Ted (T.J.M.) Sanders is Professor of Dutch language use and discourse studies at the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication at the Faculty of Humanities at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Since September 2022, he has been Vice Dean of Research and Impact in the Faculty Board. Before that (2016-2022), he was Vice Dean of Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School of Humanities, and the first head of the Department Languages, Literature and Communication (TLC, 2012-2016). From 2005 to 2011, he led an NWO-VICI project about causality and subjectivity in discourse and cognition. 


In the past few years, among others, he led the Master’s evaluation within Humanities and, together with colleagues from Humanities and Medicine, initiated the Msc program: Medical Humanities: Geneeskundige en Geesteswetenschappelijke perspectieven op gezondheid


In his research, which is embedded in the program of the Institute for Language Sciences (ILS), he focuses on coherence in text, discourse, and cognition. He uses various research methods, at the interface of linguistics and social sciences: theory, corpus analysis, text analysis, questionnaires, and experimental research on reading processes (reaction times and eye-tracking) and text comprehension. Together with colleagues, he developed CCR, a cognitive approach to coherence relations (read more about this on the research page).


In addition, together with colleagues, he investigates readability and comprehensibility: which factors determine the comprehensibility of a text? For this purpose, he co-initiated and led the national research program Comprehensible Language and Effective Communication, funded by NWO and various societal partners (2011-2016). He has also done consulting work and contract research in this field. 


Together with co-authors, he has published on these issues in several edited books and international journals, such as Cognitive Linguistics, Discourse Processes, Dialogue & Discourse, Journal of Child language, Journal of Pragmatics, Language and Cognitive processes, Language Testing, Metacognition and Learning, Reading and Writing, Text & Talk, Written Communication, and in Dutch journals such as Didactief, Gramma/TTT, Nederlandse Taalkunde, Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, Tekstblad, Levende Talen, and Onze Taal. 


He was also (co-)editor of special issues of Cognitive Linguistics (2001), Discourse Processes (2004), and Journal of Pragmatics (2011). Together with Joost Schilperoord and Wilbert Spooren, he edited the book Text Representation: Linguistic and psycholinguistic approaches (Benjamins, 2001). He was also editor of Causal Categories in Discourse and Cognition (Mouton de Gruyter, 2009), together with Eve Sweetser (UC Berkeley).  


Dutch language use and discourse studies
Inaugural lecture date