Prof. Dr. Leonie Cornips
Sept. - Okt. 2012
Leonie Cornips is senior-research Sociolinguistics and Syntax at the Dept. of Variation Linguistics at the Meertens Instituut (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and Professor “Languageculture in Limburg” at the University of Maastricht. She studies new emerging varieties in Dutch, second and bilingual child acquisition, sociolinguistics (variationist linguistics), language contact and syntactic variation (do-support, double object and reflexive constructions in particular). She has also designed the elicitation methodology and fieldwork for the Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects. She has supervised various projects: the TCULT (languages and cultures in the Utrecht neighbourhood Lombok and Transvaal)-project (1998-2002), Early Child Bilingualism-project (2008-2010; international NWO project, together with Prof. A. Hulk, Prof. A, Sorace and Prof. I. Tsimpli; PI Dr. S. Unsworth), the COAVA- (Cognition, Acquisition and Variation Tool, 2011-2012)-project and the NWO Rubicon project ‘Dialect levelling in an expatriate community? Exploring Japanese negation in the Netherlands (PI Dr. A. Strycharz).
Currently, she is examining the construction of local identities through language in Limburg in The Netherlands (together with Dr. Vincent de Rooij (UvA), Dr. Irene Stengs (Meertens Institute) and PhD Lotte Thissen (UM/supervision).
This projects aims to describe how in peripheral and border areas local cultural and linguistic elements and identities may be imagined, claimed and (re-)invented under the the simultaneity of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies. Due to a tremendous increase in the categories of migrants, various European societies have changed dramatically into multicultural and multilingual societies. As a consequence, people are having increasing and complex contacts with ‘others’, which may result in what is called regionalism. Although dialects are traditionally seen as something that anchors people in a local context it is, by the existence of migration and globalisation, a tool for mobility and something translocal. It is questioned whether there is a connection between a speech community and a set of established, and shared, forms of knowledge of languages and language norms (Blommaert (2010: 382). Since globalisation does not only affect dominant areas, we need a new understanding of language and identities in peripheral areas in Europe. In this context, the main question will be how alternative and local identities are articulated through language vis-à-vis normative national standards.