Janet Dean Fodor

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Janet Dean Fodor
File:Janet Fodor.jpg
Fields Psycholinguistics
Institutions CUNY Graduate Center
Alma mater MIT, Oxford
Doctoral advisor Noam Chomsky, James Thomson

Janet Dean Fodor (born 1942) is Distinguished Professor of linguistics at the City University of New York.[1] Her primary field is psycholinguistics,[2] and her research interests include human sentence processing, prosody, learnability theory and L1 (first-language) acquisition.[1]


Born Janet Dean, she received her B.A. in 1964 and her M.A. in 1966, both from Oxford University. At Oxford she was a student of the social psychologist Michael Argyle, and their 'equilibrium hypothesis' for nonverbal communication became the basis for affiliative conflict theory: if participants feel the degree of intimacy suggested by a channel of nonverbal communication to be too high, they act to reduce the intimacy conveyed through other channels.[3] She received her Ph.D. in 1970 from MIT,[1] looking at the challenge posed by opaque contexts for semantic compositionality.

In 1988, Fodor founded the CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing.[4] She was President of the Linguistic Society of America in 1997.[5] In 2014, she was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. [6]

She is married to Jerry Alan Fodor.


  • (with Michael Argyle) 'Eye Contact, Distance and Affiliation', Sociometry, 1965
  • The linguistic description of opaque contexts, PhD thesis, MIT, 1970.
  • Semantics: theories of meaning in generative grammar, 1977
  • (ed. with Fernanda Ferreira) Reanalysis in sentence processing, 1998


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Janet Dean Fodor". The Graduate Center. CUNY. Retrieved 3 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Bios & Profiles". Faculty. CUNY. Retrieved 3 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Andrew M. Colman (2015). "Equilibrium hypothesis". A Dictionary of Psychology. OUP Oxford. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-19-105784-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Janet Dean Fodor". www.gc.cuny.edu. Retrieved 2015-07-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Presidents". Linguistics Society of America. Retrieved 3 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "British Academy announces 42 new fellows". Times Higher Education. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links