Robert Dominic Fiorentino Jr

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Linguistics
Associate Professor
Primary office:
785-864-4091
Blake Hall
Room 421
University of Kansas
1541 Lilac Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045-3129


My research concerns the basic nature of linguistic representations and the operations they undergo, with a major focus on how these ingredients of language are neurally implemented and recruited in real-time processing.  I address these issues primarily using psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic research methods, with an emphasis on the application of brain imaging techniques such as MEG, EEG, and fMRI to linguistic research. The primary domains of language investigated in my lab are morphology/morphosyntax and semantics/pragmatics, and the populations we investigate include both native speakers and adult second language learners. My primary languages of research are English, Spanish, and Japanese.

Extramural Funding

Gabriele, A., Fiorentino, R., and Minai, U. (Co-PI's). NSF. GALANA 2012: Psycholinguistic and Neurolinguistic Approaches to Language Development.

Gabriele, A. and Fiorentino, R. (Co-PI's). NSF. Examining development and ultimate attainment in second language processing: An ERP investigation.

Fiorentino, R. NIH/NIDCD. Timing and neural bases of complex word recognition: electrophysiological studies.

Fiorentino, R. General Research Fund, University of Kansas. The Processing of Japanese Spoken Compounds: A Cross-method Approach.

Fiorentino, R. New Faculty General Research Fund, KU. ERP Investigation of Word Structure in Language Processing.

Fiorentino, R. Processing Japanese NPs: Incrementality and Functional Organization. National Science Foundation, EAPSI Grant #0513253.

Courses

2013

Language and Mind (LING110), Spring
Seminar in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Second Language Acquisition (LING49/910), Spring

2012

Neurolinguistics I (LING438/738), Fall
Psycholinguistics II (LING437/737/PSYC737), Fall
Seminar in Neurolinguistics (LING492/910), Spring
Introductory Linguistics, Honors (LING107), Spring

Other Courses Taught

Research Methods in Linguistics (LING420/720)
Brain Bases of Language (LING492/791)
Psycholinguistics of Word and Sentence (LING492/791) 
Neurolinguistics II (LING442/742), Upcoming, Spring 2014 

Publications

Fiorentino, R., Naito-Billen, Y., Bost, J., and Fund-Reznicek, E. (submitted). Electrophysiological evidence for the morpheme-based combinatoric processing of English compounds.

Alemán-Bañón, J., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. (submitted). Morphosyntactic processing in advanced second language learners: An event related potential investigation of the effects of L1-L2 similarity and structural distance.

Politzer-Ahles, S., & Fiorentino, R. (In press). The realization of scalar inferences: context sensitivity without processing cost. PLOS ONE

Gabriele, A., Fiorentino, R. and Aleman Bañón, J., (in press). Examining second language development using event-related potentials: a cross-sectional study on the processing of gender and number agreement. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism

Hunt III, L., Politzer-Ahles, S., Gibson, L., Minai, U., and Fiorentino, R. (2013). Pragmatic inferences modulate N400 during sentence comprehension: evidence from picture-sentence verification. Neuroscience Letters, 534, 246-251. 

Politzer-Ahles, S., Fiorentino, R., Jiang, X., and Zhou, X. (2013). Distinct neural correlates for pragmatic and semantic meaning processing: An event-related potential investigation of scalar implicature processing using picture-sentence verification. Brain Research, 1490, 134-152.

Fiorentino, R., Bost, J., Abel, A.D., and Zuccarelli, J. (2012). The recruitment of knowledge regarding plurality and compound formation during language comprehension. The Mental Lexicon, 7, 34-57.

Aleman Bañón, J., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. (2012). The Processing of Number and Gender Agreement in Spanish: An Event Related Potential Investigation of the Effects of Structural Distance. Brain Research, 1456, 49-63.

Bond, K., Gabriele, A., Fiorentino, R. and Aleman Bañón, J. (2011). Individual Differences and the Role of the L1 in L2 Processing: An ERP Investigation. Proceedings of the 11th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA). J. Herschensohn & Darren Tanner (Eds.), p. 17-29. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Aldwayan, S., Fiorentino, R. and Gabriele, A. (2010). Evidence of syntactic constraints in the processing of wh-movement: A study of Najdi Arabic learners of English. Research on Second Language Processing and Parsing, B. VanPatten & Jill Jergerski (Eds.), p. 65-86. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Minai, U. and Fiorentino, R. (2010). The Role of the Focus Operator Only in Children's Computation of Sentence Meaning. Language Acquisition, 17, 183-190.

Fiorentino, R. and Fund-Reznicek, E. (2009). Masked morphological priming of compound constituents. The Mental Lexicon, 4(2), 159-193.

