Dr. Virginia Hill

Dr. Virginia Hill Dr. Virginia Hill (formerly Motapanyane) is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John.  She received her MA from the University of Bucharest (in Classics).   From the University of Geneva she received her second MA and her PhD in Linguistics (1991).  She joined the Department of Humanities and Languages in 1990, and developed a Minor/Double Major in Linguistics program within the Department.

Dr. Hill was appointed in 2008 as an honorary Research Professor in the Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics at Concordia University.  In 2012 she was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Professorship at the University of Kent, and in 2014 she received a UNB-University Research Scholar award. In November 2016, she was an invited professor at the Universidade Federal do Parana (Curitiba – Brazil).

Dr. Hill specializes in formal syntax, with focus on Romance and Balkan languages.  In this field she produced books and had numerous articles published in peer reviewed journals and collections of papers.  Her research examines how pragmatic and discourse effects may arise from the application of syntactic rules and, ultimately, how such understanding may contribute to the study of language evolution in humans. In this field she produced books, had numerous articles published in peer reviewed journals and collections of papers, and was an invited speaker at various international conferences and workshops.

She was principal investigator on several SSHRCC grants and co-investigator on a Major Collaborative Research Initiative grant focused on biolinguistics (A.M. DiSciullo – principal investigator at UQAM). With these funds, she created student jobs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


  • Hill, V. & G. Alboiu. 2016. Verb movement and clause structure in Old Romanian. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hill, V. (ed). 2015. Formal approaches to DPs in Old Romanian. Leiden: Brill.
  • Hill, V.  2014.  Vocatives: How syntax meets with pragmatics. (with the participation of Melita Stavrou).  Leiden:  Brill.
  • Di Sciullo, A.M. & V. Hill (eds).  2010.  Interface properties:  Edges, Heads and Projections.   Amsterdam:   JB.
  • Motapanyane, V. (ed).  2000.   Comparative studies in Romanian syntax.  Oxford:  Elsevier.
  • Motapanyane, V.  1997.  Acadian French.   A Grammatical Sketch.  München:  Lincoln Europa.   In collaboration with David Jory.
  • Black, J. & V. Motapanyane (eds).  1997.   Clitics, pronouns and movement.  Amsterdam:   JB.
  • Black, J. & V. Motapanyane (eds).  1996.  Micro-parametric syntax and dialect variation.  Amsterdam:  JB.
  • Motapanyane, V.  1995.   Theoretical Implications of Complementation in Romanian.   Padova:  Unipress.

Selected Articles

  Contact Virginia Hill