Monthly Archives: December 2006


Robin Straaijer directed our attention to the site which shows how you can cut a quill from a feather.

PhD positions

Four general positions (Application number 6-272)
LUCL has positions for four paid PhD students (Dutch: promovendi) for research in any field of linguistics in which members of the institute have expertise. To apply, send a preliminary research proposal in English (max. 1,000 words), CV, copies of diplomas and grade lists, names and full contact details of three scholars who could be asked to write a recommendation letter for you, any further documentation (BA, MA and/or M.Phil theses, relevant articles or term papers), as well as a motivation for your choice for Leiden University and LUCL (max. 200 words) to the address below. Both word limits will be strictly enforced. The deadline for application is February 15, 2007. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to send a more detailed proposal around April 1; final decisions are expected around May 15.

For further details, see

NB. This announcement also applies to candidates interested in a PhD position in our VICI-project. For further information, please contact Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade (

Dutch Grammar

Pepijn Hendriks drew our attention to the following website On this website there is currently a discussion going on about the grammatical status of  ‘het meisje met wie’ versus ‘het meisje waarmee’.

Linguistic codification

Codification is, according to Milroy and Milroy (1985:27), one of the final stages in the standardisation process of language. For a detailed description of it, see Terttu’s and my chapter in A History of the English Language. Cambridge: CUP. 271-311, where we define it as "the laying down of rules for the language in grammars and dictionaries which would serve as handbooks for its speakers". This definition we made up for the purpose, as it is not to be found in the OED, nor is the concept defined in The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (Chalker & Weiner, 1994). Not unexpectedly, as OED lists the term in legal use only from the early nineteenth century onwards, the word does not occur in ECCO (in any of its related forms), while a search for it in the ODNB produced 93 hits, 78 of which were related to a legal context. So I’d be interested to hear if anyone could tell more about the history of the word which would link it to language and its standardisation.

Monthly Lunch Meeting

For our 8th Monthly Lunch Meeting Jos Schaeken will present his paper: "Birch-bark Literacy from Medieval Russia: Contents and Contexts."

In this talk, he will introduce a unique collection of private correspondence from Medieval Russia. The documents — written on small pieces of birch-bark — give us a direct insight into every-day life in Novgorod between the middle of the eleventh and fifteenth century.

Everyone who is interested is welcome to attend on Friday 8 December in room 1168/005 from 12 to 1.