I hold a PhD in historical sociolinguistics, and currently teach as an associate professor in the programs in Linguistics and Literary Studies and Applied Linguistics. I’m currently also head of department of Linguistics and Literary Studies, a member of the board of the research council of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, part of the core team of the Flanders Language Platform, and a member of both the Council for Dutch Language and Literature of the Dutch Language Union and the Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal en Letteren (KANTL).
My research interests center around the areas of historical sociolinguistics, language variation and change, corpus-based sociolinguistics, sociology of language, and language planning and policy, both from a contemporary and a historical perspective, and with a special interest in multilingual regions such as Brussels.
My full CV can be consulted here (only in Dutch)
After high school education in Belgium (Maaseik) and the United States (St. Clair Shores, MI), I received my BA and MA in Dutch and English linguistics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. I spent a semester abroad at the University of Wales – Aberystwyth, and graduated summa cum laude with an MA dissertation about social and cognitive aspects of past tense regularization in Dutch.
I then went on to get my PhD at the Center for Linguistics, collaborating closely with Wim Vandenbussche, my dissertation supervisor, and Gijsbert Rutten, who joined our team as a visiting postdoctoral fellow. In 2011, I defended my dissertation in historical sociolinguistics, focusing on language variation, language norms and linguistic identities in 18th and 19th century Southern Dutch. It was awarded the 2012 Prize for Linguistics of the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature.
In 2012, I held the Breughel Chair of Flemish Studies as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, while also teaching a course in Dutch sociolinguistics at the Université de Liège. In 2013, I combined working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the VUB with a lectureship in Dutch and general linguistics at the Erasmus University College Brussels. From 2014 to 2015, I was granted a postdoctoral research fellowship from the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO).
I’m currently an associate professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, teaching courses on Dutch linguistics, historical sociolinguistics and corpus linguistics. I am currently also the head of the department of Linguistics and Literary Studies, and a member of the board of the university’s research council. I am also the coordinator of the FWO-funded research network (WOG) on historical sociolinguistics, an enthusiastic member of the Historical Sociolinguistics Network (HiSoN), and part of the editorial team of the Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics (De Gruyter Mouton). In 2021, I also became a member of the Council for Dutch Language and Literature of the Dutch Language Union (Nederlandse Taalunie) as well as the Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal en Letteren (KANTL), which I combine with my work as a member of the core team of the Flanders Language Platform.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, dining and spending time with my family. I use Dutch, English, French and Spanish on a daily basis, and have basic fluency in German.