Research themes

  • Language-Culture

    The Language-Culture project, the interdisciplinary study of “languageculture”, entails an approach in which ideology, and linguistic and cultural forms and practices are studied in relation to each other. The research aims at generating insight into how internalized norms and values, fixed categories, and dominant ideologies interfere with each other, and how they might enhance, or work against, each other in the (unconscious) preferences that people have for certain linguistic and cultural elements. 

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  • Oral culture

    The ethnological focus on oral culture within the Meertens Institute is on folktales and folksongs. In the group Lied- en Verhaalcultuur (“Song and story culture”) research is being conducted into the repertoire of songs and folktales in the Netherlands, and particularly into their national and international tradition, transmission, meaning as well as variation across regional and political borders. 

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  • Everyday Life

    The study of everyday life is central to a number of research projects, which demonstrate several substantial thematic connections. Processes of inclusion and exclusion form the central theme in the broad research project on Dutchness, the research into Black Dutch in the Atlantic world, and the research into Populism, social media and religion

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  • Variable and invariable properties of Dutch

    These projects take a grammatical perspective and aim at determining both which properties of Dutch seem relatively stable and which are relatively variable, both synchronically and diachronically.

  • The history of Dutch language contact

    The history of Dutch language contact is comprised of a number of projects that look at various stages in history to see how standardisation has affected Dutch varieties. It also takes into account historical processes of standardisation, which might be seen as a response to contact.

  • Dutch in contact with other languages

    These projects investigate from a number of perspectives how language contact affects varieties of Dutch in our present time, both in the Netherlands and elsewhere (the latter mostly in a postcolonial context).