13 May 2019

Hans Van de Velde appointed professor of 'Sociolinguistics, with special attention to the language situation in Fryslân'

Prof. dr. Hans van de Velde. Foto: Jacob van Essen
Prof. Hans van de Velde. Photo: Jacob van Essen

On 1 May 2019, Hans Van de Velde has been appointed professor of 'Sociolinguistics, with special attention to the language situation in Fryslân', for one day a week. The chair is housed in the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication and is closely linked to the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics (UiL OTS). Van de Velde is affiliated with the Fryske Akademy and the chair is made possible with support from the Frysk Akademyfûns.

Van de Velde is a senior researcher in sociolinguistics at the Fryske Akademy, a research institute into the Frisian language, culture and history in Leeuwarden. He leads projects in the field of language variation and language change, sociophonetics, language contact, multilingualism, lexicography and digital language tools.

Research into Frisian

His chair links research into Frisian and the other language varieties of the Fryske Akademy spoken in Fryslân, with scientific research and education at the Faculty of Humanities. He will also pay attention to the use of experimental research methods in sociolinguistic research.

Hans Van de Velde

Hans Van de Velde (1969) studied Germanic Philology at the University of Ghent and obtained a PhD in linguistics at Radboud University Nijmegen (1996). From 1997 to 2002 he was affiliated with the Université libre de Bruxelles. In 2000 he gave his first courses at Utrecht University, where in 2002 he became a lecturer-researcher in sociolinguistics at the Linguistics department of Utrecht University. In 2014 he became a senior researcher in sociolinguistics at the Fryske Akademy.

Visiting professor

Van de Velde was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Florida, Université Catholique de Louvain and Nanjing University. In 2004 he received the Young Teacher Talent prize from Utrecht University. He is a member of the editorial board of the Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde (Dutch), a board member of the National Research School for Linguistics and chairman of the Transcending Panel at the Research Foundation - Flanders.

Language variation and change

His research interests are mainly in the field of language variation and language change and sociophonetics. He has always shown great interest in Dutch, variation in standard varieties and the sound r. Since a few years he has also focused on Frisian and Fryslân. With Wilbert Heeringa, he developed Visible Vowels, an online tool for clinker normalization and visualization.