Jon Sprouse

Professor of Psychology Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: AB in Linguistics from Princeton University; PhD in Linguistics from the University of Maryland

Research Areas: Linguistics, Experimental Syntax


Jon Sprouse is an experimental syntactician. His research starts from two working hypotheses: (i) that there is an underlying combinatorics to human language syntax, and (ii) that this combinatorics is implemented in the human brain. His research seeks to explore the hypothesis space of possible combinatorial systems that is proposed in theoretical syntax, and to use methods from experimental syntax to collect evidence that can shift probability mass around in that hypothesis space, such as acceptability judgments, EEG, fMRI, and even computational modeling. Prior to joining NYU Abu Dhabi, he was a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut, and and an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. His work has been recognized by the Linguistic Society of America with the award for the best paper in Language (2012), the Early Career award (2013), and the inaugural C. L. Baker (mid-career) award (2020).

Courses Taught