Monahan, P., Fiorentino, R., and Poeppel, D. (2008). Masked repetition priming using magnetoencephalography. Brain and Language, 106, 65-71.

Fiorentino, R. and Fund-Reznicek, E. (2008). “Effects of constituency on the processing of lexicalized and novel compound words”. In B. C. Love, K. McRae, & V. M. Sloutsky (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (p. 201). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Fiorentino, R. and Poeppel, D. (2007a). Compound words and structure in the lexicon. Language and Cognitive Processes, 12, 953-1000.

Fiorentino, R. and Poeppel, D. (2007b). Processing of compound words: An MEG study. Brain and Language, 103, 18-19.

Fiorentino, R. (2006). Unexpected pair-list readings in plural indefinites: a new generalization. In Rebecca T. Cover and Yuni Kim, (eds.) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 121-132. Ann Arbor, MI: Sheridan Books.

Fiorentino, R. (2006). Plural indefinites and unexpected pair-list readings. U. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics, 12, 69-82.

Beretta, A., Fiorentino, R., and Poeppel, D. (2005). The effects of homonymy and polysemy on lexical access: an MEG study. Cognitive Brain Research, 24, 57-65.

Fiorentino, R. and Poeppel, D. (2004). Decomposition of compound words: an MEG measure of early access to constituents. In Richard Alterman and David Kirsch (eds.) Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 1342. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Conference Presentations

Politzer-Ahles, S. and Fiorentino, R.“Sensitivity of online scalar inferencing to context and to processing load”. Poster Presentation, 5th Experimental Pragmatics Conference (Upcoming, September, 2013).

Gabriele, A., Fiorentino, R., and Alemán Bañón, J. “Using ERPs to track morphosyntactic development in second language (L2) processing”. Presentation, GASLA 12 (Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (April, 2013).

Politzer-Ahles, S. and Fiorentino, R. “The realization of scalar inferences: Context sensitivity without processing cost”. Poster Presentation, 26th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing (March, 2013).

Johnson, A., Canales, A., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. “Syntactic constraints in the processing of wh-movement by L2 learners”. Poster Presentation, 26th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing (March, 2013).

Fiorentino, R., Aleman-Banon, J., Gabriele, A., Bond, K.N., and Martinez-Garcia, M. “Brain responses to morphosyntax at early stages of second language development”. Poster Presentation, NLC 2012: Neurobiology of Language Conference (October, 2012).

Fiorentino, R., Politzer-Ahles, S., and Pak, N. “Probing the dynamics of complex word recognition: An ERP investigation of the processing of novel compounds”. Poster Presentation, NLC 2012: Neurobiology of Language Conference (October, 2012).

Politzer-Ahles, S., Fiorentino, R., Jiang, X., and Zhou, X. “Individual differences in logical ability predict ERP responses to underinformative sentences”. Poster Presentation, NLC 2012: Neurobiology of Language Conference (October, 2012).

Herd, W., Fiorentino, R., and Sereno, J. “High variability training increases mismatch negativity responses to L2 contrasts”. Poster Presentation: 164th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (October, 2012).

Gabriele, A., Fiorentino, R., Aleman-Banon, J., and Bond, K.N. “Tracking second language development using event‐related potentials”. Poster Presentation, 5th Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition-North America (GALANA) Conference (October, 2012).

Herd, W., Fiorentino, R., Sereno, J., and Jongman, A. “Changes in MMN responses in English learners of Spanish as a result of training”. Poster Presentation, 6th Conference on Mismatch Negativity (MMN) and its Clinical and Scientific Application (April, 2012).

Politzer-Ahles, S., Fiorentino, R., Jiang, X., and Zhou, X. “Independence of pragmatic and lexico-semantic processing in picture-sentence verification”. Poster Presentation, Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2012 Annual Meeting (April, 2012).

Naito-Billen, Y. and Fiorentino, R. "The utilization of prosody in sentence comprehension: A comparative study of Japanese native speakers and adult learners of Japanese". Presentation, 2012 AATJ Annual Conference (March, 2012).

Fiorentino, R., Politzer-Ahles, S., Popescu, A., and Popescu, M. "The role of morphological juncture identification in complex word processing: An MEG investigation". Poster Presentation, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting (November, 2011).

Aleman-Banon, J., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. “Examining the role of proficiency in second language processing: An event-related potential (ERP) investigation of number and gender agreement in L2 Spanish". Poster Presentation, NLC 2011: Neurobiology of Language Conference (November, 2011).

