I am originally from Belgium, where I studied at the University of Leuven. As is usual in Belgium, I completed my BA, MA and PhD at the same university, graduating as doctor in Germanic Languages: Linguistics and Literature in December 2006. My doctoral research discusses the function, form and development of elements such as other, same and similar in English. It was published as a book in Mouton de Gruyter's Topics in English Linguistics series in 2010.
I was fortunate to be granted a series of postdoctoral research scholarships which took me to UC Santa Barbara and Stanford University in California in 2008-2009 (Fulbright scholarship and postdoctoral research fellowship from the Research Foundation Flanders), to the University of Stavanger, Norway in 2011 (Yggdrasil scholarship from the Research Council Norway) and to the Freie Universität Berlin in 2012 (Alexander von Humbolt fellowship). During this time, I wrote a series of articles and book chapters on types and mechanisms of language change, including (secondary) grammaticalization, (inter)subjectification, and structural persistence.
I joined the University of Manchester's Linguistics and English Language department in September 2012.