Laurel MacKenzie

Laurel MacKenzie

Assistant Professor

New York University


I’m a linguist who studies the variability inherent in language. In my research, I analyze statistical patterns in large bodies of speech data in order to better understand how and why people talk differently.

I am a co-director of the NYU Sociolinguistics Lab; an Area Editor in the area of Sociolinguistics and Anthropological Linguistics for Linguistics Vanguard; and one of the academic leads of Our Dialects, an online atlas of British English regional dialects. In addition to publishing academic articles and book chapters on sociolinguistics, language variation, language change, dialectology, and linguistics pedagogy, I have served as an expert consultant for media pieces on regional dialects, language change, personal names, and how speakers’ accents can change over time.

  • Morphological and syntactic variation
  • Regional varieties of British and American English
  • Language change across the lifespan
  • PhD in Linguistics, 2012

    University of Pennsylvania

  • BA in Linguistics, 2006

    University of California, Berkeley

  • BA in French, 2006

    University of California, Berkeley

Recent news

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OCTOBER 2021 Just published, in Language Variation and Change: New and old puzzles in the morphological conditioning of coronal stop deletion, with Meredith Tamminga.

OCTOBER 2021 My NWAV 49 talk, with Naomi Lee, on syntactic classes in the English particle verb alternation, is available on YouTube.

AUGUST 2021 I appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth to discuss the linguistics of names.