Jeff Runner

Associate Professor, Linguistics and Brain & Cognitive Sciences
Director, Center for Language Sciences



Linguistics Office: 511a Lattimore Hall, (585) 275-2626 (or 275-8053)
E-mail: (firstname = jeffrey, lastname = runner)
Office hours (Fall 2012): TBA, and by appointment

Curriculum Vitae


Fall 2012

  • LIN 260/460 Syntactic Theory
  • LIN 501 Methods in Linguistic Research

Spring 2013

  • LIN 220/420 Introduction to Grammatical Systems

Research Interests

I am interested in the role that syntactic structural information plays in language processing, and also in how experimental psycholinguistic tools can be applied to classic problems within formal linguistics. The former means that much of my research examines the syntax/semantics/discourse interfaces; the latter means I use experimental methodologies to examine these questions. We currently have projects going investigating the constraints on reference resolution of various sorts, including the binding of reflexives and pronouns, as well as VP ellipsis, using an array of methodologies, such as visual world eye-tracking, scene verification, magnitude estimation, self-paced reading and various other questionnaire and web-based methods. I welcome students interested in these and other questions. To get an idea of some of the specific projects, please see the descriptions and some of the resulting presentations and publications on the eye tracking lab page.

Go to Jeff's eye tracking lab page


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.


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 Womenโ€™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.

Selected Publications

Selected Presentations

Older publications and presentations


Check out my old department pic, a young Opie, or Jeff at the Boar's Head dinner.

Check out Jeff's latest obsession. is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contents. This is a safe-cache copy of the original web site.