The Center for Language Sciences is an interdisciplinary center supporting research and training in natural language. We bring together faculty and students with interests in spoken and signed languages across departments and programs, including:

Our faculty have combined expertise in formal, behavioral, computational and imaging (fMRI, ultrasound) approaches to understanding the structure, processing, production, and acquisition of natural language. 

The CLS also features an active colloquium series, workshops, access to working papers, formal coursework in contributing departments, shared laboratory and computational facilities, and pre- and post-doctoral support from the University of Rochester.


The Center for Language Sciences originates in an inter-disciplinary colloquium series founded in 1988 by Thomas Bever and Greg Carlson. Made possible by a generous donation from Kodak, these colloquia fostered collaboration between the cognitive science, psychology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and neuroscience. In 1996 negotiations led by Michael Tanenhaus with Deans Richard Aslin and Tom LeBlanc resulted in a more formal establishment of the center with support from the University of Rochester, including graduate support and an inter-disciplinary colloquium series. From 1993 to 2013 the CLS was funded by the National Institute of Health [T32 DC000035] as one of the first and longest running training centers for multi-disciplinary research on language. Today the CLS provides partial funding for graduate students and postdocs and serves as a platform for the support for training in interdisciplanry work, and for the mutual organization of interdisciplinary reserach and activities.

CLS alumni are working in many departments and in industry across the United States and beyond in the cognitive sciences, computer science, linguistics, speech and hearing, and psychology among others.