Laurel Perkins

University of Maryland Linguistics | perkinsl [at]


LING449R: Topics in Psycholinguistics; Syntactic and Semantic Arguments in Language Acquisition (Spring 2018, University of Maryland) [syllabus]

Instructor of record for advanced undergraduate seminar on the acquisition of argument structure. This course examined syntactic and semantic representations of arguments and argument relations, and how those relations are acquired by infants learning their first language. Course topics included formal approaches to argumenthood and argument relations, correspondences between verb meanings and verb distributions, and theories of how these correspondences are used by children acquiring a grammar. Students learned to critically examine primary-source experimental literature in first language acquisition. The course also included an introduction to principles of experimental design, culminating in a final project in which students designed and created materials for their own psycholinguistics experiment.

LING444: Child Language (Fall 2016, University of Maryland)

TA for undergraduate course on language acquisition in infancy and early childhood.

LING200: Introductory Linguistics for Non-Majors (Fall 2015, Spring 2016, University of Maryland)

TA for undergraduate course providing a general introduction to linguistics for non-majors.




Within the Linguistics department and the broader language science community at the University of Maryland, I have served as a mentor for several undergraduate students in conducting behavioral and computational research in language acquisition. Specific activities include:

• Co-advising (with Naomi Feldman) undergraduate honors thesis student J. Schneider in the Department of Computer Science

• Supervising poster and oral research presentations for undergraduate research assistants in the Project on Children's Language Learning, including for undergraduate Baggett Summer Scholarship projects

• Co-teaching a seminar to introduce undergraduate students to language science research opportunities at the university, as part of the Maryland Language Science Center's PULSAR program


I am an active member and former co-chair of the Maryland Language Science Center's Outreach Committee, which organizes events to bring research in linguistics and related disciplines to the wider DC-area community. These activities aim to increase interest in language science among the general public and among groups that are currently under-represented in the field.