David Kemmerer, PhD

Research Interests / Training Areas:

  • Neural organization of linguistic meaning and its relationships with grammar, perception, and action
  • Embodied cognition
  • Linguistic typology


I earned a Ph.D. in linguistics from SUNY Buffalo in 1996, was a postdoctoral fellow in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Iowa from 1997 to 2000, and since then have maintained a 50/50 joint appointment in SLHS and Psychological Sciences (Cognitive Area) here at Purdue University.  I routinely teach both undergraduate and graduate courses on the neural substrates of language and on the broad field of cognitive neuroscience, and sometimes I direct seminars on more specialized topics.  My empirical and theoretical work focuses mainly on how different conceptual domains are mediated by different cortical systems.  I am especially interested in the relationships between semantics, grammar, perception, and action, and in cross-linguistic similarities and differences in conceptual representation.  I have published over 60 articles and chapters, and also wrote an introductory textbook called Cognitive neuroscience of language, the 2nd edition of which will appear in 2021.  In addition, a new book published by Oxford University Press is called Concepts in the brain: The view from cross-linguistic diversity.

Google Scholar page:  https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=IiSVYm8AAAAJ.

Recent Publications:

  • Mahon, B.Z., & Kemmerer, D. (2020). Interactions between language, thought, and perception: Cognitive and neural perspectives. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 37, 235-240. (Introduction to a special issue that we co-edited.)

  • Witt, J.K., Kemmerer, D., Linkenauger, S.A., & Culham, J. (2020). Reanalysis suggests evidence for motor simulation in naming tools is limited: A commentary on Witt, Kemmerer, Linkenauer, & Culham (2010). Psychological Science, 31, 1036-1039.

  • Kemmerer, D. (2019). Messages must be tuned to the target language: Some implications of crosslinguistic semantic diversity for neurolinguistic research on speech production. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 52, 100861. (Special issue on speech production and bilingualism in memoriam of Albert Costa.)

  • Kemmerer, D. (2019). From blueprints to brain maps: The status of the Lemma Model in cognitive neuroscience. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 34, 1085-1116. (Special issue celebrating the 30th anniversary of Pim Levelt's 1989 book Speaking.)

  • Kemmerer, D. (2017). Categories of object concepts across languages and brains: The relevance of nominal classification systems to cognitive neuroscience. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 32, 401-424. (Target article for peer commentary.)

  • Spunt, R.P., Kemmerer, D., & Adolphs, R. (2016). The neural basis of conceptualizing the same action at different levels of abstraction. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 1141-1151.

  • Kemmerer, D. (2015). Are the motor features of verb meanings represented in the precentral motor cortices? Yes, but within the context of a flexible, multilevel architecture for conceptual knowledge. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 22, 1068-1075.
David Kemmerer

Lyles-Porter Hall, Room 3140
Phone: 765-494-3826

Kemmerer CV

Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Lyles-Porter Hall, 715 Clinic Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2122, PH: (765) 494-3789

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