Jesse Snedeker


Department of Psychology

Harvard University

33 Kirkland St.

Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: 617-495-3873

Fax: 617-384-7944


University of Washington, B.A., 1994

University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 1996

University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., 1999


2010-  Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Harvard University

2006-2010 John L. Loeb Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Harvard University

2001-2006 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Harvard University

2000-2001 Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania


2015-2016 The Structure of Logical Representations in Language and Thought. Mind/Brain/Behavior
2015-2017 Grammar, motives, and events: infants’ use of linguistic categories in reasoning about intentions. The Pershing Square Venture Fund for Research on the Foundations of Human Behavior
2014-2015 Nicaraguan Sign Language as a Window into Language Development and Cognition. David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
2012-2015 Prosodic and Pragmatic Training in Highly-Verbal Children with Autism. Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
2009-2012 From Words to Inferences: The Development of Incremental Language Comprehension. NSF BCS
2013-2015 Development of Language Comprehension (in Turkish). Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship.
2013-2014 Number and Counting in Indigenous Communities in Brazil. David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
2009-2012 BCS: From Words to Inferences: the Development of Incremental Language Comprehension. NSF-BCS.
2009-2012 Prosodic and Pragmatic Processes in Highly-Verbal Children with Autism. Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
2011-2012 Testing a Top-Down Impairment Hypothesis of Linguistic Deficits in Schizophrenia (Co-PI: G. Kuperberg). Mind/Brain/Behavior, Harvard University
2009-2011 Cognitive Neuroscience of Autism (Language Subcontract, PI: N. Kanwisher). The Ellison Medical Foundation
2007-2008 Language Comprehension in Children with Pragmatic and Linguistic Challenges. Research Enabling Grants, Harvard University.
2004-2006 Language Acquisition in Internationally Adopted Children. NSF BCS.
2004-2006 Understanding the Grammatical Development of Children with Cochlear Implants. The William F. Milton Fund
2002-2004 Bayesian Learning at the Syntax-Semantics Interface (co-PI: R. Berwick). NSF ITR


Children’s comprehension of negation: When can you say “no” to a toddler? Invited talk at the 2015 meeting, Göttingen, June 2015.

Clean Mapping: A sketchy story about how conceptual structure could shape language acquisition and some evidence suggesting that it just might be true. Invited talk at ZAS, Berlin, June 2015. [Also: University of Maryland, Cognitive Science Colloquium, February 2015; Yale Developmental Seminar, January 2015; University of Connecticut, Linguistics Colloquium, October 2014; University of Edinburgh, September 2014]

Embodied cognition(s), development and language: An outsider’s perspective. Göttingen, July 2015. [Also: ZAS Berlin, June 2015; Embodied and Situated Language Processing, Newcastle, August 2012.]

Scalar implicature: a whirlwind tour with stops in processing, development and disorder. Tubingen, July 2015. [Earlier versions presented as invited talks at: University College London, June 2013; CUNY 2014, University of Ohio, March 2014; annual meeting, ZAS, Berlin, June 2014]

Comprehension of case in German children: Evidence against a maturational hypothesis. (Özge, Kornfilt, Münster, Knoeferle, Küntay & Snedeker). CUNY 2015, USC, March 2015.

Children’s language comprehension: incremental, interactive and abstract. Michigan State University, Cognitive Science Colloquium, March 2014. [Also: Potsdam University, June 2015; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, DF Mexico, February 2014; Indiana University, Cognitive Science Colloquium, October 2013]

Pragmatic and Prosodic Processing in Autism. ZAS, June 2015. [Earlier versions presented as invited talks at: University College London, June 2013; Prosody annual meeting, June 2014]



Hartshorne, J., O’Donnell, T., Sudo, Y., Uruwashi, M., Lee, M. & Snedeker, J. (accepted pending revision). Psych verbs, the linking problem, and the acquisition of language.

Snedeker, J., & Huang, Y. (in press). Sentence Processing. To appear in E. Bavin and L. Naigles (Eds.), The Handbook of Child Language, 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press.

Hahn, N., Snedeker, J., & Rabagliati, H. (in press). Rapid linguistic ambiguity resolution in young children with autism spectrum disorder: Eye tracking evidence for the limits of weak central coherence. To appear in Autism Research.

Hartshorne, J. K., Pogue, A., & Snedeker, J. (2015). Love is hard to understand: The relationship between transitivity and caused events in the acquisition of emotion verbs. To appear in Journal of Child Language.

Hartshorne, J. K., Nappa, R. & Snedeker, J. (2015). Development of the first-mention bias, Journal of Child Language.

Romoli, J., Khan, M., Sudo, Y., & Snedeker, J. (2015). Solving temporary referential ambiguity using presupposed content. In Schwarz, F. (Ed.),Experimental Perspectives on Presuppositions (pp. 67-87). Springer International Publishing.

Hartshorne, J. K., Snedeker, J., Liem Azar, S. Y. M., & Kim, A. E. (2015).  The neural computation of scalar implicature Language, Cognition and Neuroscience,30(5), 620-634.  DOI:10.1080/23273798.2014.981195

Wittenberg, E. & Snedeker, J. (2014). It takes two to kiss, but does it take three to give a kiss? Categorization based on thematic roles, Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29(5), 635-641. DOI: 10.1080/01690965.2013.831918

Diehl, J., Friedberg, C., Paul, R & Snedeker, J. (2014). The use of prosody during syntactic processing in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, Development and Psychopathology. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579414000741.

Srinivasan, M. & Snedeker, J. (2014). Polysemy and the taxonomic constraint: Children’s representation of words that label multiple kinds, Language Learning and Development, 10(2), 97-128. DOI: 10.1080/15475441.2013.820121

Shafto, C. L., Havasi, C., & Snedeker, J. (2014). On the plasticity of semantic generalizations: Children and adults modify their verb lexicalization biases in response to changing input. Developmental Psychology, 50(3):794-808. DOI: 10.1037/a0034253
Supplementary Materials (corpus analyses and judgment studies for English manner and path verbs).

Huang, Y., Zheng, X., Meng, X., & Snedeker, J. (2013). Assignment of grammatical roles in the online processing of Mandarin passive sentences.  Journal of Memory and Language, 69, 589-606. DOI: 10.1016/j.jml.2013.08.002

Snedeker, J. (2013). Children’s Sentence Processing. In van Gompel (ed), Sentence Processing. New York, New York: Psychology Press. pp. 189-220.

Rabagliati, H. & Snedeker, J. (2013). The truth about chickens and bats: Ambiguity avoidance distinguishes types of polysemy. Psychological Science. 24, 1354-1360.