Sie sind hier: FRIAS School of Language & … Fellows Prof. Dr. Hubert Cuyckens

Prof. Dr. Hubert Cuyckens

Universität Leuven
Nov. 2011 - Feb. 2012


Hubert Cuyckens studied Germanic Languages (Dutch and English), with a specialization in linguistics at the University of Antwerp.
After obtaining his MA in 1979, he worked as a research fellow of the National Fund of Scientific Research and then as a teaching assistant at the University of Antwerp. He completed his Ph.D. in 1991, and stayed on at the University of Antwerp combining his research into the semantics of prepositions with an almost full-time job as a teacher of English. In 1997-98, he spent one year at the University of Hamburg as a Humboldt Research Fellow. Since October 1998, he has held a tenured appointment at the University of Leuven as a professor of English language and linguistics.
His recent research and teaching is mainly concerned with issues in the diachrony of English, from a cognitive-functional and usage-based perspective, and in particular with grammaticalization and complementation in the history of English. Since 2007, he has been principal investigator (with Kristin Davidse) of the interuniversity research project 'Grammaticalization and (Inter)subjectification' (GRAMIS). Hubert Cuyckens is the (co-)editor of several volumes in the domains of lexical semantics, cognitive linguistics, and adpositions. He is co-editor (with Dirk Geeraerts) of The Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics.


Publikationen (Auswahl)

Monographien und Herausgeberschaften

  • Van linden, An, Jean-Christophe Verstraete & Kristin Davidse, in collaboration with Hubert Cuyckens. 2010. Formal Evidence in Grammaticalization Research. (Typological Studies in Language 94). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Davidse, Kristin, Lieven Vandelanotte & Hubert Cuyckens. 2010. Subjectification, Intersubjectification and Grammaticalization. (Topics in English Linguistics, 66). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Dirk Geeraerts & Hubert Cuyckens. 2007. Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Paperback version published in 2010)
  • Cuyckens, Hubert, Walter de Mulder & Tanja Mortelmans. 2005. Adpositions of movement (Belgian Journal of Linguistics 18). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.


  • Cuyckens, Hubert, Kristin Davidse & Lieven Vandelanotte. 2010. “Introduction”. In: Kristin Davidse, Lieven Vandelanotte & Hubert Cuyckens (eds.), Subjectification, Intersubjectification and Grammaticalization. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 1-25.
  • Heyvaert, Liesbet & Hubert Cuyckens. 2010. ” Finite and gerundive complementation in Modern and Present-day English: Semantics, variation and change.” In: Margaret Winters, Helli Tissari & Kathryn Allan(eds.), Historical cognitive linguistics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 132-159.
  • Petré, Peter & Hubert Cuyckens. 2009. “Constructional change in Old and Middle English copular constructions and its impact on the lexicon.” Folia Linguistica Historica 30: 311-366.
  • Van linden, An, Jean-Christophe Verstraete & Hubert Cuyckens. 2008. “The semantic development of essential and crucial. Paths to deontic meaning.” English Studies 89: 226-247.
  • Petré, Peter & Hubert Cuyckens. 2008. “Bedusted, yet not beheaded: The role of be-'s constructional properties in its conservation.” In: Alexander Bergs en Gabriele Diewald (eds.), Constructions and language change. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 133-170.
  • Petré, Peter & Hubert Cuyckens. 2008. “The Old English copula weorðan and its replacement in Middle English.” In: Maurizio Gotti, Marina Dossena & and Richard Dury (eds.), English Historical Linguistics 2006: Volume I: Syntax and Morphology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 23-48.
  • De Smet, Hendrik & Hubert Cuyckens. 2007. “Diachronic aspects of complementation: Constructions, entrenchment, and the matching problem.” In: Christopher Cain & Geoffrey Russom (eds.), Shaking the tree: Fresh perspectives on the genealogy of English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 187-213.
  • Cuyckens, Hubert & Hendrik De Smet. 2007. “For…to-infinitives from Early to Late Modern English.” In J. Pérez-Guerra, D. Gonzalez-Alvarez, J.L. Bueno-Alonso, and E. Rama-Martinez (eds.), ‘Of Varying Language and Opposing Creed’: New Insights into Late Modern English. Frankfurt: Lang, pp. 77-102
  • De Smet, Hendrik & Hubert Cuyckens. 2005. “Pragmatic strengthening and the meaning of complement constructions: The case of like and love with the to-infinitive.” Journal of English Linguistics 33: 3-34.
  • Cuyckens, Hubert, Walter de Mulder & Tanja Mortelmans. 2005. “Introduction”. Belgian Journal of Linguistics 18: v-vii.



A corpus-based analysis of variation and change in the English system of verb complementation: A probabilistic view

The topic of this research project is syntactic variation and change in the system of clausal verb complementation in English, addressing alternation patterns such as I don’t regret helping her start out vs. I don’t regret that I helped her start out. In particular, its aims are:

  • to offer a corpus-based analysis of complement-clause variation (i.e. finite that-clauses alternating with non-finite gerundial -ing-clauses and to-infinitive clauses) with (selected types of) complement taking predicates (e.g., factive verb – admit, regret, suasive verbs – suggest, intend; cf. Quirk et al. 1985);
  • drawing on richly annotated data sets and state-of-the-art statistical methodology to identify the relative weight of, as well as the change in, the factors determining this complement-clause variation.

This complement-clause variability is investigated (i) diachronically (encompassing the periods from Early Modern English (EModE) to Present-day English (PDE)), and (ii) in a number of spoken and written genres. Importantly, the focus is on probabilistic rather than categorical variation. That is, complement-clause patterns with a matrix verb will be viewed as preferences rather than as clear-cut regularities (in line with Bresnan and Ford‘s 2010 study on regional variation). This study, then, is meant as a contribution to the domain of probabilistic linguistics (cf. Bod et al. 2003).