Jeff Runner

Jeff Runner

Associate Professor, Linguistics and Brain & Cognitive Sciences
Chair, Department of Linguistics
Faculty Diversity Officer, Arts, Sciences and Engineering

Lattimore Hall 511a
(585) 275-2626 Voice
(585) 273-1088 Fax
Office Hours: By appointment

Curriculum Vitae


Professor Runner has been teaching at the University of Rochester since 1994. During that time he has taught both undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of courses, from introductory courses targeting freshmen to graduate seminars in theoretical syntax. In particular he regularly teaches Introduction to Linguistic Analysis, Introduction to Grammatical Systems, a novel course he developed called Language & Sexuality, as well as more advanced courses on Syntactic Theory (both minimalism and Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar). He has taught graduate seminars on various topics in syntax and semantics. He has also taught several other core linguistics courses including Morphology and Lexical Semantics. Besides undergraduate courses, he has taught graduate seminars on various topics in syntax and semantics. He has supervised many undergraduate and graduate Independent Studies. He has been the thesis adviser for six BA students and one PhD student, and has been a member of nine PhD qualifying exam committees, and 16 PhD thesis committees.

Academic Service

Professor Runner recently served on the search committee for the Vice Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering at the University of Rochester. He has served as the Linguistics Department Undergraduate Adviser since 1996. He is a Freshman Adviser for 23 students in the class of 2009 and Sophomore Adviser for 15 students in the class of 2008. He has been a Faculty Associate of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies for two years. He has also been a member of the University of Rochester Faculty Council for two years and currently serves as Chair of the Faculty Council Bookstore Committee. He regularly reviews grant proposals for NSF and articles for journals such as Language, Linguistic Inquiry, and Journal of Memory and Language.

Research Interests

Experimental syntax; Syntactic/Linguistic Theory; Binding Theory; Syntax processing; Phrase Structure; Syntax/Semantics interface

Professor Runner's research has focused on the relationship between syntactic structure and noun phrase interpretation, pursuing both traditional linguistic methodologies as well as developing novel eye-tracking methodologies. His research has been supported by National Science Foundation since 2002. He has collaborated with theoretical syntacticians as well as experimental psycholinguists, including Michael Tanenhaus, Rachel Sussman, Elsi Kaiser, Raul Aranovich, Eric Potsdam and Judith Aissen. He has published in the journals Linguistic Inquiry, Cognition, Syntax and Cognitive Science; he has contributed a chapter to The Blackwell Companion to Syntax. He has presented his work and/or published in the proceedings of a number of Linguistics and Psycholinguistics conferences, such as the North Eastern Linguistic Society, Chicago Linguistic Society, International Conference on HPSG, West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, CUNY Human Sentence Processing Conference, Architectures and Mechanisms of Language Processing, Formal Linguistic Society of Mid-America, International Conference on Linguistic Evidence, Colloquium on Generative Grammar, Linguistic Society of America.

Lattimore Eye Tracking Lab

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • LIN 103  Language & Sexuality
  • LIN 220/420  Introduction to Grammatical Systems
  • LIN 260/460  Syntactic Theory
  • LIN 261/461  Phrase Structure Grammars
  • LIN 262/462  Exerimental Syntax
  • LIN 501  Methods in Linguistic Research
  • LIN 520  Graduate Syntax

Selected Publications

  • "The Acceptability Cline in VP Ellipsis," (with Chris Kim, Greg Kobele and John Hale), to appear in Syntax.
  • "Picturing the Syntax/Semantics Interface During On-line Processing," (with Elsi Kaiser, Rachel Sussman and Michael Tanenhaus), to appear in R. Folli & C. Ulbrich (Eds.), Selected papers from the On Linguistic Interfaces conference, Oxford University Press.
  • "Structural and Semantic Constraints on the Resolution of Pronouns and Reflexives," (with Elsi Kaiser, Rachel Sussman and Michael Tanenhaus), Cognition, 2009.
  • "Discourse Structure and Parallelism in VP Ellipsis," (with Chris Kim), in Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 19 (2009).
  • "Intensifiers in German and Dutch Anaphor Resolution," (with Elsi Kaiser), in Proceedings of the 27th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (2008).
Selected Presentations
  • "Structural Parallelism Aids Ellipsis and Anaphor Resolution: Evidence from Eye Movements to Semantic and Phonological Neighbors," (with Neal Snider), talk presented at 16th Annual Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing, York, UK (2010). slides
  • "Discourse Structure and Parallelism in VP Ellipsis," (with Chris Kim), in Proceedings of SALT 19.
  • "Reference Transfer and Reflexive Interpretation in Representational Noun Phrases," (with Micah Goldwater), paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Anaheim (2007). slides
  • "Reflexive Interpretation in Representational Noun Phrases," invited talk, Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, Syracuse University (November 2006). slides
  • "The Role of Representation in the Interpretation of Representational Noun Phrases," invited talk, Department of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin (March 2006). slides