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Robert D. Van Valin, Jr., Professor, received his Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently Professor of General Linguistics at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. His research is focused on theoretical linguistics, especially syntactic theory and theories of the acquisition of syntax and the role of syntactic theory in models of sentence processing. He is the primary developer of the theory of Role and Reference Grammar. He has done research on two American Indian languages.