Varieties of Initial Learners in Language Acquisition (VILLA)
From October 2011 until October 2014 I worked in the international NWO-funded project Varieties of Initial Learners in Language Acquisition (VILLA). This project investigated the very first hours of foreign language acquisition under controlled input conditions. The target language was Polish; learners were absolute beginners with five different mother tongues (French, German, Dutch, English, Italian). We performed a large series of behavioral experiments at multiple levels of language (phonetic/phonological, lexical, morphosyntactic, pragmatic). As a follow-up we performed a longitudinal EEG study on L2 vocabulary learning by initial German learners of Dutch.
Grammaticalization and (Inter)Subjectification
In 2011 I was part of the research group VALIBEL – Discours et Variation at the Institute of Language and Communication of the Université Catholique de Louvain. In the PAI research project “Grammaticalization and (Inter)Subjectification” I combined quantitative corpus analyses with offline experimental research methods to investigate variation in the meaning and use of discourse markers in Dutch.
From 2006 to 2011 I was a Ph.D. student in the interdisciplinary NWO project ‘Animacy’. In my dissertation (2011) Who’s first and what’s next: animacy and word order variation in Dutch language production I combined quantitative corpus analyses with insights from theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics. I argued that an incremental view on language and sentences is crucial to account for word order variation patterns in Dutch.