I am specialising in historical syntax and language change. For my PhD thesis (Universiteit van Tilburg, NL, 2005), I researched the character, rise and fall of the afinite construction (finite auxiliary ellipsis) in Early New High German. From 2006 to 2009, I worked as a Research Associate on the AHRC funded project The development of negation in the languages of Europe at the University of Cambridge. One of my interests within that project was the development of negation in the history of Low German, and I built a corpus of negative clauses in Middle Low German chancery documents. My book summarising this research was published with OUP in 2014.
Since moving to Ghent in January 2010, I have worked on the interaction between negation and modality (within the GIST project) and the development of the conditional use of modal verbs in West-Germanic (FWO grant #FWO12/PDO/014). On 1 October 2013, I became a professor for Historical German Linguistics at Ghent University.
Together with Liliane Haegeman and Veronique Hoste, I have secured funding from the Hercules foundation for building a parsed Corpus of Historical Low German (CHLG) (2014-2019). From January 2018 onwards, I will use an FWO Research Grant (krediet aan navorser) to start building a Parsed Corpus of Southern Dutch Dialects (with Jacques Van Keymeulen, Anne-Sophie Ghyselen, Miriam Bouzouita, and Liliane Haegeman). Claudia Crocco and I have just been awarded an FWO research project, and are looking to hire a Ph.D.-student to research the influence of prosody on ongoing Jespersen's Cycle in Northern Italian dialects (contact us!).
I am a member of the network project 'Morphosyntactic change through corpora in German and beyond' at the DAAD Research Hub for German Studies at Cambridge University (2016-2018), and a member of the Verein für Niederdeutsche Sprachforschung (VndS). From June 2017 on, I serve the board of the VndS as the editor of the Niederdeutsches Jahrbuch. From October 2018 onwards, I am succeeding Jacques Van Keymeulen as one of the editors of Taal & Tongval.