Professor Suzanne Flynn, PhD, CCC-SLP

Primary position:

Professor of Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
Department of Linguistics and Philosophy,
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Secondary positions:

Research Associate and Speech-Language Pathologist
Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement,
Autism Language Program,
Children’s Hospital (Waltham, MA)

Research Associate and Speech-Language Pathologist
Perkins School for the Blind (Watertown, MA)

Photo: MIT Press

Fields of interest:

  • First and Second Language Acquisition,

  • Bilingualism,

  • Theoretical Linguistics,

  • Neurolinguistics,

  • Language Disorders,

  • Autism,

  • Language and Dementia

Suzanne Flynn is a professor of linguistics and language acquisition at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Flynn is a leading researcher on syntax acquisition of children and adults in bilingual, second, and third language contexts. More recently, her work has also focused on the neural representation of the multilingual brain as well as on the phonological and acoustic underpinnings of accent.


  • CCC-SLP (2010), and Speech/Language Disorders Graduate Study (2006-2009)
    Massachusetts General Hospital, Institute of Health Professionals

  • Ph.D. in Linguistics,
    Cornell University (1983)

  • Summer Institute of the Linguistic Society of America
    University of New Mexico (1980)

  • MA in Linguistics,
    Cornell University (1980)

  • Study in Education,
    University of Massachusetts/Amherst (1975-77)

  • MA in English Education,
    University of Puerto Rico (1974)

  • BA in Anthropology,
    University of Massachusetts/Amherst (1972)

Title of Dissertation: A Study of the Effects of Principal Branching Direction in Second Language Acquisition: The Generalization of a Parameter of Universal Grammar from First to Second Language Acquisition