About me

I am a linguist with a focus on language typology and a usage-based approach to language. I am also interested in corpus linguistics, quantitative approaches, and, more generally, how different methods can be combined to do comparative linguistics.

In 2018, I received my PhD thesis from the University of Leipzig, where I was part of the DFG funded IGRA graduate programme. My dissertation was a crosslinguistic investigation of different types of articles, establishing criteria to distinguishing between them, examining the properties that they have, and proposing a typology of article systems that we find in the languages of the world.

Currently, I am working at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg at the Chair of Language and Cognition. In our project, we investigate the influence of literacy and written language on grammar. We explore how the level of literacy influences the speaker's mental representation of grammar, and we look at how written language can affect language change, and whether it may ultimately lead to systematic grammatical differences in languages with and without writing traditions. If you're interested, you can check out our experiments by clicking on the links below.

  • Experiment 1: self-paced reading, testing the influence of hypotactic/paratactic structures on comprehension
  • Experiment 2: grammaticality judgments (agreement attraction errors)
  • Experiment 3: a grammaticality judgment task, a picture selection task, and a language-analysis task
  • Experiment 4: part I & part II two sessions of grammaticality judgment tasks in order to measure intra-speaker stability of grammaticality judgements and to examine their ability to discrimate between previously seen and new stimuli

You can find my CV here .

Laura Becker

Contact

Address University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Department of English and American Studies
Bismarckstr. 1
D-91054 Erlangen

E-mail lbecker[dot]berlin[at]gmail[dot].com

Topics I am interested in

  • language typology
  • grammaticalization, language change
  • functional and diachronic motivations in linguistics
  • corpus linguistics
  • referentiality, information structure, reference tracking

Output

Publications

  • Coding efficiency in nominal inflection: Expectedness and type frequency effects [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo], Linguistics Vanguard, accepted
  • Is adult L2 acquisition defective? [with Ewa Dąbrowska and Luca Miorelli], Frontiers in Psychology, 2020 link
  • Focus in Limbum. [with Imke Driemel & Jude Nformi] ACAL 48 Proceedings, Berlin, Language Science Press, 2019. pdf
  • Quantitative Word Order Typology with UD. [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo] Proceedings of the 17th International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theories (TLT 2018), December 13–14, 2018, Oslo University, Norway, Linköping, Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018, 91-104. pdf
  • Aspectuality in Hungarian, German, and Slavic. A parallel corpus study. Grammar and Corpora 2016, Heidelberg, Heidelberg University Publishing, 2018, 183-207. pdf
  • Focus and verb doubling in Limbum. [with Jude Nformi] LAB 93, Replicative Processes in Grammar, Leipzig, 2016. link

Manuscripts

  • Morphological marking of contrast in Tima. [with Gertrud Schneider-Blum], Cologne & Erlangen, 2019 (under review)
  • Psych predicates in European languages: A parallel corpus study. [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo], Düsseldorf & Erlangen, 2019 (under review)
  • Semantic maps and typological hierarchies: The Actionality Hierarchy (re)constructed in a top-down and bottom-up fashion. [with Andrej Malchukov], Mainz & Erlangen, 2019 (under review)
  • Functional vs. diachronic explanations of crosslinguistic variation: The co-occurrence of definite articles with demonstratives and possessives, Erlangen, 2020
  • The development from irrealis to nonspecific markers., Erlangen, 2020
  • Articles in the world's languages. PhD thesis, Leipzig University, 2018 (under review) pdf
  • Vowel-consonant harmony in Uyghur. Leipzig, November 2016. pdf

Inivited talks

  • The crosslinguistics distribution and development of articles. University of Bamberg, 20 November 2019 slides
  • The crosslinguistics distribution and development of articles. University of Mainz, 3 November 2019
  • Articles in the world's languages. Nordic Night Seminar for linguistics, Helsinki, 15 December 2018 slides
  • Articles in the world's languages. University of Cologne, 29 November 2018 slides
  • A typology of articles. University of Jena, 25 January 2018 slides

