The renowned Dutch linguist C.B. van Haeringen showed in his 1956 book ‘Nederlands tussen Duits en Engels’ that Dutch not only holds the middle ground between German and English with respect to the area where it is spoken, but is also ‘in between’ these languages in a highly systematic way when it comes to its linguistic structure. Though Van Haeringen’s account of this ‘Germanic Sandwich’ pattern focused on how Dutch historically drifted towards more analytic structures, later comparative investigations expanded this work considerably, adding more linguistic phenomena, highlighting structural and typological patterns and differences, and exploring psycho- and sociolinguistic explanations as well.

Previous editions

The original sandwich was held in Berlin in 2005 to commemorate Van Haeringen’s book, and led to a conference series devoted to the comparative study of Dutch, German and English.

  1. Berlin (September 30–October 1, 2005)
  2. Sheffield (September 12–13, 2008)
  3. Oldenburg (September 17–18, 2010)
  4. Leuven (January 11–12, 2013)
  5. Nottingham (April 24–25, 2015)
  6. Münster (March 16–18, 2017)


The Meertens Insitute and the University of Amsterdam are hosting the next meeting on May 23-24, 2019. See you in Amsterdam!