Principal Investigator:

eva - 1Eva Wittenberg

I am interested in how the mind assembles meaning, how this capacity came to be, and how it interacts with other cognitive abilities. I investigate the decisions that speakers face when they wrap their messages in grammar. Speakers make structural choices dozens of times per day, and listeners rapidly process them, make inferences about why something was said in a particular way, and create a representation of the speaker’s intended meaning in their minds.

Senior Staff:

adamAdam Morgan

I’m a graduate student in Psychology with interests in language production (How do we translate thought to language?), the neural organization of language (Where and how does the brain store abstract syntactic information?), and the reasons underlying typological patterns in syntax (Why do all* SVO languages put relative clauses after nouns? Why do all languages that use resumptive pronouns also use gaps? Why are there so many SOV languages?  Can general processing mechanisms account for these patterns or could they stem from innate linguistic knowledge?).

* All-ish; Chinese is an exception.


Joshua Wampler

I am a graduate student in Linguistics. I am interested in meaning, both as supplied by lexical items and as supplied by context. My work focuses on event representations and reference resolution. I am particularly interested in how people conceptualize events, and how this conceptualization affects how people establish reference to events (or subevents). Underlying all of this is a general interest in the conceptual ontology of events, and how this does (or doesn’t) correspond to the conceptual ontology of objects.



Sean Trott

I am a graduate student in Cognitive Science. My primary interest is in how language comprehenders construct meaning from under-specified and often ambiguous linguistic input. Which linguistic and extra-linguistic cues do comprehenders exploit, and which cognitive resources do they bring to bear on the problem of comprehension? Further, what can constraints on language production and comprehension tell us about why languages look the way they do?



Catherine Arnett

I am currently looking at reduplication in Mandarin and how people interpret it. I am generally interested in the syntax-semantics interface, psycholinguistics, dialectal variation, language variation and change, and corpus linguistics.




Maho Takahashi

I am a PhD student in Linguistics, and my broad research interests are: How the cognitive and conceptual development underlies language acquisition, and how sentence processing and making grammaticality judgments interact with our cognitive capacities. I am particularly interested in cases where real-time parsing profile conflicts with ultimate grammaticality judgments (grammatical illusions), and where children exhibit significant delays in the acquisition of adult-like syntactic and semantic knowledge.


Research Assistants:

Annie Chai

Phillip Lagoc

Anges Vu

Mohit Gurumukhani

Rebecca Xu

Harrison Kim

Alexandra Zenteno

Nicholas Hammer

Shubham Kaushal

Allison Park

Annabelle Chang

Jessica Luo

Ruoqi Wei

Elizaveta Pertseva



Suhas Arehalli Now at JHU

Miguel Meija 

Talia Orr

Samantha Ngan

Sophia Butler

Madeline Grubbs



David Barner (UCSD)

Judith Degen (Stanford)

Vic Ferreira (UCSD)

Ulrike Freywald (Potsdam)

Joshua Hartshorne (Boston College)

Ray Jackendoff (Tufts)

Elsi Kaiser (USC)

Melissa Kline (MIT)

Roger Levy (MIT)

Titus von der Malsburg (Uni Potsdam)

Shota Momma (UMass Amherst)

Greg Scontras (UC Irvine)

Jeremy Skipper (UCL)

Jesse Snedeker (Harvard)

Andreas Trotzke (Konstanz/Barcelona)

Ashwini Vaidya (IIT Delhi)

Heike Wiese (Potsdam)

Jayden Ziegler (Harvard)


Neil Cohn (Tilburg)

Gina Kuperberg (Tufts)

Maria Piñango (Yale)


Barbara Hennecke (an awesome graphic designer who made our logo)