Laurel MacKenzie

Lecturer in English Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and English Language
The University of Manchester

laurel.mackenzie@manchester.ac.uk


Mailing address:
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
United Kingdom
Office:
Samuel Alexander N1.1
Phone: +44 (0) 161 275 3152

Semester 2 office hours:
Mon. & Thurs., 11am–12pm

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My work investigates the variability inherent in English and other languages. I'm interested in how linguistic variation and the conditions that govern it are stored and produced by the linguistic system. My research makes use of large speech corpora and quantitative methods and is situated at the intersection of variationist sociolinguistics and formal linguistic theory.

News: Beginning in September 2016, I will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at New York University!

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Publications
2016
MacKenzie, Laurel. Production planning effects on variable contraction in English. To appear in Helen Jeoung, ed., Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 22.2. PDF
2016
Tamminga, Meredith, Laurel MacKenzie, and David Embick. The dynamics of variation in individuals. To appear in Linguistic Variation 16(2). abstract & PDF
2015
Meyerhoff, Miriam, Erik Schleef, and Laurel MacKenzie. Doing Sociolinguistics: A practical guide to data collection and analysis. Routledge.
2014
MacKenzie, Laurel. /s/-lenition and the preservation of plurality in Modern Occitan. Journal of Linguistic Geography 2:59–73. [ abstract ] [ PDF ] © Cambridge University Press
2013
MacKenzie, Laurel. Locating linguistic variation: A case study of English auxiliary contraction. In Yelena Fainleib et al., ed., NELS 41: Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society. PDF
2013
MacKenzie, Laurel and Charles Yang. English auxiliary realization and the independence of morphology and phonetics. In Aaron Freeman, ed., Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 19.2, 121–129. abstract & PDF
2013
MacKenzie, Laurel. Variation in English auxiliary realization: A new take on contraction. Language Variation and Change 25:17–41. [ abstract ] [ PDF ] © Cambridge University Press
2012
MacKenzie, Laurel. Locating Variation Above the Phonology. Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania. abstract PDF
2012
MacKenzie, Laurel. English auxiliary contraction as a two-stage process: Evidence from corpus data. In Jaehoon Choi et al., eds., Proceedings of WCCFL 29, 152–160. abstract & PDF
2010
MacKenzie, Laurel. /s/-deletion and the preservation of plurality in Modern Occitan. In Marielle Lerner, ed., Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 16.2, 123–132. abstract & PDF
2010
MacKenzie, Laurel and Gillian Sankoff. A quantitative analysis of diphthongization in Montreal French. In Kyle Gorman and Laurel MacKenzie, eds., Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 15.2, 91–100. abstract & PDF
2007
Keith Johnson, Christian DiCanio, and Laurel MacKenzie. The acoustic and visual phonetic basis of place of articulation in excrescent nasals. UC Berkeley Phonology Lab Annual Report, 529–561. PDF
Presentations & posters
2015
MacKenzie, Laurel. Opacity over time: Charting the paths of fricative voicing in English plurals. Paper presented at The Second Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology, December 4, 2015. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel. Production planning effects on variable contraction in English. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 44, University of Toronto, October 23, 2015. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel and Grace Ormerod. Situating the individual in late-stage language change: Evidence from Received Pronunciation. Poster presented at UK Language Variation and Change 10, York, September 3, 2015. abstract poster
Graham, Charlotte and Laurel MacKenzie. The PM's t's: David Cameron's t-glottalling over time. Poster presented at UK Language Variation and Change 10, York, September 2, 2015. abstract poster
MacKenzie, Laurel. Intraspeaker change in later life: Implications for grammatical representations. Paper presented at Formal Ways of Analysing Variation workshop, 17th Diachronic Generative Syntax Conference, University of Iceland, May 28, 2015. abstract slides
2014
MacKenzie, Laurel. Testing the predictions of usage-based models on language change across the lifespan. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 43, Chicago, October 26, 2014. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel, George Bailey, and Danielle Turton. Crowdsourcing dialectology in the undergraduate classroom. Paper presented at Methods in Dialectology XV, University of Groningen, August 12, 2014. abstract slides
Tamminga, Meredith and Laurel MacKenzie. Elaborating extragrammatical effects on variation. Paper presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of America, Minneapolis, symposium on the locus of linguistic variation, January 3, 2014. [ abstract ] [ slides ]
Lignos, Constantine and Laurel MacKenzie. Examining extragrammatical effects on English auxiliary contraction. Poster presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of America, Minneapolis, January 3, 2014. poster
2013
MacKenzie, Laurel and Danielle Turton. Crossing the pond: Extending automatic alignment techniques to British dialect data. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 42, University of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Mellon University, October 20, 2013. abstract slides
Lignos, Constantine and Laurel MacKenzie. Is it the size, or how you use it? Comparing the effects of subject length and predictability on contraction. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 42, University of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Mellon University, October 19, 2013. abstract slides
McLaughlin, Brittany and Laurel MacKenzie. Animacy effects in English contraction. Paper presented at UK Language Variation and Change 9, Sheffield, September 3, 2013. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel. English auxiliary contraction and the locus of variability. Paper presented at the Linguistics Association of Great Britain annual meeting, themed session on language variation and linguistic theory, SOAS, August 30, 2013. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel and Meredith Tamminga. Two case studies on the non-local conditioning of variation. Paper presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Boston, January 3, 2013. abstract slides
2012
