Dan Parker

Assistant Professor // College of William & Mary


I am an Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the English Department at the College of William & Mary. My research is on human cognition, with a focus on language. I am amazed at our ability to acquire, use, and understand language so easily. I want to figure out how language is stored and processed mentally to better understand what makes language come to us so easily, and why it occasionally fails us.

 Much of my work focuses on how we mentally store and manipulate linguistic structures, and how our tacit knowledge of grammar helps out with moment-by-moment language understanding. I’ve been chiseling away at these questions by studying linguistic illusions, and more recently, syntactic prediction. You can read about my findings on my research page. Part of what makes this work both exciting and challenging is navigating between the nuts and bolts of linguistic computation and the big picture themes, drawing on insights from theoretical, experimental, and computational methods.