I'm a corpus linguist working on the grammar of English. The main descriptive domain I have studied is the noun phrase. I am both interested in the synchronic description of the grammatical system, as well as in diachronic changes to that system. The main questions I seek to answer in my research are:
- what are the processes involved in language change?
- how can we identify and study these processes in corpus data?
- how is the current grammatical system shaped by historical systems and changes affecting them?
The answers I put forward are grounded in cognitive and functional theories of language. The grammatical system is motivated by its communicative purpose and changes have to based in general cognitive principles. Specific topics I am interested in are reference and deixis, subjectivity and subjectification, lexical and syntactic persistence, the continuum from lexical to grammatical meaning, the interaction between function and form.
The main research grants I've been awarded are:
2007 Three year Postdoctoral Fellowship (Research Foundation Flanders - FWO)
2008 Fulbright-Hays Award for Visiting Scholars at the University of California Santa Barbara and at Stanford University (Fulbright Comission Belgium)
2011 Yggdrasil Grant at the University of Stavanger (Norwegian Research Council)
2012 Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers at the Free University Berlin (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation)
2016 AHRC Leadership Fellowship for the project 'A methodology for qualitative analysis of historical corpus data: New insights about language change from a micro-analytical approach'