LOT organises training of graduate students in linguistics
LOT is the acronym of ‘Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap’ and unites 400 faculty members and 150 PhD students, and 150 Research Master students.
LOT organises the training of graduate students in linguistics. Each year, a LOT Winter School is held in January and a LOT Summer School takes place in June/July. Another important branch of LOT is the dissertation series: all LOT graduate students can publish their dissertation with LOT.
LOT was officially established in June 1994 by the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW- Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences). The LOT school series soon acquired an international reputation as a result of inviting well-known linguists to teach at the schools.
The research by the LOT institutes covers all major areas of linguistics, and exploits a wide range of methodological tools and theoretical frameworks. Recent evaluations of participating institutes and of LOT itself are outstanding, and corroborate the excellent quality of linguistic research in the Netherlands.
LOT is one of the 16 national graduate schools in the humanities united in LOGOS, the Council of Dutch Research Schools in the Humanities.
LOT is based at the University of Amsterdam.
Scientific mission of LOT
Man’s ability to use language to communicate requires the ability to structure knowledge, to produce and interpret linguistic resources, and use them in context. This ability is normally developed in childhood (language acquisition). The estimated number of languages spoken worldwide is roughly 6000, most of them not mutually intelligible and many of them displaying rich dialectal variation, which multiplies the diversity. Progress in our understanding of language and its role in fulfilling the communicative needs of a complex, often multilingual society is only possible through an analysis of all the different factors involved. Results are relevant to education, language & speech technology and healthcare. Research in LOT focuses on the following issues: “What are the cognitive faculties that underlie the structure, acquisition and use of human language?”, “What principles govern interaction through language?”, “How are these properties of language embedded in a broader social context?”
The aim of LOT is to create a scientific community in which this research can be optimally pursued, and to educate the next generation of researchers with an open mind toward new disciplinary and interdisciplinary developments, theoretical and methodological alternatives, and possible applications. LOT stimulates new initiatives and developments in research, and provides a national forum to further communication between the participating institutes with a view to short- and long-term collaboration. LOT enhances an effective curriculum for graduate students in linguistics committed to excellence with an optimal combination of national and local educational activities. International communication is stimulated for the benefit of research and education.
Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication
The Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC) is a research institute of the University of Amsterdam, in which researchers studying linguistics in its broadest sense collaborate. The ACLC focuses on the study of both functionally and formally oriented linguistic research. The strength of ACLC is the broadness of its research and the interaction between the different types of approaches.
Leiden University Centre for Linguistics
LUCL is a research institute and graduate school of the linguists at the Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University. It unites the linguistic research and teaching at Leiden University. LUCL is also responsible for the Academic Language Centre as well as for most language teaching within the Faculty.
Center for Language Studies Nijmegen
The Nijmegen Centre for Language Studies (CLS; www.ru.nl/cls) is part of the Radboud University’s Faculty of Arts. Its researchers work in interdisciplinary teams focusing on language systems and their variation, language processing and cognition, discourse and communication, and first and second language acquisition. They investigate language in all its modalities, from speech and text to gestures, signs, and images. CLS highly values diversity in research techniques, applying observational, behavioural and neurocognitive methods, as well as computational modelling and automatic analysis of collections of text, speech and signs.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Department of Language, Literature & Communication
Linguistic research of the faculty of Humanities at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA) is highly cross-disciplinary in its orientation and organisation. Linguistic researchers are members of the interdisciplinary and cross-faculty Network Institute. Research centers within the Network Institute put this this cross-disciplinary approach into practice, e.g. the Amsterdam Gesture Center, the Language and Hearing Center Amsterdam and the Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab. Focal areas of linguistic research are English as a second language, multimodal communication, linguistic typology, language use in medical and forensic settings, computer modelling of natural language, and language acquisition in children with hearing difficulties.
Center for Language and Cognition Groningen
The Center for Language and Cognition Groningen is a research institute within the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. It is the institutional home for all the linguistic research carried out within the faculty. CLCG is also affiliated with various research schools. These are are Dutch organisations which seek to coordinate scientific activity on a supra-faculty or even national, level.
Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
The Utrecht institute of Linguistics OTS is a research institute of the Faculty of Arts of Utrecht University. UiL OTS aims at developing scientific expertise in the systems underlying language, speech and their use. It sets out to achieve this goal by carrying out a research programme comprising fundamental research in these areas, by furthering the application of the insights thus obtained, and by offering a high-quality graduate programme to qualified PhD-students. UiL OTS participates in the national research schools LOT: the Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics and also participates in the graduate Network Logica.
Meertens Instituut (KNAW)
The Meertens Institute, established in 1926, has been a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, KNAW) since 1952. We study the diversity in language and culture in the Netherlands. Our focus is on contemporary research into factors that play a role in determining social identities in the Dutch society. Our main fields are: 1. ethnological study of the function, meaning and coherence of cultural expressions 2. structural, dialectological and sociolinguistic study of language variation within Dutch in the Netherlands, with the emphasis on grammatical and onomastic variation. The results of our research are presented in a number of publications. The institute also publishes its own books. We also organise workshops, symposiums and conferences on a regular basis. Apart from research, the institute also concerns itself with documentation and providing information to third parties in the field of Dutch language and culture. We possess a large library, with numerous collections and a substantive documentation system, of which databases are a substantive part.
Department of Communication and Information Sciences Tilburg University
The Department of Communication and information sciences hosts about 50 staff members, who are working in the broad field of communication and information studies. Research interests include human aspects of information technology, knowledge representation, discourse studies, non verbal communication, multimodal communication. The department hosts a newly established center of Creative Computing (Tilburg center of Creative Computing TICC). In the field of teaching, the department is responsible for a flourishing teaching programme Communication and Information Sciences, with each year about 100 new bachelor students, 60 premaster students and about 100 master students.
Department of Culture Studies Tilburg University
The Department of Culture Studies is a junction of the former groups of Intercultural Communication and General Cultural Sciences. Members of the department teach courses in the bachelor and master’s programme’s Intercultural Communication and General Cultural Sciences and the Research Master’s Programme in Language and Communication of the Faculty of Humanities. Within the interfaculty Centre for Studies of the Multicultural Society: Babylon, the department participates in the minor programme Studies of the Multicultural Society and the master track Organisation of Cultural Diversity.
Fryske Akademy, Department of Linguistics
Since its creation in 1938, the Fryske Akademy has conducted fundamental and applied scientific research into the Frisian language, history, and culture. The institute is based in Leeuwarden (Ljouwert), and our work is made possible by the support of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Province of Fryslân. The Fryske Akademy is the expert centre for the Frisian language and is happy to share its language databases, academic library and expert knowledge with other scholars. We develop digital tools for both researchers and everyday language users. In addition, the Fryske Akademy has a long-standing tradition in multilingual education and minority languages and has ample experience with language policy advice. With its bi- and trilingual schools, two official languages (Dutch and Frisian), hundreds of thousands of bilingual speakers, and a number of contact varieties, Frisia is a natural laboratory for the study of multilingualism and language contact.
LOT collaborates with a number of other graduate schools and research institutes on curricular matters, knowledge utilisation and research infrastructure. These include:
- Center for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN), Groningen University
- Dutch Lexicology Institute (INL), Leiden University
- Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
LOT collaborates with the following universities on curricular matters:
LOT senior researchers are prominent members of the international linguistic community. For international collaborations of various research groups, see the institutional websites.
LOT actively promotes sharing of knowledge between academics and a professional and general public. As these actions target a Dutch audience, most of these outreach activities are carried out in Dutch.
During every LOT school, one of the international instructors delivers the Schultink Lecture. The lecture is named after Henk Schultink (1924-2017), who played a central role in founding LOT.
The member institutes of LOT jointly finance popular science articles on Linguistics at the NEMO Kennislink website. This website is dedicated to making results of scientific research accessible to the lay audience, and is especially popular with students from secondary schools.
Every year LOT awards a prize for a product that makes results of linguistics research accessible for a broad audience. The jury consists of linguist researchers and other language professionals, such as journalists, editors, and bloggers. The product may take any kind of shape: books, journals, websites, radio or TV programs, course materials, articles, etc. The prize is awarded during the Grote Taaldag (see below).
