Curriculum Vitae of Marcia C. Linebarger


My professional life has revolved around three disciplines: formal linguistics, the study of acquired language disorders, and the development of computer software. I completed a PhD in theoretical linguistics, received postdoctoral training in aphasiology, and spent several years exploring language processing in aphasia with Myrna Schwartz (Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute) and Eleanor Saffran (Temple University). I then entered the field of computational linguistics, spending 16 years in an industry setting (Unisys Corporation) with a research group developing natural language understanding software, which allows computers to process spoken human language. Ten years into this position, I was able to join these varied professional threads when I received an R01 grant from NIDCD to develop aphasia treatment software at Unisys and investigate its effects at MossRehab with my former colleagues. During this grant, I invented SentenceShaper, a communication aid for aphasia. Research studies with this aid were quite promising, and in 2001 I left Unisys and started my own small business, Psycholinguistic Technologies, Inc., which has released SentenceShaper as a commercial product. In subsequent NIH-funded collaborations between Psycholinguistic Technologies and MossRehab (Myrna Schwartz) and the University of Maryland (Rita Berndt, Denise McCall), we examined the impact of SentenceShaper as a communication aid and as a therapy tool. In recent years, I have focused upon maintaining and further developing this software.

Education and Training

BA in classical languages (1970), University of California at Berkeley
PhD in linguistics (1980), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral training in neurolinguistics (1980-1982), University of Pennsylvania

Positions and Employment

  • 1970-1974 Teacher (Greek, Latin, English), The Hawthorne School, Washington, DC
  • 1974-1978 NIH Traineeship, MIT Dept. of Linguistics
  • 1980-1982 Postdoctoral fellow, Dept. of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1981-1982 & 1983-1984 Lecturer in linguistics, Swarthmore College
  • 1982-1984 NIH National Research Service Award, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1982-1983 Assistant professor, Hampshire College
  • 1985-2001 Software Engineer (Natural Language Understanding), Unisys Corporation
  • 1985-1987 NIH New Investigator Award, Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute
  • 1993 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Delaware
  • 2001-present Director, Psycholinguistic Technologies, Inc.
  • 2000-2008 Consultant and co-PI on grants at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute and the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Professional Memberships

  • Academy of Aphasia
  • International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication


  • Linebarger, M.C, Norton, L., & Dahl, D. (1997). Robust language processor for segmenting and parsing language containing multiple instructions. US Patent 5,652,897.
  • Linebarger, M.C., and Romania, J. (2000) System for synthesizing spoken messages. US Patent 6,068,485.
  • Norton, L., Dahl, D., & Linebarger, M.C. (2003) Task oriented dialog model and manager. US Patent 6,510,411.
  • Linebarger, M.C., & Romania, J.F. (2007) Aphasia therapy system. US Patent 7,203,649.


  • Ad hoc reviewer for Cortex, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Neuropsychologia, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, and other journals; ad hoc reviewer for NIH Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group.


  • 1995- Adjunct scientist, Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute
  • 2009 -Adjunct faculty, Temple University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • 2008 -Professional Advisory Board, Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement (SCALE), Baltimore, MD

Selected Publications

Language processing in aphasia:

  • Linebarger, M., Schwartz, M., and Saffran, E. (1983) Sensitivity to grammatical structure in so-called agrammatic aphasics. Cognition 13, 361-392.
  • Linebarger, M., Schwartz, M., and Saffran, E. (1983) Syntactic processing in agrammatism: A reply to Zurif and Grodzinsky. Cognition 15, 207-213.
  • Schwartz, M., Linebarger, M., and Saffran, E. (1985) The status of the syntactic theory of agrammatism. In  Kean, M.-L. (Ed.), Agrammatism. New York: Academic Press.
  • Schwartz, M., Linebarger, M., Saffran, E., and Pate, D.(1987) Syntactic transparency and sentence Interpretation in aphasia. Language and Cognitive Processes 2: 85-113.
  • Linebarger, M. (1995) Agrammatism as evidence about grammar. Brain and Language, 50, 52-91.
  • Linebarger, M. (1990) Neuropsychology of sentence parsing. In Caramazza, A. (Ed.)  Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics: Advances in Models of Cognitive
    Function and Impairment. Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Linebarger, M. (1989) Neuropsychological evidence for linguistic modularity. In Carlson, G. and M. Tanenhaus (Eds.), Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics.
    Dordrecht: Reidel.
  • Saffran, E., Schwartz, M., and Linebarger, M. (1998) Semantic influences on thematic role assignment: Evidence from normals and aphasics. Brain and Language, 62:255-297.
  • Linebarger, M. (1998) Algorithmic and heuristic processes in agrammatic language comprehension. In Baastianse, R., & E. Visch-Brink (Eds.), Linguistic
    Levels of Aphasiology. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group. Inc.
  • Linebarger, M.C. (2003) Reversibility/Mapping disorders. In R.D. Kent (Ed.), MIT Encyclopedia of Communication Disorders. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (pp. 383-388)