Conference talks

2020

  • Can experience with written language change mental grammar? [with Ewa Dąbrowska] UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference 2020, University of Birmingham, 29 July 2020 slides

2019

  • The development of nonspecific articles. 13th Conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology, University of Pavia, 4 September 2019 slides
  • What do grammaticality judgements tell us about grammar? [with Ewa Dąbrowska and Luca Miorelli] Conference: What is grammaticality?, University of Bamberg, 29 June 2019
  • The contrast marker =i/=ɪ in Tima (Niger-Congo). [with Gertrud Schneider-Blum] 41st Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), University of Bremen, 6 March 2019 slides

2018

  • Quantitative word order typology with UD. [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo] 17th International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theory, Oslo, 14 December 2018
  • Expressing referentiality in languages with and without articles. Grammar and Corpora, Paris, 16 November 2018 slides
  • Word order correlations from a quantitative perspective. [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo] Grammar and Corpora, Paris, 15 November 2018 slides
  • A typology of articles. Syntax of the world' languages 8, Paris, 5 September 2018
  • The typology of article inflection. 18th International Morphology Meeting, Budapest, 13 May 2018 slides

2017

  • Definiteness in languages with and without articles., 12th Conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology, Canberra, 15 December 2017
  • The Form-frequency hypothesis and case systems., 50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Zurich, 10 September 2017
  • Limbum focus strategies. [with Imke Driemel and Jude Nformi]. TripleA 4, University of Gothenburg, 10 June 2017.
  • Two types of focus in Limbum. [with Imke Driemel and Jude Nformi]. Annual Conference on African Linguistics 48, Bloomington, 30 March 2017. slides
  • Testing the Form-Frequency Hypothesis. [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo]. 39. Jahrestagung der DGfS, Saarbrücken, 8 March 2017. slides

2016

  • Discourse reference in languages with and witout articles. [with Jingting Ye]. Conference on Typology and Grammar for Young Scholars, St Petersburg, 24 November 2016. slides
  • Does Hungarian have grammatical aspect? A parallel corpus study. Grammar and Corpora, Mannheim, 11 November 2016. slides
  • Psych predicates from a cross-linguistic perspective. [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo]. Syntax of the World's Languages VII, Mexico City, 17 August 2016. slides
  • Focus constructions in Limbum (Grassfields Bantu). [with Jude Nformi]. Syntax of the World's Languages VII, Mexico City, 19 August 2016. slides
  • Aspect in Hungarian and Slavic. 2nd Usage-based Linguistics Conference, Tel Aviv, 16 June 2016.
  • A typology of psych-verbs. A parallel corpus study. Olomouc Linguistics Colloquium, Olomouc, 10 June 2106.

2015

  • The existential-construction in Hungarian. Budapest Linguistics Conference, Budapest, 20 June 2015. slides

2014

  • The pragmatic functions of Hungarian preverbs. Syntax of the World's Languages VI, Pavia, 8 September 2014.

Conference posters

  • MultiSub: a multi-parallel corpus of movie subtitles. [with Fahime Same and Alessia Cassarà] 41st Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), University of Bremen, 6 March 2019 poster
  • Quantitative methods in African linguistics - Predicting plurals in Hausa. [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo]. Annual Conference on African Linguistics 48, Bloomington, 29 March 2017. poster
  • Vowel-consonant harmony in Uyghur. Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics 13, International Christian University, Tokyo, 27 May 2017. poster

Classes

  • Introduction to English linguistics I
  • Introduction to English linguistics II
  • Pidgins and Creoles
  • Functional and diachronic explanations in language typology
  • Extra-linguistic factors shaping grammar
  • Automatic and controlled processes in language use. Designing a psycholinguistic experiment (Übung)
    artificial grammar learning toy experiment
  • Written vs. spoken language (Übung)
    R code
  • Ultimate attainment in SLA. A practical class introducing R in psycholinguistics (Übung)