cristina Cuervo joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 2004. She got her undergraduate degree at the University of Buenos Aires, and then took Master’s studies in formal linguistics at the Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Argentina. She obtained her PhD at MIT in 2003. She is an Associate Professor in Spanish and in Linguistics at the University of Toronto. In 2013 Professor Cuervo received an Outstanding Teaching Award from Arts & Science at U of T.
Her research considers how specific grammatical phenomena in several languages (argument/event structure, dative arguments, and applicatives) inform the broader question of how structural properties of language restrict and shape the construction of linguistic meanings. Her work has focused on the construction of verbal meanings on the basis of small grammatical units. More recently, she has been working in collaboration with students on the tense system in Spanish and how it is acquired.
She draws on natural language data from a variety of sources (speakers’ intuitions, corpora and experimental data) and speaker populations (children, adult native speakers, and second language learners). Her research is couched within a linguistic theory that studies language as a human-specific cognitive faculty.