QLVL members - Tom Ruette
Tom Ruette studied Dutch and English at the University of Leuven. During his Erasmus exchange at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, he decided to specialize further in Linguistics by entering the MA Linguistics program in Leuven. Right now, Tom is working towards a PhD by looking into computational and usage-based approaches to language variation. In 2011, he visited the DFG Graduiertenkolleg on frequency effects in language of the University of Freiburg (Germany). Currently he is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of German Language and Linguitics at the Humboldt University of Berlin.
Tom's PhD research focuses on the automatic recognition of variational structure in large corpora. The QLVL research unit has a history in detecting language varieties by means of its profile-based approach. By combining the recent advances in Semantic Vector Space Models that allow the automatic detection of semantically related words, the profile-based approach becomes scalable. On the one hand, Tom applies statistical techniques on verly large corpora to construct an empirical basis for research on language varieties. On the other hand, he roots his computational work in a profound theoretical discussion of synonymy and lexical semantics.
Ruette, T. Speelman, D. and Geeraerts, D. "Toward an objective distance between Belgian Dutch and Netherlandic Dutch. Validating a sociolectometric methodology". To be submitted to: Proceedings of the International Conference on Pluricentric Languages, 2011.