Department of Languages, Linguistics & Comparative Literature

Amel Khalfaoui

PhD Linguistics, University of Minnesota (2009)

Areas of expertise:
                                           syntax-pragmatics interface
                                           language and cognition

Email: Amel.Khalfaoui@fau.edu

Office Phone: 561-297-0342

Amel Khalfaoui, assistant professor of Linguistics and Arabic in the Department of Languages Linguistics and Comparative Literatures. She teaches courses in linguistics and Arabic. She is coordinator of the Arabic program at FAU. She holds a PhD in Linguistics with a minor in cognitive science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research interests include pragmatics, syntax-pragmatics interface, language and cognition, reference. In her current research, she uses a methodology that combines questionnaires and data collected from different genres to show how the distribution and interpretation of demonstrative forms can be determined by cognitive and pragmatic factors.

Current courses

  • LIN6930 Pragmatics
  • LIN4930 Syntax
  • FOL1121 & FOL 1120 Introduction to Arabic Language and Culture
  • FOL 2203 Intermediate Arabic and Culture

Courses taught previously

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

  • Language and Society
  • Beginning Arabic Language and Culture
  • Intermediate Arabic Language and Culture

Macalester College

  • Sociolinguistics

St. Cloud State University

  • English Syntax
  • Introduction to Linguistics


Khalfaoui, Amel. 2007. “A cognitive approach to analyzing demonstratives in Tunisian Arabic.” In Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XX, Mughazi Mustafa A. (Ed.). Amsterdam/Philadelphia. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Gundel, J.K., Mamadou Bassene, Bryan Gordon, Linda Humnick and, Amel Khalfaoui 2010. Testing predictions of the Givenness Hierarchy framework: A Crosslinguistic investigation. Journal of Pragmatics 42.

“A cognitive explanation for communicators’ avoidance of ambiguous forms: The case of the Arabic demonstrative haða.” Paper accepted to the 23rd Arabic Linguistic Symposium. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA April 3-5, 2009. 

“The choice between the demonstrative haða as a pronoun and as a determiner in Tunisian Arabic: A Relevance Theoretic account.” First North American Workshop on Pragmatics , Glendon College, York University, Toronto, Canada, October 3-5, 2008.  

“Determining correlations between cognitive status and referring expressions: Research methodology.” Poster, Center for Cognitive Sciences Research Day. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA April 3rd, 2008.

“Demonstratives in Tunisian Arabic: Beyond spatial distance.” North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics 36, Chicago, IL, USA March 14-16 2008.  

“A cognitive approach to analyzing demonstratives in Tunisian Arabic” 20th Arabic Linguistic Symposium, Western Michigan University, March 3-5, 2006.

Gundel Jeanette, Gordon Bryan, Bassene Mamadou, Humnick Linda, Khalfaoui Amel. “Testing predictions of the Givenness Hierarchy Framework: A crosslinguistic investigation.” 10th International Pragmatic Conference, Göteborg, Sweden, July 8-13, 2007. 

 Last Modified 7/24/14