It seems that, when I was a little girl, languages already fascinated me. Just an anecdote: My family and I used to go to the Basque Country on vacation, and I remember going into a shop and realizing that I understood nothing in the conversation between the customer and the shop assistant. I must have been taken aback by the thought that I was so close to my home and yet the linguistic reality was completely different. When we were back in Barcelona, my parents requested for me to be admitted to the Escola Oficial d’Idiomes (a public language centre in Barcelona), although, according to the requirements, I was not old enough to start. This is how I learned Basque.
Later, I accidentally got acquainted with the Occitan world. You can imagine that, by the time, my friends were making fun of me saying that I collected small languages. But I was pretty proud of it! Maybe because my own language, to some extent, is also a small one.
Nowadays, being an adult, I am lucky enough to earn a living with my knowledge of languages and linguistics. After finishing my undergraduate studies in Catalan Language and Literature at the University of Barcelona, I combined teaching at the Ramon Llull University with research-oriented Master’s studies in Catalan Language and Literature at the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Finally, I did my PhD in Cognitive Science and Language at the Autonomous University of Barcelona with a thesis dedicated to syntactic variation in Romance languages in general and in Catalan in particular, as well as in Basque. More specifically, I was interested in direct and indirect objects and tried to discover why some speakers say Li han pegat (‘They hit him/her’, using indirect object pronoun) and some say L’han pegat (‘They hit him/her’, using direct object pronoun), or why sometimes they say Vaig donar-li un regal a la Maria (‘I gave a present to Maria’) with the pronoun li and sometimes, without. If it is of your interest, you can have a look at my thesis, or otherwise, read this article that is shorter and also less theoretical.
I am currently a teacher and researcher at the University of Barcelona. I started with a María Zambrano international talent recruitment postdoctoral contract (2022), and soon after I won a Ramón y Cajal contract (2023-2028). I had previously been a postdoctoral researcher at several universities in Europe, thanks to several competitive contracts and grants. In 2021 I obtained a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, with which I worked at the Universität zu Köln with a project on the use of the preposition in front of the direct complement in Catalan (that is, on what is known as object differential marking). Before that I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Sorbonne Université de Paris (within the framework of a project on the diachrony of the Romance languages, 2020-2021), at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (with a postdoctoral contract Juan de la Cierva-incorporación, 2017-2018) and at the Center National de Recherche Scientifique de Bayonne (with a Beatriu de Pinós grant, 2016-2017, with whom I also spent two months as a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge, England, 2017).
In addition, I have been working as a proofreader for different publishing houses and language services. To wrap up, I must say I have another passion I have been unable to drop over the years: sociolinguistics. Actually, for many years I was the writer behind the blog Do de Llengua.
Well, now you know a little more about me!
Anna Pineda i Cirera
TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE
Barcelona - València - Köln