About me

I am a linguist with a focus on (quantitative) typology. I am also interested in using corpus linguistic and computational approaches in order to find out more about grammatical structures, their crosslinguistic distribution and their development.

I received my PhD thesis in 2018 from the University of Leipzig. My dissertation was a typological overview of articles and article systems. Currently, I am working at the University of Freiburg at the Department of Linguistics .

You can find my CV here .

Current projects

  • Efficiency I am interested in assessing the role and the effects of efficiency in shaping grammar. Currently, I am working on examining efficiency effects in verbal person markers, in variants of layering and with zero markers in inflection.
  • Methods in typology Together with Matías Guzmán Naranjo, we are developing and testing statistical methods for large-scale typological studies, e.g. for better bias control and for capturing spatial relations between languages. Related to that, we are also interested in evaluating how replicable typological findings are, especially if using identical data from previous studies but applying different methods for the analysis. This allows us to assess to what extent typological findings are robust across different statistical and methodological approaches.
  • Grammaticalization Together with Andrej Malchukov, Walter Bisang and Marvin Martiny, we examine the association and structure between various parameters of grammaticalization using a world-wide databased of grammaticalization paths. Building on that, with Marvin Martiny, we work on a qualitative overview and database of grammaticalization phenomena in South American indigenous languages.
  • Silent pauses Together with Naomi Peck, we work on the prosody-syntax interface by analyzing the co-occurrence of silent pauses and syntactic boundaries in spontaneous speech data from a typological perspective.
  • Conditionals Using the dataset from a previous study (Becker, Guzmán Naranjo & Ochs 2023), I am currently preparing a typological overview of conditional constructions.
  • R software I am building an R package called lingtypR to make the manipulation and visualization of crosslinguistic datasets easier. You can dowload the package from gitlab and find an overview of its current functions here .

Laura Becker


University of Freiburg
Department of Linguistics
Belfortstr. 18
D-79098 Freiburg



Work in progress


Journal articles

Book chapters & confence proceedings


Working papers and unpublished manuscripts

Invited talks

Conference talks





  • The development of nonspecific articles. 13th Conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology, University of Pavia, 4 September 2019
  • What do grammaticality judgements tell us about grammar? [with Ewa Dąbrowska & 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



  • 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 & Jude Nformi]. Annual Conference on African Linguistics 48, Bloomington, 30 March 2017.
  • Testing the Form-Frequency Hypothesis. [with Matías Guzmán Naranjo]. 39. Jahrestagung der DGfS, Saarbrücken, 8 March 2017.




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

Conference posters


Summer 2024

  • Sign languages (M.A.)
  • Linguistics: Current research (M.A./PhD)
  • Lecture series (M.A./PhD)

Winter 2023/24

  • Diversity in the world's languages (M.A.)
  • Efficiency in language and communication (M.A.)
  • Linguistics: Current research (M.A./PhD)

Summer 2022

  • Sign languages (M.A.)
  • Linguistics: Current research (M.A./PhD)

Winter 2022/23

  • English-lexifier creoles (M.A.)
  • Artificial grammar learning (M.A.)
  • Linguistics: Current research (M.A./PhD)

Winter 2020/21

  • The structure of Australian languages (M.A.)

Summer 2020

  • Introduction to English linguistics I (B.A.)
  • Ultimate attainment in SLA. Introduction to R for psycholinguistics (B.A.)
  • Extra-linguistic factors shaping grammar (M.A.)

Winter 2019/20

  • Introduction to English linguistics II (B.A.)
  • The influence of written and spoken modalities on language (B.A.)
  • Functional and diachronic explanations in language typology (M.A.)

Summer 2019

  • Introduction to English linguistics I (B.A.)
  • Automatic and controlled processes in language use (B.A.)
  • English-based pidgins and creoles (M.A.)

Summer 2017

  • Die Struktur des Ungarischen (B.A.)

Summer 2015

  • Typologie (B.A.)

Winter 2014/15

  • Syntaktische Theorien (B.A.)