Guilherme D. Garcia


I’m originally from Brazil—I was born in a small town near Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul. Because Porto Alegre is the southernmost capital city in Brazil, it’s quite close to Uruguay and Argentina, so we actually have “cold” winters over there.

Parts of my family come from Portugal and Italy. They immigrated to South America back in the 19th century, a period when hundreds of thousands of Europeans moved to Brazil—particularly to Rio Grande do Sul. The Portuguese side of my family comes from Castro Laboreiro, a small village in northern Portugal (quite close to the Spanish border). The Italian side of my family originated in Vicenza, in northern Italy.

Outside academia, I enjoy travel, technology, guitars, coffee, Thai and Indian food, swimming, and photography (see portfolio below). These are some of my favorite books: The Language Instinct, The Origins of Grammar, Thinking, Fast and Slow, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Behave, and The Universe in a Nutshell.

I’m married to this other linguist—she’s also a phonologist, and she loves cats.


I got interested in Linguistics after I started teaching English to Portuguese speakers in Brazil. That led me to a BA in Language Studies, which in Brazil is called Bacharelado em Letras (Bachelor’s Degree in Letters), and typically involves a combination of Portuguese, Brazilian and English Literature, Linguistics, and Translation studies. As an undergrad, I participated in some research projects on the interface of phonology and morphology, which motivated me to pursue an MA in Linguistics. My MA focused on linguistic theory, particularly on Phonology and Second Language Acquisition. In 2012, I moved to Canada to do my PhD at McGill.

Because my research interests connect phonology sand quantitative methods, I enjoy coding and developing scripts to automate experiments and data analysis in R (a language for statistical computing). I have designed and taught different workshops on data analysis for linguists (focusing on linguistic data). I am also interested in Bayesian statistics, and how linguistic assumptions can be encoded in different statistical models.

Small portfolio     Student spotlight, Linguistic Society of America (May 2017)

Copyright © 2018 Guilherme Duarte Garcia