Thomas G Bever
- Regents Professor, Linguistics
- Research Professor, Linguistics
- Research Professor, Cognitive Science
- Professor, Psychology
- Research Professor, Arizona Research Labs
- Professor, Language-Reading and Culture
- Professor, Cognitive Science - GIDP
- Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP
- Professor, Second Language Acquisition / Teaching - GIDP
Undergrad major in psychology and linguistics, Magna cum Laude with Highest Honors in Linguistics.
Elected to Harvard Society of Fellows, 1964-7; Guggenheim Fellowship, 1967; Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, 1984/5; Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Prize, 2010; Regents' Professor UofA, 2011-
Program foiunder and head, psycholinguistics: Columbia University, 1970-85; Founder and director, Center for the Sciences of Language, University of Rochester, 1980-1995; Department Head, Linguistics, University of Arizona, 1998-2001;
Founder and co-editor of the journal Cognition, 1970-2005.
- Ph.D. Linguistics
- MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
- The phonology of Menomini and Leonard Bloomfield
- B.A. Linguistics and Psychology
- Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
- Early development of vocal behavior
- Regents' Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (2010 - Ongoing)
- Regents Professorship Continues
- What type of organization made the award?: University of Arizona;Description: ! I refer to this honour as: survival of the oldest. (if I did smiley faces, one would go here).;, Fall 2012
Psycholinguistics; Cerebral asymmetries; History of writing systems; history of (psycho)linguistics
Sentence processing; language acquisition; language universals; aesthetics; psychology of music; genetic differences in neurological organization for cognition and language.
DissertationLING 920 (Spring 2019)
DissertationSLAT 920 (Spring 2019)
Psychology of LanguageLING 432 (Spring 2019)
Psychology of LanguagePHIL 432 (Spring 2019)
Psychology of LanguagePSY 432 (Spring 2019)
Tpc Psycholing+Lang ProcLING 696F (Spring 2019)
DissertationLING 920 (Fall 2018)
DissertationSLAT 920 (Fall 2018)
Honors ThesisNSCS 498H (Fall 2018)
Independent StudyNSCS 399 (Fall 2018)
Independent StudyPSY 499 (Fall 2018)
Meaning In Lang+SocietyLING 211 (Fall 2018)
Meaning In Lang+SocietyPHIL 211 (Fall 2018)
BiolinguisticsLING 449A (Spring 2018)
BiolinguisticsLING 549A (Spring 2018)
BiolinguisticsPHIL 449A (Spring 2018)
BiolinguisticsPSY 449A (Spring 2018)
Directed ResearchPSYS 492 (Spring 2018)
DissertationLING 920 (Spring 2018)
DissertationSLAT 920 (Spring 2018)
Independent StudyLING 499 (Spring 2018)
Independent StudyLING 599 (Spring 2018)
Independent StudyLING 699 (Spring 2018)
Independent StudyNSCS 399 (Spring 2018)
Psychology of LanguageLING 432 (Spring 2018)
Psychology of LanguagePHIL 432 (Spring 2018)
Psychology of LanguagePSY 432 (Spring 2018)
Directed ResearchPSYS 492 (Fall 2017)
DissertationLING 920 (Fall 2017)
DissertationSLAT 920 (Fall 2017)
Independent StudyLING 699 (Fall 2017)
BiolinguisticsLING 449A (Spring 2017)
BiolinguisticsLING 549A (Spring 2017)
DissertationSLAT 920 (Spring 2017)
Independent StudyLING 599 (Spring 2017)
Independent StudyLING 699 (Spring 2017)
Tpc Psycholing+Lang ProcLING 696F (Spring 2017)
DissertationLING 920 (Fall 2016)
DissertationSLAT 920 (Fall 2016)
Independent StudyLING 599 (Fall 2016)
Independent StudyLING 699 (Fall 2016)
- Bever, T. G. (2017). The unity of consciousness and the consciousness of unity. In in: de Almeida, R. G. & Gleitman, L. (Eds.) (forthcoming). Minds on Language and Thought. Oxford University Press..More infoThis is a solicited paper for a volume honoring the ideas of Jerry fodor (NOT a festschrift). In the paper I explore the significance of findings involving normal conversation for the Poverty of the Stimulus, and for theories of consciousness. I immodestly think it is one of my best papers....probabliy to be ignored for 20 years, like so many others of my papers....
- Bever, T. G. (2014). The cognitive basis for linguistic structures. In Language Down the Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Basis for Linguistic Structures(pp 1-80). Oxford University Press.More infoThis is a reprint of my 1970 paper of the same title. The book is a set of chapters contributed by active researchers and scholars on the scientific impact of that paper. The resulting book was prepublished in 2013, with the final published version appearing in 2014.
