Frans Hinskens appointed professor of language variation

Date of news: 25 March 2019

Frans Hinskens has been appointed professor by special appointment of language variation and language contact at Radboud University‘s Faculty of Arts with effect from 15 February 2019. Since 2002 Hinskens has been a researcher at the Meertens Institute.

FransHinskensHinskens is an expert in the area of variation linguistics (phonology and sociolinguistics). His research concerns non-standard varieties of Dutch, regiolects and regional varieties of the standard language, Negerhollands (the former Creole language of the Virgin Islands) and Afrikaans.

At Radboud University he will focus on language variation, language contact and language change. Two of his main research interests are the long-term development and spread (in language system and speech community) of sound change and the way in which different languages that coexist in a community for a long time can influence each other. The lines of variation and contact come together in the research of ethnolects, the result of the interaction between manifestations of the dominant language and colonial or migrant languages.

Dialect levelling

Frans Hinskens (Ubach over Worms, 1956) studied Dutch language and literature at Utrecht University and General Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam. In January 1993 he obtained – with honours - his PhD at Radboud University on a study of processes of dialect levelling. From 1998 to 2002 he was full professor of Dutch at the University of Leipzig and from 2003 to 2018 special professor of language variation and language change at the VU Amsterdam.

Previously Hinskens worked as a lecturer and (postdoctoral) researcher at the University of Amsterdam, the Centre for Language Studies and the Centre for German Studies at Radboud University and the National Research School for Linguistics. He collaborated with researchers at universities in a number of countries including England, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Canada and the United States.

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