Lauren Winans


Hi, I'm Lauren. I'm a fifth year graduate student in Linguistics at UCLA. My office is Campbell 3103B, and my email address is


My main research interests are semantics and syntax. I have active projects on disjunction, evidentiality, tense, and modality. I am interested in the insights that cross-linguistic and acquisition data can provide on these topics.

Predictions and Inferences (dissertation)

My dissertation focuses on present tense interpretations of will to investigate two related questions: What is the relationship between epistemic modality and evidentiality? Why are future markers co-opted crosslinguistically to also encode present inference? I use insights from the literature on evidential languages to compare the evidential restrictions of must and will. The dissertation is co-chaired by Jessica Rett and Yael Sharvit.

A semantics for split disjunctive systems (non-final version)

This paper discusses novel data from the split disjunctive system of Egyptian Arabic and presents an analysis under which the two disjunctive lexical items, walla and aw, differ in their ability to introduce discourse alternatives. Systems of this sort have been noted by previous authors, but this paper is the first to provide a complete description of the disjunctive lexical items' behavior and a comprehensive analysis of these facts.

This project draws on data from my fieldwork with language consultants in Cairo, Alexandria, and Los Angeles. The earliest version of this paper was submitted as my Master's thesis (advised by Jessica Rett, Ed Keenan, and Yael Sharvit). A updated version of the paper is currently under revisions for Journal of Semantics.

Acquisition of evidentiality

I am currently working on a project with Jessica Rett, Nina Hyams, and Laura Kalin that investigates the acquisition of evidentiality in copy-raising constructions in English.

The effects of syntax on the acquisition of evidentiality (pdf)

This project includes a corpus study of child language as well as an adult experiment of copy-raising verbs. We found that children show no production delay relative to children acquiring morphologically encoded evidentiality. This work was presented at BUCLD 2012.

Children's comprehension of syntactically encoded evidentiality (slides)

We conducted a follow up study in which we tested children's comprehension of the evidential component of copy-raising constructions. We found that while children can produce copy-raising constructions by age 2 or 3, their performance on the comprehension tasks lags behind. This result is found crosslinguistically. We argue that the lag is due to a task effect, rather than a delay in acquisition. This work was presented at NELS 45.


Primary Instructor

  • Summer 2014: Introduction to the Study of Language
  • Summer 2013: Introduction to the Study of Language
  • Teaching Assistant

    Students, Click here to give me anonymous feedback on my teaching.

    Current Events