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Melissa Bowerman -



APRIL 3, 1942 - OCTOBER 31, 2011

Place of birth: Syracuse, New York, U.S.A.
Citizenship: U.S.A.


B.A.  1964 Psychology, Stanford University, highest honors
M.A.  1966 Social Psychology, Harvard University
Ph.D. 1971 Social Psychology, Harvard University


2007-2011 Senior Scientist Emeritus - Max Planck Institute for   Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
1982-2007 Senior Scientist - Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands (1997: Promotion to ‘C4’ position -- formally parallel to a full professorship within the German university system)
1999-2009 Full Professor (adjunct), Linguistics, Free University of Amsterdam
1978-1982 Associate Professor, University of Kansas, Department of Linguistics
1976-1978 Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, Department of Linguistics
1971-1976 Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, Department of Linguistics
1972-1982 Research Associate, University of Kansas, Bureau of Child Research
1970-1972 Post doctoral fellow, University of Kansas, Bureau of Child Research     

Professional Interests

First language acquisition (syntactic, morphological, lexical development), cross-linguistic  approaches to language acquisition; cognitive development; psycholinguistics; language and cognition; typological/cognitive/functional linguistics; event categorization; semantic categorization of space.

Professional Honors

Phi Beta Kappa, junior year
B.A. ‘with great distinction’ (highest honors)
Fellowship, 1978-1979, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Wassenaar, The Netherlands
Fellow elect (since 1979), Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California
British Psychological Association Travelling Fellow, September 1985
Visiting professor, Dept. of Linguistics, University of Copenhagen (month of April, 2001)
33 Keynote addresses and plenary lectures (see below)
Fellow-elect (since 2011), American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Professional Activities and Service

Editorial Board, Cognitive Linguistics, 2005-2011.
Editorial Board, Journal of Child Language, 1978-1993; 1997-2011.
Editorial board, Language Learning and Development, 2002 (founding)-2011.
Editorial Advisory Board, Language Acquisition and Language Disorders. Series published by John Benjamins, 1989 (founding)-2011.
Consulting editor, Human cognitive processing. Series published by John Benjamins, 1996 (founding)-2011.
Associate Editor, Language, 1988-1990.
Advisory Board, Language and Cognitive Processes, 1984 (founding)-2008.
Editorial Board, Child Development, 1974-1978.
Consulting Editor, Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 1975-1982.
Editorial Board, Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 1987-1988
Editorial Board, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1976-1983.
Editorial Board, Cognition, 1980-1982, 1987-1999.
Editorial board, Applied Psycholinguistics, 2002-2006.
Consulting Editor, Linguistics, 1985-1997.
Editorial Board, Second Language Research, 1985 (founding)-2000.
Consultation Board, International Pragmatics Association (Journal Pragmatics), 1986-1990.

Program committee, Language Acquisition and Multilingualism, NWO (Dutch National Science Foundation), 2003- 2009.
Evaluation committee for VICI awards (Humanities), NWO (Dutch National Science Foundation), 2010–2011.
Ad Hoc Member, National Institutes of Mental Health Small Grants Committee (U.S.A.), March 1978.
Review Committee Member, Stichting voor Taal, Spraak en Logica (Foundation for Language, Speech, and Logic [Dutch funding agency]), 1996.
National Science Foundation Linguistics Panel (U.S.A.), 1981-1983.
Linguistics Panel, National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend Program (U.S.A.) 1978.

Ad hoc reviewer, grant applications: National Science Foundation (Panels: Linguistics, Memory and Cognition, Information Processing, Development and Learning Sciences), National Institutes of Mental Health, HEW, National Foundation / March of Dimes, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, NATO, NWO (Dutch National Science Foundation), Royal Dutch Academy of Science (Program for Academy Researchers), Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research, Stichting Taalwetenschap (Dutch Linguistics Foundation), ESRC (Economic & Social Research Council: Science & Development).

Ad hoc reviewer, journals, books, and conference paper submissions: Science, Language, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Child Development, Developmental Science, First Language, Cognitive Development, Cognitive Linguistics, Psychological Science, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Typological Linguistics, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, International Journal of Behavioral Development, Language and Speech, Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, Applied Psycholinguistics, MIT Press, Cambridge University Press, CRM Books, Brooks/Cole, Boston University Conference on Language Development (many times), International Association for the Study of Child Language conferences (many times), Spatial Cognition Conference 2008, 2010

Last checked 2013-05-14
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Picture Melissa Bowerman

Melissa Bowerman

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
PO Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands