David Kemmerer headshot photo

Pronouns: he/him


LYLE 3140

Curriculum Vitae Back to Directory

David Kemmerer

Professor, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Joint Appointment

Department of Psychological Sciences

Areas of Expertise

  • neurolinguistics, semantics, grounded cognition


My empirical and theoretical work focuses mainly on how people’s knowledge of word meanings is implemented in their brains.  I am especially interested in the relationships between semantics, grammar, perception, and action, and in cross-linguistic similarities and differences in conceptual representation.  I have published over 60 articles and chapters, and also wrote an introductory textbook called “Cognitive neuroscience of language” (1st edition 2015, 2nd edition 2022).  In addition, a few years ago I wrote a more specialized book called “Concepts in the brain: the view from cross-linguistic diversity (2019).


  • PhD

Social Media Accounts

Current Courses

  • SLHS 401 - Language and the brain
  • SLHS 501 - Neural bases of speech and language
  • PSY 324 - Introduction to cognitive neuroscience
  • PSY 392 - Psychology of the climate crisis

Selected Publications

  • Blasi, D.E., Henrich, J., Adamou, E., Kemmerer, D., & Majid, A. (2022). Over-reliance on English hinders cognitive science. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 26, 1153-1170.
  • Kemmerer, D. (2022). Grounded cognition entails linguistic relativity: A neglected implication of a major semantic theory. Topics in Cognitive Science. (Target article for peer commentary, published online October 13, 2022.)
  • Kemmerer, D. (2022). Cognitive neuroscience of language: An introduction. 2nd edition. New York: Routledge.
  • Kemmerer, D. (2021). What modulates the Mirror Neuron System during action observation? Multiple factors involving the action, the actor, the observer, the relationship between actor and observer, and the context. Progress in Neurobiology, 205, 102128.
  • Kemmerer, D. (2019). From blueprints to brain maps: The status of the Lemma Model in cognitive neuroscience. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 34, 1085-1116.
  • Kemmerer, D. (2019). Concepts in the brain: The view from cross-linguistic diversity. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Kemmerer, D. (2017). Categories of object concepts across languages and brains: The relevance of nominal classification systems to cognitive neuroscience. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 32, 401-424. (Target article for peer commentary.)