Gemma Rigau (Banyoles, 1948) is one of the most prominent figures in Catalan linguistics. She obtained her PhD in Romance Philology from the University of Barcelona and currently holds the position of Professor Emerita at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where Rigau has carried out her teaching duties in the Department of Catalan Philology and her research work at the Center for Theoretical Linguistics (CLT). Her academic career has been dedicated to the study of Catalan syntax.
Gemma Rigau has made numerous contributions in the field of syntactic variation in Catalan and Romance languages, the lexicon-syntax interface, and theoretical linguistics in general. Rigau’s work has been published in prestigious journals such as Caplletra, Linguistic Inquiry, Probus, and Syntax. Among other linguistic phenomena, she has investigated the syntax of the Catalan pronouns “hi” and “en”, the behaviour of some light verbs in both Catalan and Spanish and the internal structure of verbs of movement.
In addition to collaborating on the Grammar of Contemporary Catalan (2002/2008), led by Prof. Joan Solà, Rigau has recently coordinated, together with Manuel Pérez Saldanya, the new normative grammar of Catalan published by the Institute of Catalan Studies in 2016. In fact, since 2002 she has been a member of the Philological Section of the Institute, where she has held the position of vice president and has directed the Grammar Commission.
Throughout her outstanding academic career, Gemma Rigau has received numerous recognitions and awards, such as the Pompeu Fabra Prize from the Institute of Catalan Studies (1982), the Manuel Sanchis Guarner Prize for the Unity of the Catalan Language from the Jaume I Foundation (1982), the Narcís Monturiol Medal for scientific and technological merit from the Government of Catalonia (2006), and the Creu de Sant Jordi, awarded by the Catalan government (2019).