Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Biographical information

My full curriculum vitae can be consulted here (only in Dutch)

As an assistant professor at the department of Linguistics and Literary Studies and the department of Applied Linguistics, I teach various BA and MA courses on Dutch linguistics, language variation and change, corpus linguistics and language contact. My recent research focuses on orality and literacy in eighteenth-century Southern Dutch.

After high school education in Belgium (Maaseik) and the United States (St. Clair Shores, MI), I received my BA and MA in Dutch and English linguistics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. After spending a semester abroad at the University of Wales - Aberystwyth, I graduated summa cum laude with an MA dissertation about social and cognitive aspects of past tense regularization in Dutch.

Between 2008 and 2011, I worked as a PhD researcher at the Center for Linguistics of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, collaborating closely with Wim Vandenbussche, my dissertation supervisor, and Gijsbert Rutten, who joined our team as a visiting postdoctoral fellow. In 2011, I defended my PhD dissertation in historical sociolinguistics, focusing on language variation, language norms and linguistic identities in 18th and 19th century Southern Dutch. My dissertation was awared the 2012 Prize for Linguistics of the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature.

In 2012, I held the Breughel Chair of Flemish Studies as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, while also teaching a course in Dutch sociolinguistics at the Université de Liège. In 2013, I combined working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Linguistics of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, with a lectureship in Dutch and general linguistics at the Erasmus University College Brussels. From 2014 to 2015, I was granted a postdoctoral research fellowship from the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO).

I am a founding member and coordinator of the Society for the Study of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815-1830), and the secretary of the Linguistics section of the Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse Maatschappij voor Taal-, Letterkunde en Geschiedenis. My research interests include (historical) sociolinguistics, language variation and change in Dutch, and language planning and contact in the Low Countries.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, traveling and dining. I use Dutch, English, French and Spanish on a near-daily basis, and have basic fluency in German.



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Rik Vosters
Vrije Universiteit Brussel • Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte • Pleinlaan 2 • 1050 Brussel • Belgium
Tel.: 02 629.27.73 • Fax: 02 629.36.84 • Rik.Vosters@vub.ac.be