Jill G. de Villiers
Social and Developmental Psychology and Education
Jill de Villiers is a leading contributor to research on language development from a linguistically informed, generative perspective. Her deep and subtle understanding of linguistic analysis has enabled her to identify grammatical correlates of important cognitive accomplishments, such as achieving an understanding of the difference between one’s own and others’ beliefs. De Villiers’ work was central to the development of an important diagnostic assessment for language disorders that excludes the influence of dialect. Her work has formed an important bridge between what has become the dominant theory within child language research and the crucial insights of linguists about language development.