Lawrence A. Reid holds an MA and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Hawai`i awarded in 1964 and 1966, respectively, as a grantee of the East-West Center in Honolulu. He did undergraduate studies in music at Canterbury College in Christchurch, New Zealand and in theology at the Commonwealth Bible College in Brisbane, Australia.
Reid is a researcher emeritus at the University of Hawai`i, where he taught linguistics for more than thirty years before retiring in 2001. Since 2006, Reid has been a cooperating researcher with the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan where he resides. In 2007 he was an affiliated fellow with the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands.
He is an expert in Austronesian linguistics, and has focused primarily on the description of Philippine languages, their history and development. He has authored numerous books, articles, reviews, and translations. Among the books he has published are An Ivatan Syntax, Central Bontoc: Sentence, Paragraph and Discourse Structures, Philippine Minor Languages: Word Lists and Phonologies, Bontok-English Dictionary, and Guinaang Bontok Texts.
He has been awarded many fellowships, research and travel grants throughout his career and has held visiting research and teaching positions at institutions throughout the Pacific including the University of Auckland, New Zealand, the Australian National University, Thammasaat University in Thailand, De La Salle University in the Philippines, and the Institute for the Study of the Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa in Tokyo, Japan, among others.