Dr Laurel Lawyer

Senior Lecturer
Department of Language and Linguistics
Dr Laurel Lawyer
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872082

  • Location

    4.340, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Fridays, 11:00 - 1:00



Laurie received her PhD in Linguistics at the University of California, Davis. She has interests in phonetics, phonology, and morphology and their intersection with cognitive neuroscience. She works on questions of phonological and morphological representations in speech perception, as well as language processing in deaf adults and children with cochlear implants. Laurie has also been involved with numerous psycholinguistic projects focusing on under-represented languages, including signed languages (ASL and BSL) and more recently Kinyarwanda (a Bantu language). Her work utilises a number of different psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic paradigms (including EEG, fMRI, and behavioral studies). She hails from Seattle, Washington (USA) and is happy to once again live somewhere with seasons and rain.


  • BA (Universty of Southern California)

  • MA (University of California Davis)

  • PhD (University of California Davis)


University of Essex

  • Lecturer in Psycholinguistics, Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex (1/6/2017 - present)

Research and professional activities

Research interests


Open to supervise

laboratory phonology

Open to supervise

morphological processing

Open to supervise

cognitive science

Open to supervise

history of linguistic theory

Open to supervise

Signed languages (ASL, BSL)

Open to supervise

deaf language processing

Open to supervise

language acquisition

Open to supervise

cochlear implants

Open to supervise

Current research

Phonological and morphological structures in speech perception, auditory linguistic processing in children with cochlear implants, individual differences in lexical processing in auditory speech perception.

Conferences and presentations

Lee M. Miller, Andrew S. Kessler, Britt W. Yazel, Kristina C. Backer, Markham H. Anderson, Nathaniel S. Gutierrez, Laurel A. Lawyer , Sanjay S. Joshi, David P. Corina. Hearing Loss and Neurotechnology: New Approaches to Improve Speech Perception. International Conference on Auditory Cortex, Alberta, Canada (2017)

Alberta, Canada, 2017

Laurel A. Lawyer, Andrew S. Kessler, Lee M. Miller, David P. Corina. Word Frequency Effects During Ambient Language Processing. Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2017)

San Francisco, United States, 2017

Andrew S. Kessler, Kristina C. Backer, Laurel A. Lawyer, Sharon Coffey-Corina, David P. Corina, Lee M. Miller. A novel paradigm for rapid and simultaneous evaluation of auditory and visual pathways. CognitiveNeuroscience Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2017)

San Francisco, United States, 2017

Kristina Backer, Andrew S. Kessler, Laurel A. Lawyer, Lee M. Miller, David P. Corina. Neurophysiological Effects of the Presence of an Irrelevant Visual Stimulus on Auditory Neural Activity. Cognitive NeuroscienceSociety Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2017)

San Francisco, United States, 2017

Lawyer, Laurel A. and David P. Corina. Dealing with inperfection: Affixes, allomorphy, and dual-route parsing. 15th Conference on Laboratory Phonology, Ithaca, NY (2016)

New York, United States, 2016

Corina, David, Laurie Lawyer, Todd LaMarr, Shane Blau and Sharon Coffey-Corina. Auditory and Visual Electrophysiology of Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants: Implications for Cross Modal Plasticity. [Talk].Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA (2016)

San Diego, United States, 2016

Lawyer, Laurel A. and David P. Corina. Why inpossible is umproblematic: the perception of alternating prefixes. Society for the Neurobiology of Language Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL (2015)

Chicago, United States, 2015

Corina, David, Shane Blau, Laurie Lawyer, Sharon Coffey-Corina and Lee Miller. Cross modal plasticity in deaf children with cochlear implants. 2015 Conference on Implantable Auditory Prostheses, Lake Tahoe,CA (2015)

Lake Tahoe, United States, 2015

Corina, David, Shane Blau, Todd LaMarr, Laurie Lawyer, Lee Miller, and Sharon Coffey-Corina. Cross modal plasticity in deaf children with cochlear implants. Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting,San Francisco, CA (2015)

San Francisco, United States, 2015

Lawyer, Laurel A. and David P. Corina. Neurolinguistic evidence of alternation-based underspecification. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, Portland, OR (2015)

Portland, United States, 2015

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Child Language Development (LG115)

  • Adult Language Development and Processing (LG116)

  • Research methods for language and linguistics (LG213)

  • Psycholinguistics (LG215)

  • Language and the Mind (LG358)

  • Sentence Processing (LG462)

  • Experimental Analysis (LG533)

  • Professional Development for Research Students (LG595)

Previous supervision

Willem Sander Van Boxtel
Willem Sander Van Boxtel
Thesis title: A Matter of Memory? Sentence Comprehension in Healthy Aging
Degree subject: Psycholinguistics
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 30/8/2022


Journal articles (8)

van Boxtel, WS. and Lawyer, LA., (2022). Syntactic comprehension priming and lexical boost effects in older adults. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 1-16

Boxtel, W. and Lawyer, L., (2021). Sentence comprehension in ageing and Alzheimer's disease. Language and Linguistics Compass. 15 (6)

Corina, DP., Farnady, L., LaMarr, T., Pedersen, S., Lawyer, L., Winsler, K., Hickok, G. and Bellugi, U., (2020). Effects of age on American Sign Language sentence repetition.. Psychology and Aging. 35 (4), 529-535

Backer, KC., Kessler, AS., Lawyer, LA., Corina, DP. and Miller, LM., (2019). A Novel EEG Paradigm to Simultaneously and Rapidly Assess the Functioning of Auditory and Visual Pathways. Journal of Neurophysiology. 122 (4), 1312-1329

Lawyer, LA. and Corina, DP., (2018). Putting underspecification in context: ERP evidence for sparse representations in morphophonological alternations. Language Cognition and Neuroscience. 33 (1), 50-64

Lawyer, LA. and Corina, DP., (2017). Distinguishing underlying and surface variation patterns in speech perception. Language Cognition and Neuroscience. 32 (9), 1176-1191

Corina, DP., Blau, S., LaMarr, T., Lawyer, LA. and Coffey-Corina, S., (2017). Auditory and Visual Electrophysiology of Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants: Implications for Cross-modal Plasticity. Frontiers in Psychology. 8 (59)

Lawyer, L. and Corina, D., (2014). An investigation of place and voice features using fMRI-adaptation. Journal of Neurolinguistics. 27 (1), 18-30

Grants and funding


Accent the positive: an investigation into children's implicit attitudes towards different regional accents

British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872082


4.340, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Fridays, 11:00 - 1:00

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