Lauren Fonteyn

Linguist, Illustrator

I am a cognitive linguist interested in using quantitative methods to get a firmer understanding of variation and change in language and culture. Some of my most recent work focusses on grammatical (morpho-syntactic) variation at the level of individual language users: Do native speakers of the same language abide by the same grammatical rules, or can the grammatical knowledge of an individual be unique? Do individuals follow different grammatical rules in different communicative settings? And is it possible to find evidence for ‘grammatical lifespan change’?

My main expertise lies in working with (historical) linguistic/text corpora, and recently I have started exploring how machine learning models can help quantitatively investigate language variation and change, including the perhaps-not-so-easily-quantifiable aspects of language. You will find my publications on these subjects under Publications (both academic and popularizing – scroll down for the latter!). For any questions, you may contact me at my current work e-mail or at my private e-mail.

In my current position at Leiden University, a significant portion of my time is spent on teaching in the English Language and Culture and Linguistics programmes, as well as being part of the Young Academy Leiden. In what little time there is left, I occasionally make illustrations – some to liven up articles, and some just for fun. You’ll find some examples including a link to the accompanying articles under Illustrations.

Short CV

Featured Publications

See here for a complete list of publications.

Current Projects