Rebecca Defina is a post-doctoral researcher with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Her research focuses on relationships between linguistic and conceptual representations with a particular interest in events. She is also more generally interested in linguistic description and typology, semantics and syntax and the psychology of event (and other conceptual) representations.
Rebecca completed her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in 2016. Her thesis focused on serial verb constructions in Avatime, a Kwa language spoken in Ghana and the question of whether or not they are used to refer to single conceptual events.
Currently, she is carrying out a longitudinal study of how children acquire the Australian Indigenous language Pitjantjatjara. The focus of the study is on how children learn to talk about events, and in particular how they acquire complex predicates and develop relationships between conceptual and linguistic event representations.