Boundaries of language variation
Variation linguistics at the Meertens Institute investigates language diversity as a result of both language-internal and external factors. With this, the linguistic research at the Meertens Institute unites two linguistic research lines which are often separated. On the one hand generative linguistics which looks for the properties all languages have in common on the basis of human cognitive abilities, on the other hand sociolinguistics which studies language variation mainly as a result of external factors. In this way the institute links up with the central scientific discourse on the question as to which parts of human behaviour are determined by human nature and which by the environment (“nurture”).