  • Linebarger, M., Dahl, D., Hirschman, L., and Passonneau, R.(1988) Sentence fragments regular structures. Proceedings of the Twenty-sixth Annual Meeting of the Association
    for Computational Linguistics, 7-16.
  • Linebarger, M., Norton, L., & Dahl, D. (1993) A portable approach to last resort parsing and interpretation. Proceedings of the ARPA Human Language Technology Workshop,
    Princeton, NJ.
  • Norton, L., Linebarger, M., and Dahl, D. (1991) Augmented role filling capabilities for semantic interpretation of spoken language.  Proceedings of the Fourth DARPA
    Workshop on Speech and Natural Language.
  • Linebarger, M., Schwartz, M., Romania, J., Kohn, S., & Stephens, D. (2000) Grammatical encoding in aphasia: Evidence from a ‘processing prosthesis’. Brain and Language 75, 416-427.
  • Linebarger, M., Schwartz, M., & Kohn, S. (2001) Computer-based training of language production: An exploratory study. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 11(1), 57-96.
  • Linebarger, M.C., McCall, D., & Berndt, R. (2004) The role of processing support in the remediation of aphasic language production disorders. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 21,
    267- 282.
  • Linebarger, M.C., & Schwartz, M. (2005) AAC for hypothesis-testing and treatment of aphasic language production: Lessons from a processing prosthesis. Aphasiology,19, 930-942.
  • Linebarger, M. C., McCall, D., Virata, T., & Berndt, R. S. (2007). Widening the temporal window: Processing support in the treatment of aphasic language production. Brain and Language, 100, 53-68.
  • Linebarger, M.C., Romania, J.R., Fink, R.B., Bartlett, M.R., & Schwartz, M.F. (2008) Building on residual speech: A portable processing prosthesis for aphasia. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 45:9, 1401-1414.
  • Dahl, D.A., Linebarger, M.C., and Berndt, R.S. (2008) Improving automatic recognition of aphasic speech through the use of a processing prosthesis. Technology and Disability, 20, 283-294.
  • McCall, D., Virata, T., Linebarger, M.C., Berndt, R.S. (2009). Integrating technology and targeted treatment to improve narrative production in aphasia: A case study. Aphasiology, 23:4, 438-461.

Formal linguistics: Interactions among syntax,semantics,and pragmatics:

  • Linebarger, M. (1980) Polarity ‘any’ as an existential quantifier. In Kreiman and Ojeda (Eds.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society , Chicago, IL.
  • Linebarger, M. (1987) Negative polarity and grammatical representation. Linguistics and Philosophy 10:4, 325-387.
  • Linebarger, M. (1992) Negative polarity as linguistic evidence. In Dobrin, L., Nichols, L., and R. Rodriguez (Eds.), CLS 27-II: Papers from the parasession on negation, Chicago, IL

Research Support

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) graduate traineeship, MIT, 1974-1978
  • NIH National Research Service Award, University of Pennsylvania, 1982-1984
  • Sloan postdoctoral fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1981-1982
  • Principal investigator, New Investigator Award, NIH, 1985-1987
  • Principal investigator, Computer-based mapping therapy for agrammatism (NIH/NIDCD), 1995-1999
  • Principal investigator, Albert Einstein Society, Promoting Access to the Internet in Aphasia: An Augmentative Communication System for E-mail, 2000
  • Consultant, Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Network (J. Whyte, P.I. – NIH-NICHD) 2000-2003
  • Co-PI, AAC Processing Support for Spoken Language in Aphasia (M. Schwartz, PI – NIH/NICHHD), 2003-2008
  • Co-PI, Analysis and Remediation of Language Production (R. Berndt, PI – NIH/NIDCD), 2003-2008