Juliana Novo Gomes

Academic degree: Doutoramento

Professional category: Investigador Contratado

Research group(s):


Phone: +351926066719



Short bionote:

Juliana Novo is a Brazilian linguist with a background that features a strong background in Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics. In addition to her experience and passion for syntactic and semantic generative systems and the unbounded combinatory processes of human language processing, she has expertise with EEG/ERPs and Eye-tracking research methods, data analysis and programming (Python and R).
As a Language researcher, she aims at understanding the neural bases of syntactic structure building. Thus, in addition to studies directly targeting sentence-level syntax-semantics, her research has also addressed word-level processes, such as lexical access, morphological and semantic decomposition.
Recently, her research has also focused on characterizing the brain mechanisms of reading and learning a language - such as those underlining the N170.
She has coordinated several projects on the syntax-semantics interface; language processing, language acquisition, indigenous language (Karajá) and educational neuroscience.
She is Associate Professor at the Linguistics Graduate Program (Proling) at the Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil. She is Associate Researcher at the Syntactic Access Lab (Acesin Lab), Electroencephalography and Eye-tracking Lab (LER Lab) and at the Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics Group (LTE) at the University of Minho. She is associate editor of Revista Prolingua (UFPB) and since 2020, she is member of the Psycholinguistics and Neuroscience of Language of ABRALIN.

Juliana Novo é uma linguista brasileira com sólida formação em Linguística Teórica e Experimental. Além de sua experiência e paixão por sistemas generativos de sintaxe e semântica e, pelos processos combinatórios ilimitados de processamento da linguagem, ela tem experiência com EEG/ERPs e rastreamento ocular, análise de dados e programação (Python e R).
Como pesquisadora de linguagem, ela visa compreender as bases neurais da construção de estruturas sintáticas. Assim, além de estudos que visam diretamente a interface sintaxe-semântica no nível da frase, sua pesquisa também abordou processos no nível da palavra, como acesso lexical, decomposição morfológica e semântica.
Recentemente, sua pesquisa também se concentrou na caracterização dos mecanismos cerebrais de ler e aprender uma língua - como os subjacentes ao N170.
Ela coordenou vários projetos na interface sintaxe-semântica; processamento de linguagem, aquisição de linguagem, língua indígena (Karajá) e neurociência educacional.
É Professora Associada do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Linguística (Proling) da UFPB, Brasil. É Investigadora Associada do Laboratório de Acesso Sintáctico (Acesin Lab), Laboratório de Electroencefalografia e Rastreamento (LER Lab) e do Grupo de Linguística Teórica e Experimental (LTE) da Universidade do Minho. É editora associada da Revista Prolingua (UFPB) e desde 2020 é membro do Grupo de Trabalho de Psicolinguística e Neurociência da Linguagem da ABRALIN.

Research interests:

Linguística Teórica, Linguística Experimental, Psicolinguística, Neurociência da Linguagem, EEG, Aquisição da Linguagem.


PhD in Neuroscience of Language, UFRJ - CU Boulder

MA in Neuroscience of Language, UFRJ, Brazil

BA in Portuguese and German Language and Literature Studies, UFRJ, Brazil

Professional experience:

2020: FCT Researcher at CEHUM, University of Minho, Portugal

2019-2020: Visiting Professor of Linguistics, Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil

2017-2018: PosDoc Researcher, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2014-2016: Assistant Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2010-2014: Research Scholar, Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab, University of Colorado, US


  • 2020 - ... (Coordenador)

    A neuroscience of language study comparing the It-Cleft Constructions in European and Brazilian Portuguese

    Recent event-related brain potentials (ERP) studies report that implausible verb-argument combinations, as in 'The surfer attacked the shark at the beach', can deceive the processor and favor a semantically attractive interpretation (Kim & Osterhout, 2005). This view predicts partially independent, but highly interactive syntactic and semantic processing streams. Under this assumption, in such sentences, if syntactic cues fail to support a semantically attractive interpretation ('surfer' as the Agent of a 'shark-attacking’) and the syntactic cues are overwhelmed, the sentence would be perceived as syntactically ill-formed, although such eliciting conditions do not involve outright syntactic anomaly.
    Following up on the results found in GOMES, 2014; GOMES e França, 2015; Gomes & França, 2020 (to appear), we designed a new study using EEG/ERP to map distinguished syntactic and semantic processes (N400 and P600) addressing the focus as embodied in It-clefts clauses, contrasting BP and EP.
    FCT Researcher Grant 2018, CEHUM, LTE
  • 2020 - 2020 (Coordenador)

    Noticing the evidence: a self-paced reading study on syntactic-semantic Illusions

    Understanding a linguistic expression typically requires integrating it into a discursive context. This often requires resolving ambiguities at different conceptual levels and, in some cases, the incremental stimulus seems to deceive the parser and cause a semantic illusion. In order to explain the operations involved in processing these types of sentences, there is a dispute between theories if, in addition to lexical and syntactic constraints, comprehenders should resort to pragmatic knowledge. Seeking to better understand the processing of sentences in which there is mismatch between the processor and the final representation, we designed a Study in Brazilian Portuguese, comparing sentences in three different levels of syntactic embeddings (Coordination, Hypotaxis and Subordination) with two levels of linear order of the embedded clause (Initial vs. Final). The results show that awareness to semantic illusions can be influenced by the semantic relationship of the unexpected word and the surrounding context. However, we believe that manipulating of embedded clauses also have influenced the underlying processing. Thus, the relationship between noticing the unexpected word and structural complexity seems to be inversely proportional: the semantic illusion is used in this study to measure the difficulty of processing syntactic embeddings vis-à-vis other constructions.
    Presented on APL 2020; LARC, 2020; ENELP 2020 and ANPOLL 2020.