De Grote Taaldag
De Grote Taaldag is organised by LOT in cooperation with the Linguistics Association of the Netherlands (AVT) and the Dutch Association for Applied Linguistics (Anéla). This day combines the AVT TIN-dag (Linguistics-in-the-Netherlands day), and the Anéla TTiN-dag (Applied-Linguistics-in-the-Netherlands day), with the Taalgala (Language-Gala). During the Taalgala the AVT/Anéla Dissertation Prize and the LOT-Popularisation prize are awarded.
Other outreach activities in The Netherlands that target language are:
The Taalportaal (Language portal), which offers scientific grammars of Dutch, Frisian, and Afrikaans (in English).
The LOT management structure involves a director, a board, a management committee and a curriculum committee.
The LOT director is responsible for the school’s daily affairs. Tasks include drafting research plans, graduate programs, and the annual report, and submitting these to the board for approval. He/she is also responsible for the school’s budget. The director functions as secretary to the board, and participates in the board meetings.
The present director of the school is Prof. dr. Kees Hengeveld.
The LOT board is responsible for all activities and initiatives undertaken in the context of the graduate school. The board’s formal tasks are:
- to approve a general research plan, once every 5 years, and short term research actions;
- to approve a general graduate programme for LOT-students and a specific curriculum proposal twice a year;
- to approve the annual budget for the school.
The board must have at least one representative of each of the participating institutes, who elect a chair person from their midst. The members of the present board are:
Prof. dr. Sjef Barbiers (Leiden), chair
Prof. dr. Onno Crasborn (Nijmegen)
Prof. dr. Nicoline van der Sijs (Meertens Instituut)
Prof. dr. Judith Rispens (Amsterdam-UvA)
Prof. dr. Fons Maes (Tilburg)
Prof. dr. Jack Hoeksema (Groningen)
Prof. dr. Aoju Chen (Utrecht)
Prof. dr. Martine Coene (Amsterdam-VU)
Dr. Hans Van de Velde (Fryske Akademy)
Dr. Evelyn Bosma (post-doc, Fryske Akademy)
The LOT management committee executes the various activities and plans determined or approved by the board. The committee consists of the directors of each of the institutes/groups and meets on a regular basis. The management committee is chaired by the LOT director. The members of the present management committee are:
Prof. dr. Kees Hengeveld (LOT)
Prof. dr. Marc Swerts (Tilburg)
Prof. dr. Frank Wijnen (Utrecht)
Prof. dr. Antal van den Bosch (Meertens Instituut)
Prof. dr. Gertjan van Noord (Groningen)
Prof. dr. Niels Schiller (Leiden)
Prof. dr. Paul Boersma (Amsterdam-UvA)
Prof. dr. Mirjam Ernestus (Nijmegen)
Drs. Willem Smink (Fryske Akademy)
The LOT curriculum committee assists in the development and co-ordination of the LOT graduate program. It consists of representatives of each of the participating institutes/groups, and two representatives of the graduate students, who are each year changing according to the local organisations of the upcoming LOT Schools. The committee also has a general curriculum coordinator, who acts as secretary to the committee. This position is held by drs Brigit van de Pas. The present curriculum committee consists of:
Prof. dr. Ad Backus (Tilburg)
Dr. Freek Van de Velde (Leuven)
Dr. Marianne Starren (Nijmegen)
Dr. Petra Bos (Amsterdam -VU)
Dr. Maaike Schoorlemmer (Utrecht)
Dr. Silke Hamann (Amsterdam – UvA)
Dr. Angeliek van Hout (Groningen)
Dr. Gijsbert Rutten (Leiden)
The organisational tasks for the graduate program, including the Summer and Winter schools, are jointly carried out by the curriculum coordinator, drs Brigit van der Pas and the director of LOT, prof. dr. Kees Hengeveld.
The LOT-office is formed by the following staff members:
Director – Prof. Dr Kees Hengeveld
Coordinator – Drs Brigit van der Pas
Secretariat – Janacy van Duijn Genet