MacKenzie, Laurel. Can patterns of variation shed light on grammar? English contraction's the place to look. Plenary talk presented at The Manchester and Salford New Researchers Forum in Linguistics, University of Manchester, November 3, 2012. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel and Meredith Tamminga. Non-local conditioning of variation: Evidence and implications. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 41, Indiana University, October 28, 2012. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel and Charles Yang. English auxiliary realization and the independence of morphology and phonetics. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 41, Indiana University, October 27, 2012. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel and Constantine Lignos. Size matters: The effect of subject length on contraction. Paper presented at the 2012 Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics, March 10, 2012. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel. Conditions on auxiliary contraction as evidence for variation outside the grammar. Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Portland, January 5, 2012. abstract slides
2011
Fruehwald, Josef and Laurel MacKenzie. New results from multilevel models of the speech community. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 40, Georgetown University, October 28, 2011. abstract slides
Ingason, Anton Karl and Laurel MacKenzie. "Heaviness" as evidence for a derive-and-compare grammar. Poster presented at the 19th Manchester Phonology Meeting, May 20, 2011. abstract poster
MacKenzie, Laurel. English auxiliary contraction as a two-stage process: Evidence from corpus data. Paper presented at the 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, University of Arizona, April 22, 2011. abstract slides
Ingason, Anton Karl and Laurel MacKenzie. Þyngd. [Heaviness.] Paper presented by Anton Karl Ingason at HugvísindaÞing [Humanities Conference], University of Iceland, March 25–26, 2011. slides
MacKenzie, Laurel. Quantitative data as a clue to auxiliary contraction processes. Paper presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Pittsburgh, January 8, 2011. extended abstract slides
2010
MacKenzie, Laurel. Contraction beyond the copula. Poster presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 39, University of Texas, San Antonio, November 5, 2010. abstract poster handout
MacKenzie, Laurel. Locating linguistic variation: A case study of English auxiliary contraction. Poster presented at North East Linguistic Society 41, University of Pennsylvania, October 22, 2010. abstract poster handout
MacKenzie, Laurel. Reduplication in Itawes. Poster presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Baltimore, January 9, 2010. extended abstract poster
2009
MacKenzie, Laurel. /s/-deletion and the preservation of plurality in Modern Occitan. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 38, University of Ottawa, October 24, 2009. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel and Gillian Sankoff. Issues in longitudinal vowel analysis: Evidence from Montreal French. Paper presented at Change and Variation in Canada III, York University, June 21, 2009. abstract slides
MacKenzie, Laurel and Gillian Sankoff. Longitudinal evidence for vowel change in Montreal French. Paper presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, San Francisco, January 10, 2009. abstract slides
Gorman, Kyle and Laurel MacKenzie. A boho in SoHo: Emerging specificity in English templatic hypocoristics. Paper presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, San Francisco, January 8, 2009. abstract slides
2008
MacKenzie, Laurel and Gillian Sankoff. A quantitative analysis of diphthongization in Montreal French. Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation 37, Rice University, November 8, 2008. abstract slides
Johnson, Keith, Christian DiCanio, and Laurel MacKenzie. The acoustic and visual phonetic basis of place of articulation in excrescent nasals. Paper presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Chicago, January 5, 2008. abstract slides
2006
Johnson, Keith and Laurel MacKenzie. Visual-phonetic cues in the phonology of Toulousain French. Paper presented by Keith Johnson at Phonetic Bases of Distinctive Features, Carré des Sciences, Paris, July 3, 2006. abstract slides
Teaching
I aim to include an element of student-led research in all of my teaching. My "learning through research" initiatives have been profiled in the University's UniLife magazine (twice), in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures' ArtsResearch magazine, and on the University's website.
As part of the coursework for Language Variation and Change, students survey friends and family members about words, pronunciations, and syntactic structures that have been found or hypothesised to show regional variation. Generous funding from the University's Learning through Research and Social Responsibility in the Curriculum schemes and from Multilingual Manchester allowed former Manchester undergraduate student George Bailey (now pursuing an ESRC-funded MA+PhD) to create Our Dialects, a collection of interactive dialect maps geared toward a general audience. The maps and the trends they reveal, particularly that the FOOT/STRUT isogloss is now farther north than Wells (1982) proposed it to be, resulted in a flurry of media coverage in December 2013, including articles in The Telegraph, The Independent, The Daily Mail, and a 2-page spread in the Manchester Evening News with an online video supplement. I was also interviewed about the project on BBC Radio 5, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lancashire, and Talk Radio Europe.
Students in Language Change Across the Lifespan carry out longitudinal studies of the language of celebrities and public figures who have undergone geographical and/or social mobility. In April 2013, a few of the students who analysed David and Victoria Beckham's declining use of British dialect features over time had their findings written up in, among other venues, BBC News (and the weekly news quiz), Metro, Manchester Evening News, The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Times, and assorted international publications. I was also interviewed about the findings on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Merseyside, TalkSPORT, and ABC Melbourne.
In 2015, I was named Best Lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester Students' Union Teaching Awards, and in 2014, I was the School of Arts, Languages and Culture's nominee for the university's "Teacher of the Year" Distinguished Achievement Award. I have twice received the Faculty of Humanities' "Best on Blackboard" award, in 2015 for Language Change Across the Lifespan and in 2014 for Language Variation and Change. In 2009, I received a Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students from the University of Pennsylvania.