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Internal projects

Below you will find a list of projects of staff members of the research group Variationist Linguistics. This concerns projects that are financed internally and performed by members of the group. A number of these projects are of longer, partly permanent duration.

Backgrounds of Modern First Name Giving

Coordinators: Dr D. Gerritzen
Research participants: ditto
Term: 2005-2010
Brief description:
The research focuses on backgrounds of modern first name giving, particularly on linguistic aspects, motives, paying attention to the role of naming children after idols and relatives, to social, ethnic and geographical distribution, etc.

Phonological Variation of Dutch Dialects

Coordinators: Dr B. Hermans, Prof. F.L.M.P. Hinskens, Dr M. van Oostendorp
Research participants: ditto
Term: 2005-2010
Brief description:
The research extends to segmental variation within the Dutch language area. On the one hand, the emphasis is on the contribution that the study of this variation can make to the insight into segmental representation. On the other hand, this study focuses on a widening and sharpening of the concept of ‘dialect distance’.

Segment Structure and Modification

Coordinators: Prof. F.L.M.P. Hinskens
Research participants: Dr M. van Oostendorp, Dr J. van de Weijer
Term: 2005-2010
Brief description:
Research into the internal structure of phonological segments in connection with natural classes, with special attention to complex segments, on the basis of the distribution of segment modification (secondary articulation, phonation and (pre)nasalization). The research concerns the natural languages of the world, and more in particular the quota sample (n=317) in Maddieson 1984.

Foot-Internal Power Relations

Coordinators: Dr B. Hermans, Dr M. van Oostendorp
Research participants: Dr B. Hermans
Term: 2006-2010
Brief description:
The history of West Germanic languages knows processes that strengthen stressed vowels, but also processes that weaken unstressed vowels. In the continental tradition, no connection between these two types of processes has ever been acknowledged. In the English tradition, however, it is frequently claimed that there is a kind of compensatory relationship between strengthening and weakening: a foot becomes unbalanced in the sense that the weight increasingly shifts from the unstressed, weak position to the stressed, strong position. This hypothesis raises a number of interesting, new questions, which makes it interesting in itself. In the project ‘Foot-internal power relations’, an attempt is being made to find answers to some of these questions on the basis of developments in Old Germanic (Old English, Old High German, and, to some extent, Gothic) and Middle Dutch.

Agreement Relations

Coordinators: Prof. H.J. Bennis
Research participants: ditto
Term: 2005-2010
Brief description:
The phenomenon of ‘agreement’ is a central theme in theoretical linguistics. It is commonly known that agreement relations, like concord between the subject and the finite verb or between the noun and the adjective, show an extensive amount of variation. The aim of this project is to gain insight into the extent and the nature of variation in this field and the theoretical consequences of this.

New Varieties of the Dutch Language

Coordinators: Dr L. Cornips
Research participants: ditto
Term: 2005-2010
Brief description:
(i) ‘Ethnic’ Dutch
Research into syntactic variation in ‘ethnic’ varieties of Dutch, such as Moroccan Dutch, Turkish Dutch and Surinamese Dutch, building on TCULT research (1998-2002). An important component of this project is the research into so-called street language or youth language. The aim of the project is to map out street language/youth language both in a linguistic sense and in an anthropological sense, on the basis of research into the linguistic diversity of young people with different ethnic backgrounds in the larger cities of the Netherlands.
(ii) Regional Dutch (Limburg)
Long-term research focusing on syntactic variation and change in the Limburgish dialects and in Limburgian Dutch.
(iii) Bilingual acquisition of Dutch
This subproject investigates the possible structural similarities and differences between young children acquiring the Dutch language as a first language (monolingual children) and those who acquire it as a second language (bilingual children). The L1 of the bilingual children could for instance be Turkish, Moroccan Arabic or a Limburgian dialect.

Language Change and Language Contact

Coordinators: Dr G. Postma
Research participants: ditto
Term: 2005-2010
Brief description:
An important cause of language change is language contact. In situations of language contact, characteristics of dialects can be taken over by other dialects (derivation) or penetrate them (substrate interference). Not all language change, however, can be characterized as such. This project uses a theoretical perspective to focus on the nature of syntactic language change (for instance in the case of the pronominal system and in the case of negation) and on the explanation which is to be given for this. This project constitutes the development of both linguistic and geographical-diachronic scenarios for language change.

GTRPraat: Sound recordings of the Goeman-Taeldeman-Van Reenen-Project

Coordinator: Prof. P. Th. van Reenen
Research participants: Drs B. van den Berg, Drs J.P. Kunst, Drs A.P. van Reenen-Jongkind
Term: 2009-2010
Brief description:
At this moment 613 dialects of the Goeman-Taeldeman-Van Reenen-Project are available on internet as phonetic transcriptions. The aim of the project is to add the corresponding sound fragments to the phonetic transcriptions by means of  the program PRAAT and to make them accessible to the users of the internet.