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Janet Dean Fodor
Position: Distinguished Professor
Campus Affiliation: CUNY Graduate Center
Phone: 212-817-8502
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research Interests: Human sentence processing, learnability theory and L1 acquisition

Research interests

Cross-linguistic studies of sentence processing and prosody; implicit prosody in silent reading; learnability theory; simulation studies of syntactic parameter setting.


B.A. 1964 Oxford University (Psychology and Philosophy)
M.A. 1966 Oxford University
Ph.D. 1970 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Linguistics)

Selected publications available in PDF:

Soon to be available:

Stonyneshka, I., Fodor, J. D., and Fernandez, E. M. (2010) Phoneme restoration methods for investigating prosodic influences on syntactic processing. Language and Cognitive Processes. Psychology Press.

Journal Articles/Book Chapters/Conference Papers

Fodor, J. D. (2009) Syntax acquisition: An evaluation measure after all? Of Minds and Language: The Basque Country Encounter with Noam Chomsky, M. Piatelli Palmarini, J. Uriagereka and P. Salaburu (eds.), Oxford University Press.
Fodor, J. D. (2009) Contribution to Round Table on Linguistic Universals. Of Minds and Language: The Basque Country Encounter with Noam Chomsky, M. Piatelli Palmarini, J. Uriagereka and P. Salaburu (eds.), Oxford University Press.
Fodor, J. D., Sakas, W. G. and Hoskey, A. (2007). Implementing the Subset Principle in Syntax Acquisition: Lattice-based Models. In Proceedings of EuroCogSci07, S. Vosniadou, D. Kayser, D. and A. Protopapas (eds.).
Kam, X. N. C., Stoyneshka, I., Tornyova, L., Fodor, J. D. & Sakas, W. G. (2007). Bigrams and the richness of the stimulus. Cognitive Science 32.4, 771-787.
Fodor, J. D. and Sakas, W.G. (2005). The Subset Principle in syntax: Costs of compliance. Journal of Linguistics 41.3, 513-569.
Kitagawa, Y. and Fodor, J. D. (2003) Default prosody explains neglected syntactic analyses in Japanese. In W. McClure (ed.) Japanese/Korean Linguistics, Volume 12. CSLI; University of Chicago Press.
Fodor, J. D. (2002) Prosodic disambiguation in silent reading. In Proceedings of the North East Linguistic Society 32, M. Hirotani (ed.), GSLA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Fodor, J. D. (2002) Psycholinguistics cannot escape prosody. In Proceedings of the SPEECH PROSODY 2002 Conference, Aix-en-Provence, France, April 2002.
Fodor, J. D. and Inoue, I. (2000) Garden path reanalysis: Attach (Anyway) and Revision as Last Resort. In M. De Vincenzi and V. Lombardo (eds.) Proceedings of AMLaP-96, Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht.
Fodor, J. D., and Inoue, A. (2000) Syntactic Features in Reanalysis: Positive and Negative Symptoms. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. 29, 25-36.
Fodor, J. D. (1998) Learning to parse? In D. Swinney (ed.) Anniversary issue of Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 27.2, 285-318.

Curriculum Vitae

A CV covering the last 10 years is available to download in pdf format.

Recent Ph.D. dissertations supervised

Hala Abdelghany (2010)
"Prosodic Phrasing and Modifier Attachment in Standard Arabic Sentence Processing"
Xuan-Nga Cao Kam (2009)
"Contributions of Statistical Induction to Models of Syntax Acquisition"
Yukiko Koizumi (2009)
"Processing the not-because Ambiguity in English: The Role of Pragmatics and Prosody"
Shukhan Ng (2009)
"Processing Chinese Empty Categories"
Amit Shaked (2009)
"Attachment Ambiguities in Hebrew Complex Nominals: Prosody and Parsing"
Nenad Lovric (2003)
"Implicit Prosody in Silent Reading: Relative Clause Attachment in Croatian"
Maria Vicenta Blasco-Aznar (2002)
"On the Acquisition of Object Pronominal Clitics in Spanish"
Yuki Hirose (1999)
"Resolving Reanalysis Ambiguity in Japanese Relative Clauses"

Ph.D. dissertations in progress

Iglika Stoyneshka
Ronit Webman


  • Sentence Processing
  • Learnability Theory
  • Qualifying Paper 1 Workshop (research paper writing)
  • Prosody and Sentence Parsing (Spring 2010)
  • Psycholinguistics of Minimalism, with Marcel den Dikken, (Fall 2010)


My granddaughter Lucinda