QLVL members - Eline Zenner
Eline Zenner studied Germanic Languages (Dutch-English) at the University of Leuven from 2003 until 2007. She started her education with an interest in literature, but she soon developed a passion for linguistics and consequently decided to specialise in the field. Holding a doctoral scholarship, she is currently working on a PhD. Her main research interests lie in the fields of quantitative lexicology and sociolinguistics.
Phone: ++32 16 32 48 20
Fax: ++32 16 32 47 67
Surface mail: Department of Linguistics, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21 PO Box 3308, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium
Office: room 02.25 of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Leuven
Eline?s PhD inquires into the issue of sociolexicology by studying the use of English items in Dutch. The main goals are to find out which factors determine the choice between lexical alternatives (e.g. jeans vs. spijkerbroek) and how new lexical items enter a language. Eline conducts four separate case studies on these issues.
The first two studies inquire into the use of English person reference nouns and their Dutch alternatives (e.g. designer vs. ontwerper) in two large Dutch corpora, containing newspaper articles from 1999 to 2005. In the first study, Eline uses the profile-based method of onomasiological variation (Geeraerts, Grondelaers & Speelman 1999) to determine variation in the success of 100 of these anglicisms and to investigates which conceptual, word-related and lectal features account for this variation. In the second study, the issue of semantic and stylistic specialization is tackled, by scrutinizing the use of two near-synonyms, junkie and verslaafde
The third study is based on a job application database built by Eline, which contains over 16 000 function titles from two Dutch job ad magazines. The database not only allows Eline to take a diachronic perspective (magazines from 1970 to 2008 were consulted), it also allows her to focus on the importance of formal structure for the use of English. Specifically, Eline will verify which semantic or formal slots of the function title typically contain English elements.
The final study aims at uncovering the determinants for entry and survival of English multi-word units in Dutch (e.g. as good as it gets). Firstly, Eline wants to find out how and what kinds of fixed phrases enter the Dutch language (e.g. catchphrases vs. idioms). Secondly, she wishes to ascertain what set of variables can explain which of these phrases effectively become part of the Dutch lexicon.
In all studies, regression analyses are conducted in order to grasp the true effect of all the annotated factors and the interaction between them.
The following publications are representative of Eline's research. The rest of her published work can be found in the QLVL publication list.
Van de Velde, F., Zenner, E. (2010). "Pimp my Lexis: het nut van corpusonderzoek in normatief taaladvies." In: Hendrickx E., Hendrickx K., Martin W., Smessaert H., Van Belle W., Van der Horst J. (Eds.), Liever meer of juist minder? Over normen en variatie in taal (pp. 51-68). Gent:. Academia press.
Zenner, E., D. Speelman and D. Geeraerts. 2010. "What makes a catchphrase catchy? Possible determinants in the borrowability of English catchphrases in Dutch." Pre-published paper for the Laud Symposium on Cognitive Sociolinguistics, Landau, Germany, 15-18 March 2010.
Zenner, E., D. Geeraerts and D. Speelman. 2009. "Expeditie tussentaal: leeftijd, identiteit en context in 'Expeditie Robinson'." Nederlandse taalkunde 14 (1), 26-44.