- Bever, T. G., & none, . (2015). The Bio-psychology of language universals - the next years.. In Language Down the Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Basis of Linguistic Structures(pp 385-405). Oxford University Press.More infoThis is an invited final chapter for a book based on a special conference assessing the field since publication of my 1970 paper, "The cognitive basis for linguistic structures". Other contributors include Piatelli-Palmarini, Mehler, Yang, Grodjhinsky, Dell, Tanenhaus, Ferreira, Phillips, Poeppel, McElree, Janet Fodor, Stabler, among others. The book is edited by Laka and Sanz, "The Cognitive and Biological Basis for Linguistic Structure:New Approaches and Enduring Themes" It appeared online in 2013 and in print in 2014,Your Role: sole author;
- Bever, T. G., OBryan, E., Folli, R., & Harley, H. (2014). Evidence for the use of verb telicity in sentence comprehension. In Syntax and its limits(pp 80-104). Oxford University Press.More infoThe volume is a collection of chapters on verb structure: Your Role: This is a tough call. The research used reduced relatives, which are often attributed to me; it involved several behavioral techniques, at least one contributed totally from my work. So, on the empirical side, I would assess my role as 50%. However, Heidi and Raffi contributed to serious theoretical aspects, which I could admire, but not contribute to very much....so....;Other collaborative: Yes;Specify other collaborative: This is a joint collaboration with Heidi Harley here, Raffaella Folli who was a postdoc with me, Erin OBryan. It started as Erin's thesis with the three faculty on her committee. Further research here elaborated the dissertation, and resulted in this review article.;
- Bever, T. G., Piattelli-Palmarini, M., & Medeiros, D. (2016). Coauthor Verification August 27, 2016 None Delete Piattelli-Palmarini, M., Bever, T. G., & Medeiros, D. (2016). Commentary on Christiansen and Chater: Many important language universals are not reducible to processing or cognition. Invited commentary on Christianen, Morten H., and Nick Chater, "The Now-or-Never Bottleneck: A Fundamental Constraint on Language.".. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, 42-43.
- Piattelli-Palmarini, M., Bever, T. G., & Medeiros, D. (2016). Commentary on Christiansen and Chater: Many important language universals are not reducible to processing or cognition. Invited commentary on Christianen, Morten H., and Nick Chater, “The Now-or-Never Bottleneck: A Fundamental Constraint on Language.”.. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Special Issue Vol. 39, 39, 42-43.
- Bever, T. G., Hancock, R., & sun, X. (2015). Is Subject Relatives Preference Universal? - ERP evidence from Chinese relative clause processing.. Chinese Journal of Applied Lingusitics, 39(1), 92-114.More info;Your Role: I collaborated with Sun, a visiting graduate student on the research. Hancock assisted in running the EEG component.;This paper is based on the research that Sun carried out in my lab during her postdoctoral visit. Chinese relative clauses have become controversial with respect to whether they confirm a universal claim that subject relatives are easier than object relatives. Chinese is an interesting test case, because relative clauses are preposed and left branching, while all other constructions in Chinese are right branching. So object relatives are in their canonical post verbal position within the relative clause, while subject relatives are displaced from their agent/subject position. This allows one to look at whether the generally reported difficulty of object relatives is due to the displacement of the object from its canonical post-verbal position within the relative clause, as in English.Studies of this in Chinese are inconsistent. For example, Lin and I provided evidence in several reading time studies that subject relatives are easier than object relatives, contra Gibson’s laboratory results. Somewhere the resolution lies in methodological or materials differences.
- Bartoli, E., D'Ausilio, A., Berry, J., Badino, L., Bever, T., & Fadiga, L. (2014). Listener--speaker perceived distance predicts the degree of motor contribution to speech perception. Cerebral Cortex, 281-288.More infoIT IS CONFUSING WHEN THIS ARTICLE APPEARED: THE PREPUBLICATION WAS IN 2013 AND THE PRINT VERSION IN 2014, ALTHOUGH THE WEBSITE EVEN SHOWS A 2015 VERSION ONLINE,This is a paper using TMS to show involvement of the motors system in discriminating CV syllables, labials (ba. pa) and dentals (ta. da). Fadiga et al had shown that stimulating the corresponding motor area facilitated discrimination of labials or dentals. But this only worked in noise. I suggested using multiple speakers to create the stimuli so subjects would not be able to fixate on a particular acoustic feature of each stimulus. It worked: the original effect now appears without noise. In addition we scaled the size of the effect against the perceived similarity of the particular stimulus voice and the subjects own voice, further supporting the notion of access to an internal production during the discrimination. Luciano and I were billed as equal senior authors.
