Luna Filipovic
  • 0.07 Arts

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Word order processing differences across languages Language use, translation and witness memory in legal contexts

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Personal profile

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Forensic Linguistics, Language Typology and  Translation, Applied  Psycholinguistics, Language Processing, Bilingualism, Second Language Acquisition, Language Effects on Memory,  Experimental and Corpus Research Methods

Academic Background

·         1999 –2002

PhD in Linguistics, University of Cambridge, UK

·         1998 –1999

MPhil in Linguistics, University of Cambridge, UK

·         1993 –1997

BA in English language, literature and translation (with Spanish as a second language), University of Belgrade, Serbia

Scholarships, Awards and Grants

Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholarship (1998-2001)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK Chevening Scholar (1998-1999)

Open Society Institute Scholarship (1998-2002)

Leventis Foundation (Paris) Scholarship  (1999-2001)

Board of Graduate Studies (Cambridge) Allan, Meek and Read Award 2000

Studenica Foundation (San Rafael, USA) Scholarship (1999-2001)

ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2005-2008)

Leverhulme Trust & Newton Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2008-2011)

Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness Grant (2010-2013 & 2013-2016)

Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (2020-2021)


Luna Filipović (PhD Cantab) is a Professor of Language and Cognition at the University of East Anglia. She was previously a Leverhulme Trust & Newton Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge and an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology, University College London. Her research interests are in the areas of psycholinguistics, forensic linguistics and translation, with a focus on bilingualism, language typology and language effects on memory. She has published in the following journals: Speech, Language and the Law, International Journal of Bilingualism, Brain Sciences, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Linguistics, Applied Linguistic Review, Journal of Pragmatics, Languages in Contrast, Trends in Cognitive Sciences and Constructions and Frames. Her book Talking about Motion: A Crosslinguistic Investigation of Lexicalization Patterns (John Benjamins 2007) is a corpus-based study of how motion events are expressed in Serbo-Croatian and English, with contrasting examples from Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Albanian. The focus of the analysis is on finely-grained intratypological differences that affect the habitual presence or absence of information in expressions across languages as well as instances of 'pattern clashing' in translation. Other topics discussed in the book are lexical and construction meaning and spatio-temporal construals in language and cognition. Her co-authored book (with John Hawkins)  is an empirical corpus-based study of second language acquisition, entitled Criterial Features in L2 English: Specifying the Reference Levels of the Common European Framework (Cambridge University Press 2012). She has co-edited three seminal volumes on language, cognition and culture Space and Time across Languages and Cultures Vols I & II (with Kasia Jaszczolt; John Benjamins 2012) and  Multilingual Cognition and Language Use (with Martin Putz; John Benjamins 2014). Her co-edited book (with Martin Putz)  Endangered Languages and Languages in Danger: Issues of Documentation, Policy and Language Rights (2016) appeared in the John Benjamins IMPACT Series and was recently selected for publishing in an open access format as part of the publisher's Knowledge Unlatched initiative. Her most recent monograph (2019) Bilingualism in Action: Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press) puts forward a holistic, empirically-drviven model that brings together psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic research on bilingualism and accounts for the different types of bilingual linguistic behaviour in different social and communicative contexts. 


  •  September 2016 – present

Professor of Language and Cognition, School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

  • September 2011 – August 2016

Senior Lecturer in Applied Translation, School of Language and Communication Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

  •  October 2008 – September 2011

Leverhulme Trust and Newton Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer in Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge, UK

  •  June 2005 – May 2008

ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psycholinguistics, Department of Psychology, University College London, UK

  • October 2003 – June 2004

Temporary University Lecturer, in Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge, UK



CONFESSION TO MAKE - Leverhulme Trust funded project on confessions in UK police interviews and US police interrogations

TACIT- Translation and Communication in Training (Cross-linguistic and cross-cultural interdisciplinary empirical study of police interviews in monolingual and multilingual contexts, including UK and US comparisons); PI Luna Filipovic; CO-Is: Chi-He Elder, Maria Gomez-Bedoya, Alberto Hijazo-Gascon, Andreas Musolff, Gabrina Pounds and Carlos de Pablos-Ortega.

PREDICTABILTY IN THE ON-LINE PROCESSING OF DIFFERENT LANGUAGE TYPES (ENGLISH vs. JAPANESE); PI Luna Filipovic; CO-Is: Paul Engelhardt (UEA Psychology) and John A. Hawkins (University of California Davis)



·         2010-2016  Principal Collaborator on the project: Movement and Space according to a semantic typology and its application to acquisition and translation (MOVES I & II); funded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

·         2009-2010 Principal Research Consultant on the English Profile Project for Cambridge Assessment, University of Cambridge, UK  

·         2008-2011 Early Career Research Fellowship Newton Trust, Cambridge and Leverhulme Trust, UK; Project title: Bilingual witness report and translation

·        2005-2008  ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Psycholinguistics; Project title: Language effects on memory of events;  held at University College London; including extensive translation data collection in the courtrooms of the state of California (San Francisco and San Jose)

External Activities

  • Peer Reviewing and External Examining
  • National Science Foundation (USA)
  • AHRC
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
  • Language Learning
  • Applied Linguistics Review
  • Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics
  • Studies in Language
  • University College London External Examiner for the South Slavonic and Eastern European Studies
  • Cambridge University External Examiner for the Linguistics Tripos


  • Selected Invited Talks
  • 2019, June 26th, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Invited Panel talk at the International Symposium on Bilingualism; Title: How bilinguals remember events: Advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism for eyewitness memory
  • 2018, April 9th, University of California Davis, Department of Linguistics Invited Talk; Title: Complex Adaptive System Principles (CASP) model for Bilingualism
  • 2017, October 11th University of Oslo, Centre for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan, Multilingualism, Forensic Linguistics and Law Conference; Title: Interpreter-assisted investigative interview: What works vs. what does not work, and why
  • 2017, April 19th; University of California Davis Language Typology Seminar; Title: Language-specific preferences in how we describe and remember events: Spanish and English through a forensic linguistic lens
  • 2015 Cardiff Language and Law Advanced Research Residency; Title: Witness Interviews under a Forensic Linguistic Prism: Seeing, Saying and Remembering in Different Languages
  • 2015 PSYLEX Meeting, University of Zaragoza, Spain; Title: Language as a Complex Adaptive System: Evidence from Processing, Acquisition and Memory
  • 2013 Barbara Gordon Memorial Lecture, Florida International University, Miami, USA; Title: Language in the Witness Stand: Forensic Linguistics Solutions for Cross-Linguistic Problems in Witness Interviews
  • 2013 Festival Linguistics Matters Plenary Talk, Florida International University, Miami, USA; Title: Language(s) and Memory: Universal vs. Language-specific Rules of Engagement

      Engagement Projects

  • TACIT (Translation and Communication in Training) in collaboration with the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk Police Constabularies

  • MAISE-Multilingualism Awareness in Secondary Education (in collaboration with secondary schools and sixth form colleges in Norwich and Cambridge)

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

External positions

ESRC Grant Assessment Panel (GAP) member , Economic and Social Research Council


Peer Review College Member, Arts and Humanities Research Council

Expert Panel Member, Cross-Whitehall RCT Panel


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or