Laurence B. Leonard

Research Interests / Training Areas:

  • Word learning by children with language impairments
  • Grammatical deficits in children with language impairments
  • Cross-linguistic research with children with language impairments
  • Language treatment procedures for children with language impairments


Laurence B. Leonard is Rachel E. Stark Distinguished Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and Director of the Child Language Laboratory. He has numerous publications in the area of child language development and disorders with an emphasis on grammatical, lexical, and phonological factors. Leonard’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, and he has served as Dissertation and Masters Thesis Advisor for numerous graduate students. Leonard’s current research explores procedures that facilitate children’s word learning and retention. In a separate line of research, Leonard examines characteristics of adults’ linguistic input that might be misinterpreted by children with specific language impairment, leading them to produce many of the grammatical errors frequently documented for these children. Together with colleagues in the department, Leonard has employed looking-while-listening (eye gaze) paradigms, electrophysiological techniques, syntactic priming tasks, as well as more conventional comprehension and production tasks to pursue his research questions. Along with his research on English, Leonard has collaborated with colleagues around the world to examine the nature of specific language impairment in such languages as Cantonese, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish. Leonard currently teaches a graduate course on language disorders in children, the department’s doctoral-level course in scientific writing, and various seminars on language acquisition and disorders.

Recent Publications:

Leonard, L., Karpicke, J., Deevy, P., Weber, C., Christ, S., Haebig, E. Souto, S., Kueser, J., & Krok, W. (2019). Retrieval-based word learning in typically developing children and children with developmental language disorder I: The benefits of repeated retrieval. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62, 944-964.

Leonard, L., & Deevy, P. (2017). The changing view of input in the treatment of children with grammatical deficits. American Journal of Speech-Language-Pathology, 26, 1030-1041.

Leonard, L., Haebig, E., Deevy, P., & Brown, B. (2017). Tracking the growth of tense and agreement in children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 3590-3600.

Leonard, L., Fey, M., Deevy, P., Bredin-Oja, S. (2015). Input sources of third person singular –s inconsistency in children with and without specific language impairment. Journal of Child Language, 42, 786-820.

Leonard, L. (2014). Children with specific language impairment. Second Edition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


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Larry Leonard
Rachel E. Stark Distinguished Professor

Lyles-Porter Hall, Room 3132
Phone: 765-494-3794

Child Language Laboratory


Language Links 2019

Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Lyles-Porter Hall, 715 Clinic Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2122, PH: (765) 494-3789

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