- Bever, T. G., & Sun, X. (2016, December). Chinese subject-relative clauses are more difficult to process than the object-relative clauses: Evidence from topicalized sentences. The International Conference on the Processing of East Asian Languages. Guangzhou, China: South China Normal University.More infoA behavioral study of processing chinese relative clauses: the most unique result is the isolation of a garden path in which Chinese object relatives are taken to be the main clause....kind of like reduced relatives in English....
- Bever, T. G., Sun, X., & Hancock, R. (2016, October). Is Subject-relative Preference Universal? - Evidence from Event-related Potentials. The 16th Symposium of Chinese Contemporary Linguistics.. Shanghai, China.
- Bever, T. G. (2015, Fall, 2016). THREE LECTURES ON CURRENT ISSUES IN COGNITIVE SCIENCE. University of Maryland - special invitation.More infoThis was a set of three invited lectures to the linguistics and cognitive science programs at UMaryland.1. Language Acquisition via general problem solving.2. The effects of familial handedness on cognition and neurological organization3. Aesthetics of the Golden Mean Ratio, and depth perception
- Bever, T. G. (2014, 2014-07-01). Neurological variation in Language representation. Special lecture:. Higher School of Economics - MoscowRussia.More infoThis was a special colloquium given where I was consulting on ongoing collaborative research.Invited: Yes;Interdisciplinary: Yes;Type of Presentation: Invited/Plenary Speaker;
- Bever, T. G. (2014, December). Aesthetics and Experimental Investigations. INAUGURAL CONFERENCE: MAX PLANCK ON EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETICS, FRANKFURT S.More infoThis was an inaugural conference on "empirical aesthetics" at the new MPI for "experimental aesthetics". Invited plenary talk.
- Bever, T. G. (2014, February). What every linguist knew about psychology in 1926. Ling.Soc.America special symposium,LSA.More infoThis was a special presentation as part of a two day symposium on the 90th birthday of the LSA. Other presenters included Langendoen, Partee, etc,
- Bever, T. G. (2014, June). Different modes of knowing language. Invited Colloquium to the Higher School of Economics, Moscow.More infoA special lecture to the speech and psychology departments at the School (actually a super universityZ).
- Bever, T. G., & Mahmoud, A. (2014, March). A general problem-solving model resolves two contemporary conflicting approaches to L1 acquisition of syntax.. American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL).More infoThis talk presented the application to Arabic language acquisition of the acquisition model I have proposed in several places – with acquisition based on the (logical) alternation between inductive (frequency based templates) and deductive (structural derivations) processes. Mahmoud worked out some basic examples in Arabic of how it works, with a few bits of data to support it.
- Bever, T. G., Forster, K., & Bell, D. (2014, December). Neurological responses to indirect primes. UA/ASU cognitive science conclave.More infoInitial analysis of an EEG study of category decision responses to target words in a masked form priming study, eg deciding with “dog” is in the category “animal” and not in another category, e.g. “vehicle”. The brief masked primes were letter sequences either slightly misspelled words in the category, (e.g., “horz”) or not in the target category (e.g., “tractr”). It showed a general N400 to targets not in the target category, and faster target word responses when the primes were in the same category.
- Bever, T. G., & Hancock, R. (2015, October). The effects of familial handedness on cognitive processes in right handers. 7th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language.More infoA review of several different kinds of accumulated research reports, behavioral, fMRI and EEG, supporting the behavioral and neurological differences between people with and without familial left handedness. It garnered quite a bit of attention.
- Bever, T. G., Forster, K., & Bell, D. (2015, October). Early and late neurological responses to preconscious form and semantic information in lexical category decision.. 7th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language..More infoAn even further analysis of the category-priming study, emphasizing aspects related to neurolinguistics. The results replicated previous findings and analyses. In addition, the surprising findings include the fact that there are latency differences of the EEG signal at only 200 msec after the masked prime: congruent prime-target category stimuli reach a sooner peak around 200msec than incongruent prime-target category stimuli: this suggests further that the prime is already at least partially processed when the target appears and can immediately interact with the kind of target it is. This is further evidence for an incremental cascade network in lexical access which starts right away, rather than awaiting a gated threshold.
- Bell, D., Forster, K., & Bever, T. (2014, spring). Unconscious processes in masked form category priming. Cuny sentence processing conference, 2014.More infoAn EEG investigation of category priming, showing effects of the masked prime on early EEG components of the response to the target word.