Herd, W., Fiorentino, R., Jongman, A., and Sereno, J. “Emergent MMN response in Spanish learners as a result of high variability training”. Poster Presentation, NLC 2011: Neurobiology of Language Conference (November, 2011).

Hunt III, L., Politzer-Ahles, S., Minai, U., and Fiorentino, R. "N400 is elicited by pragmatic as well as semantic anomalies: a visual-world study of scalar implicatures". Poster Presentation, NLC 2011: Neurobiology of Language Conference (November, 2011).

Naito-Billen, Y., Minai, U., and Fiorentino, R. “Detection and utilization of prosody in sentence processing: an EEG study of L1 and L2 Japanese ”. Poster Presentation, NLC 2011: Neurobiology of Language Conference (November, 2011).

Politzer-Ahles, Stephen, Fiorentino, R., Jiang, Xiaoming, and Zhou, Xiaolin. “Event-related potential investigation of scalar implicature processing using picture-sentence verification”. Poster Presentation, NLC 2011: Neurobiology of Language Conference (November, 2011).

Aleman-Banon, J., Gabriele, A., and Fiorentino, R. “Examining development in second language processing: An ERP investigation of gender and number agreement in L2 Spanish". Presentation, 36th Boston University Conference on Language Development (November, 2011).

Fiorentino, R. “Investigating morphological constituency and combinatorics: A cognitive neuroscience perspective”. Presentation, 7th International Morphological Processing Meeting (June, 2011).

Politzer-Ahles, S., Fiorentino, R., Jiang, X., and Zhou, X. “Online processing of scalar implicatures in Chinese as revealed by event-related potentials”. Poster Presentation, Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2011 Annual Meeting (April, 2011).

Naito-Billen, Y., Fiorentino, R., and Minai, U. “Effects of Prosody in the Processing of Temporarily Ambiguous Japanese Sentences”. Presentation, Seventh International Conference on Practical Linguistics of Japanese (ICPLJ7). (March, 2011).

Naito-Billen, Y. and Fiorentino, R. “Assessing the role of prosody in resolving Japanese global
ambiguity: Timed and untimed judgment tasks”. Presentation, 2011 Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting. (January, 2011).

Aleman Bañón, J., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. "An Event-Related Potential (ERP) Investigation of Processing of Agreement: An Examination of Gender and Number in Spanish." Poster presentation, 2nd Neurobiology of Language Conference. San Diego, CA. (November, 2010).

Fiorentino, R. “Probing the compositional processing of compound words: electrophysiological evidence”. Presentation, Neuropsychology, Neuroimaging and Neurophysiology of Compound Processing Symposium, 2010 Academy of Aphasia Meeting. (October, 2010).

Aleman Bañón, J., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. "Processing number and gender agreement in L2 Spanish: an ERP investigation of advanced learners". Poster presentation, Donostia Workshop on Neurobilingualism, Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language (October, 2010).

Bond, K.N., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. "An ERP Investigation of individual differences in the processing of agreement in a second language." Poster Presentation, Second Language Research Forum 2010 (October, 2010).

Fiorentino, R., Naito-Billen, Y., and Minai, U. “Masked Priming and Morphological Productivity:
Evidence from Japanese De-Adjectival Nominalization”. Poster Presentation, AMLAP 2010: Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (September, 2010).

Fiorentino, R. and Naito-Billen, Y. “Tracking the Morpheme-level Route to Complex Word Recognition: A Cognitive Neuroscience Investigation”. Presentation, Tokyo University (June, 2010).

Fiorentino, R. “Electrophysiological Evidence for Morpheme-Based Combinatoric Processing”. Poster Presentation, Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2010 Annual Meeting (April, 2010).

Fiorentino, R. “Constituency and combinatorics in complex word recognition”. Invited Talk, First International Psycholinguistics Congress of ANPOLL (March, 2010).

Fiorentino, R. “Probing the decompositional processing of complex words: a view from cognitive neuroscience”. Invited Talk, First International Psycholinguistics Congress of ANPOLL (March, 2010).

Fiorentino, R., Bost, J., Graebner, A., Zuccarelli, J., and Abel, A. "The online instantiation and syntactic consequences of the constraint on plurals in compounds." Poster Presentation, CUNY 2010 Conference on Sentence Processing (March, 2010).

Fiorentino, R. and Fund-Reznicek, E. “The decomposition and composition of complex words: An ERP study”. Poster Presentation, 2009 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (October, 2009).

Bost, J. and Fiorentino, R. “The Effects of Lexical Category Frequency on the Resolution of Syntactic Ambiguity”. Presentation, Mid-America Linguistics Conference (MALC) Conference (October, 2009).

