Marantz, Alec

Alec Marantz

Professor of Linguistics, Psychology

Alec Marantz is a Professor of Linguistics and Psychology at NYU, which he joined in 2006 from MIT, where he had been Head of the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy and the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Linguistics. He served as Chair of the Linguistics department at NYU from 2007-2013.

Co-founder of the theory of the architecture of grammar known as Distributed Morphology, Professor Marantz is world-renowned for his work on morphology and syntax, and more recently, his work on neurolinguistics, carried out at NYU in Neuroscience of Language Lab (NeLLab), located jointly in the Departments of Linguistics and Psychology. Within NeLLab, Marantz focuses on word structure and innovative MEG (magnetoencephalography) methods for functional neuroimaging. Integrating linguistic theory and psycholinguistic models with observed neural activity in the brain, this work explores: how the ability to use natural language is implemented in the brain; how the brain mediates the most critical aspects of our communication system; and which properties of the mind/brain facilitate the seemingly effortless human processing of language. Existing research in this field is typically based on the English language. Therefore, a particularly innovative aspect of Marantz’s work is located in the NYU Abu Dhabi site of NeLLab, the lab's location in Abu Dhabi. This has a focus on speakers of Arabic, a language of special importance for the study of the neural correlates of linguistic representations and computations, as well as many other languages, such as Hindi, Greek, Hebrew, and Tagalog.

This work has resulted in an impressive list of publications in prestigious journals and marks Marantz as one of NYU’s most high profile world-class scholars in an important, cutting-edge and rapidly-developing new field.