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Dr Jacqueline Laws

Areas of interest

Jacqueline's research interests relate to all aspects of grammar, child language acquisition, cognitive linguistics and corpus linguistics. She held a British Academy/Leverhulme grant to support her research on the distributional properties of complex words in adult spoken language and hosted a Workshop on 22nd June, 2016.

In parallel, she is investigating the acquisition of derivational morphology in children with normally developing language. This work has implications for research in multilingualism, literacy, education and clinical studies. Jacqueline has developed a database of 18,000 complex word types in adult speech called 
MorphoQuantics: A Database of Derivational Morphology in Adult Spoken English.

Jacqueline has also published on the characteristics of split intransitivity in Italian and Mandarin, in particular, the interaction between semantic verb class, aspect and word order effects.


Research centres and groups

Centre for Literacy & Multilingualism

Research projects

For her PhD in Psycholinguistics (funded by the Social Science Research Council), Jacqueline explored the relationship between human reasoning and accuracy in solving problems in formal logic, specifically linear syllogisms.


Jacqueline was formerly the Director of, and Admissions Tutor for, the PhD Programmes in Applied Linguistics, and taught modules on Grammar at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She also delivered modules on research design at doctoral level and supervised a number of PhD students, but ceased to take on further supervision in July 2019.

Academic qualifications

MA in Linguistics (Reading); PhD in Psycholinguistics (London); BA (Hons) Italian (London), BSc (Hons) Psychology (CNAA), Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Reading), Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Awards and honours

In 2012, Jacqueline won a University Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning.