School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Lauren Ackerman

Research Associate


Dr Lauren Ackerman is a Research Associate in the Department of English Literature, Language & Linguistics at Newcastle University.

Academic background

  • PhD, Northwestern University: Influences on Parsing Ambiguity
  • MA, Northwestern University: How the prosody of center-embedded sentences relates to their structure
  • BA, Boston University: The effect of linguistic environment on vowels sung at high pitches

Google scholar: Click here.
SCOPUS: Click here.


My research examines how the real-time representation of syntactic structure is influenced by non-syntactic sources of information. The two sources my current work focuses on are: (1) observed, deduced, or assumed information about the gender of human referents in the sentence, in particular exploring variation associated with the comprehender’s (reader’s or listener’s) exposure to and experience with people who are of a nonbinary gender; and (2) the disambiguating power of boundaries, and in particular, prosodic boundaries that are typically associated with syntactic clause boundaries.

To investigate the way these sources of information influence real-time processing, I use online (real-time) and offline (untimed) paradigms, including eye tracking while reading, self-paced reading, acceptability judgments, and other types of survey methods. I am also interested in the way different methodologies can complement and supplement each other, and how their utility varies based on experiment design.


  • Ackerman LM. Our words matter: acceptability, grammaticality, and ethics of research on singular 'they'-type pronouns. Frontiers in Psychology 2018. Submitted.
  • Ackerman L, Frazier M, Yoshida M. Resumptive Pronouns Can Ameliorate Illicit Island Extractions. Linguistic Inquiry 2018, 49(4), 847-849.
  • Ackerman LM. Syntactic and cognitive issues in investigating gendered coreference. Glossa 2018. Submitted.
  • Ackerman LM, Drake S. The cat stalked ?wilily around the house: Morphological dissimilation in deadjectival adverbs. In: Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting. 2018, Salt Lake City, UT: Linguistic Society of America.
  • Frazier M, Ackerman L, Baumann P, Potter D, Yoshida M. Wh-filler-gap dependency formation guides reflexive antecedent search. Frontiers in Psychology 2015, 6, 1-19.