Sentence structure isn’t something most of us consciously think about before speaking; words seem to flow in a specific order that we may or may not tie back to grammar school lessons. But for UCI linguist Greg Scontras, the ordering of each word in a sentence – and the reasoning behind it – are concepts he spends a great deal of time studying. Check out the following clip, which earned him bragging rights as the Linguistic Society of America’s Five-Minute Linguist winner.
Scontras received his bachelor’s in linguistics and philosophy from Boston University and his Ph.D. in linguistics from Harvard. His research has been published in The Linguistic Review, Cognitive Science, Frontiers in Psychology, Cognition, and Language. He joined the UCI faculty in fall 2016 following a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University’s Computation & Cognition Lab. His move to UCI bolstered the school’s expertise in language science and helped re-launch the school’s Department of Linguistics and major in language science.