Gregory Scontras

Greg Scontras

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Director
Department of Language Science
School of Social Sciences
University of California, Irvine
SSPB 2221

Here is a link to my CV.
Central to theories of natural language are speakers’ mental representations of the words they use, together with the ways these representations are employed in computing the meaning of the sentences that contain them. Identifying the mental representations of our speech and the computational system that manipulates them informs not just the cognitive underpinnings of language, but also how the mind works more generally. My work investigates these representations as a means to further our understanding of language and the psychological systems that shape it. Recent projects have focused on linguistic phenomena that appeal to or facilitate measurement, the role of context in ambiguity resolution, and the unique profiles of heritage speakers (i.e., unbalanced bilinguals).

Originally from Maine, I received my BA in Linguistics and in Philosophy from Boston University. I crossed the Charles River to join the Department of Linguistics at Harvard University, where I wrote my PhD thesis on the semantics of measurement in 2014. Then, I travelled a bit farther west, joining Noah Goodman’s Computation and Cognition Lab in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. Now, I direct the meaning lab at UC Irvine.

Refereed Journal Articles

Coon, Jeff, Alexander Etz, Gregory Scontras & Barbara W. Sarnecka. 2024. Esports as a cultural microcosm for studying psycholinguistics. Games and Culture 19, 357–372.

Gotzner, Nicole & Gregory Scontras. 2024. On the role of loopholes in polite communication: Linking subjectivity and pragmatic inference. Open Mind 8, 500–510.

Scontras, Gregory. 2024. On the compatibility of models with experiments. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 14, 96–98.

Dyer, William, Charles Torres, Gregory Scontras & Richard Futrell. 2023. Evaluating a century of progress on the cognitive science of adjective ordering. Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics 11, 1185–1200.

Achimova, Asya, Gregory Scontras, Ella Eisemann & Martin V. Butz. 2023. Active iterative social inference in multi-trial signaling games. Open Mind 7, 111–129.

Scontras, Gregory. 2023. Adjective ordering across languages. Annual Review of Linguistics 9, 357–376.

Kroll, Judith F., Ariel Chan, Andrew Cheng & Gregory Scontras. 2023. How to frame bilingualism in context: Putting people and places in mind. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 26, 17–19.

Scontras, Gregory. 2022. On the semantics of number morphology. Linguistics and Philosophy 45, 1165–1196.

Achimova, Asya, Gregory Scontras, Christian Stegemann–Philipps, Johannes Lohmann & Martin V. Butz. 2022. Learning about others: Modeling social inference through ambiguity resolution. Cognition 218, 104862.

Laleko, Oksana & Gregory Scontras. 2021. On the many dimensions of complexity in heritage languages. Heritage Language Journal 18(2), 1–37.

Scontras, Gregory & Lisa S. Pearl. 2021. When pragmatics matters more for truth-value judgments: An investigation of quantifier scope ambiguity. Glossa 6: 110, 1–37.

Scontras, Gregory & Michael T. Putnam. 2020. Lesser-studied heritage languages: An appeal to the dyad. Heritage Language Journal 17, 152–155.

Polinsky, Maria & Gregory Scontras. 2020. A roadmap for heritage language research. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 23, 50–55.

Polinsky, Maria & Gregory Scontras. 2020. Understanding heritage languages. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 23, 4–20.

Scontras, Gregory, Judith Degen & Noah D. Goodman. 2019. On the grammatical source of adjective ordering preferences. Semantics and Pragmatics 12, 7.

Degen, Judith, Andreas Trotzke, Gregory Scontras, Eva Wittenberg & Noah D. Goodman. 2019. Definitely, maybe: A new experimental paradigm for investigating the pragmatics of evidential devices across languages. Journal of Pragmatics 140, 33–48.

Scontras, Gregory, Maria Polinsky & Zuzanna Fuchs. 2018. In support of representational economy: Agreement in heritage Spanish. Glossa: A journal of general linguistics 3, 1.

Scontras, Gregory, William Badecker & Evelina Fedorenko. 2017. Syntactic complexity effects in sentence production: A reply to MacDonald et al. (2016). Cognitive Science 41, 2280–2287.

Scontras, Gregory & Noah D. Goodman. 2017. Resolving uncertainty in plural predication. Cognition 168, 294–311.

Scontras, Gregory, Maria Polinsky, C.-Y. Edwin Tsai & Kenneth Mai. 2017. Cross-linguistic scope ambiguity: When two systems meet. Glossa: A journal of general linguistics 2, 36.

Scontras, Gregory. 2017. A new kind of degree. Linguistics and Philosophy 40, 165–205.

Scontras, Gregory, Judith Degen & Noah D. Goodman. 2017. Subjectivity predicts adjective ordering preferences. Open Mind 1, 53–65.

Fuchs, Zuzanna, Gregory Scontras & Maria Polinsky. 2015. The differential representation of number and gender in Spanish. The Linguistic Review 32, 703–737.

Scontras, Gregory, Zuzanna Fuchs & Maria Polinsky. 2015. Heritage Language and Linguistic Theory. Frontiers in Psychology 6, 1545.

Scontras, Gregory, William Badecker, Lisa Shank, Eunice Lim & Evelina Fedorenko. 2015. Syntactic Complexity Effects in Sentence Production. Cognitive Science 39, 559–583.

Scontras, Gregory & Andreea Nicolae. 2014. Saturating syntax: Linkers and modification in Tagalog. Lingua 149, 17–33.

Scontras, Gregory, Peter Graff & Noah D. Goodman. 2012. Comparing Pluralities. Cognition 123, 190–197.

Scontras, Gregory & Edward Gibson. 2011. A quantitative investigation of the imperative–and–declarative construction in English. Language 87, 817–829.