Researcher from Fryske Akademy to America to research language change

Researcher from Fryske Akademy to America to research language change

Voeten receives a Rubicon Scholarship to gain research experience abroad. He will spend two years at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States for his research.

The scholarship is awarded by the NWO (Netherlands Scientific Research Organization) to Dutch scientists who have recently obtained a Ph.D.

Voeten, in collaboration with linguists and biologists, will study language change from an evolutionary perspective in his research. Using techniques from biology and linguistics, he will analyze a large database of vowel changes in the Philadelphia dialect.


As a postdoctoral researcher, he is affiliated with the “Frisian Laboratory Sociolinguistics” project of the Friske Academy. The aim of this project is to map linguistic diversity and language changes in Frisian and to reveal the underlying mechanisms.

The knowledge and experience that Voeten will gain will also be used in linguistic research (laboratory) in the Frisian language, and will contribute to the development of the infrastructure of Frisian knowledge.

change the language

The clearer picture of the reasons for the language change that the project should provide makes it easier to predict the aspects of variation (including Frisian) that could lead to language changes, and the factors that should be closely monitored by language technology applications.

In this way, the initial changes and changes currently underway can be detected and investigated at an early stage. This makes it possible to make applications of language technology more amenable to future potential and ongoing changes in the Frisian language.

Projects such as the Friesian speech recognizer benefit from the ability to respond to potential changes in a timely manner.

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