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Dr Jacqueline Laws

Dr Jacqueline Laws

Areas of interest

Jacqueline's research interests relate to all aspects of grammar from a constructional perspective, child language acquisition, cognitive linguistics and corpus linguistics. Her research currently focuses on the distributional properties of complex words in spoken language and she has developed a database of 18,000 complex word types called MorphoQuantics: A Database of Derivational Morphology in Adult Spoken English.

In parallel, Jacqueline 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 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

Recent projects include:

  • Polysemy in verb-forming suffixation: A construction morphology approach
  • Word Form Choice and Context Formality in Spoken English: 2015-2016 (funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust).


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.


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