L. R. "Nik" Nikolai

This is Lauren Rose Nikolai, aka Nik. She has a round, smiling face, chin-length curly red-orange hair, and hazel eyes with thick-framed, clear glasses. She is wearing a Purdue University shirt and is standing outside on a sunny day.

Hello & Welcome!

My name is Lauren Rose "Nik" Nikolai, and I'm a PhD student in the Linguistics department at the University of Michigan. I received my BA in Linguistics (with minors in classical studies, political science, Spanish, & Russian) from Purdue University in May 2019.

I am a theoretical and experimental syntactician and semanticist, and my work is guided by the idea that analyzing sign languages and other understudied languages can help linguists to make more powerful theoretical claims about language as a whole. My research has focused primarily on two broad topics: degree modification by means of non-manual markers (grammaticalized facial expressions) and the iconic properties of event structure in sign languages.

Research Interests

•Sign Language•Semantics•Syntax•Syntax-Semantics Interface•Cartography•Degree Modification•Event Structure

Contact Me

L. R. NikolaiDepartment of Linguistics, University of Michigan
Lorch Hall611 Tappan Ave.Ann Arbor, MI 48104


November 2020: I gave a talk at University of Michigan's SynSem discussion group on my work on the non-manual marker "flat chin" in American Sign Language (ASL). The slides are available to view here.
August 2020: I have begun a new project investigating the lower face in ASL.