Aleman-Banon, J., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. “The Effects of Syntactic Distance in Gender and Number Agreement in Spanish: An ERP Investigation”. Presentation, Mid-America Linguistics Conference (MALC) Conference (October, 2009).

Sauciuc, M. and Fiorentino, R. “Morphological Productivity and the Decomposition of Complex Words”. Presentation, Mid-America Linguistics Conference (MALC) Conference (October, 2009).

Fiorentino, R. “Identifying the ‘parts list and process’ of complex word recognition: A cognitive neuroscience approach”. Presentation, Theoretical & Experimental Neuropsychology (TENNET) Conference (June, 2009).

Aldwayan, S., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. “Processing wh- movement in L2 English: Evidence for syntactic constraints”. Presentation, Second Language Processing and Parsing: State of the Science Conference (May, 2009).

Aldwayan, S., Fiorentino, R., and Gabriele, A. “Using syntactic constraints in the acquisition and processing of wh-movement: A study of Najdi Arabic learners of English”. Presentation, GASLA-10: 10th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (March, 2009).

Fiorentino, R. and Fund-Reznicek, E. “Dissociating morphology, form and meaning in compound processing”. Presentation, Sixth International Conference on the Mental Lexicon (October, 2008).

Fiorentino, R. and Fund-Reznicek, E. “Effects of constituency on the processing of lexicalized and novel compound words”. Poster Presentation, Cognitive Science Society Annual Meeting (July, 2008).

Fiorentino, R. and Poeppel, D. “Processing of compound words: An MEG study”. Invited Talk, 45th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Aphasia (October, 2007).

Monahan, P., Fiorentino, R., and Poeppel, D. “Spectrotemporal analysis of immediate repetition priming using MEG.” Poster Presentation, 15th International Conference on Biomagnetism (August, 2006).

Sakai, H., Miyatani, M., Tanaka, J., Yoshimura, M., Maruishi, M., Muranaka, H., Fiorentino, R., and Poeppel, D. (2006). “Cortical Structures for Compound Processing in Auditory Language Comprehension: An fMRI Investigation.” Poster Presentation, KIT International Symposium on Brain and Language (March, 2006).

Sakai, H., Yoshimura, M., Tanaka, J., Fiorentino, R., and Kazanina, N. “Online processing of allomorphic alternation in compound words.” Poster Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of Japan (November, 2005).

Fiorentino, R. "Masked priming of compound constituents: Implications for morphological decomposition." Presentation, 11th AMLaP conference (September, 2005).

Fiorentino, R. "Psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic approach to the investigation of word structure." Invited talk, CBL Summer Seminar, ZAO, Japan (August, 2005).

Fiorentino, R. "Plural indefinites and unexpected pair-list readings." Presentation, 29th Penn Linguistics Colloquium (February, 2005).

Fiorentino, R. "Unexpected pair-list readings in plural indefinites." Presentation, 31st Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (February, 2005).

Fiorentino, R. & Poeppel, D. "Compound words and structure in the lexicon." Poster Presentation, BIOMAG: 14th International Conference on Biomagnetism (April, 2004).

Beretta, A., Fiorentino, R., and Poeppel, D. "The effects of homonymy and polysemy on lexical access: an MEG study." Poster Presentation, 11th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (April, 2004).

Fiorentino, R. & Poeppel, D. "MEG evidence for early decomposition of compound words." Presentation, EPIC XIV: The Evoked Potentials International Conference XIV (March, 2004).

Fiorentino, R. & Poeppel, D. "MEG investigation of decomposition in English noun-noun compounds." Invited talk, KIT 3rd International Symposium on Brain and Language (December, 2003).

Fiorentino, R. & Poeppel, D. "Morphosyntactic and semantic information in building Noun Phrase structure." Poster Presentation, KIT 3rd International Symposium on Brain and Language (December, 2003).

Fiorentino, R. & Poeppel, D. "MEG investigation of phrase structure building in noun phrases." Poster Presentation, 2003 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (November, 2003).

Ozawa, K., Fiorentino, R. & Poeppel, D. "Lexical Frequency and the M350 MEG Response." Poster Presentation, 2003 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (November, 2003).

Fiorentino, R. & Poeppel, D. "Decomposition of compound words: an MEG measure of early access to constituents." Poster Presentation, 25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (July, 2003).

Fiorentino, R. & Poeppel, D. "Two routes to phrase structure building: self-paced reading evidence and
neurolinguistic implications." Poster Presentation, 10th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (March, 2003).

Fiorentino, R. "Word recognition in words and phrases." Invited talk, MIT Workshop on MEG Methods and Analysis (January, 2003).

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