Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade

Professor emeritus English Sociohistorical Linguistics

Prof.dr. I.M. Tieken-Boon van Ostade
+31 71 527 2727

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade is a Professor emeritus of English Sociohistorical Linguistics at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics.

More information about Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade

Fields of interest

  • The English standardisation process (codification, prescription)
  • Prescriptivism vs descriptivism
  • Text types like private letters, wills, grammars and usage guides
  • Late Modern English: the pragmatics of English politeness and the art of letter writing during this period
  • Identity (re)construction of individual writers


Because I largely work with original documents, whether published or handwritten, my research is primarily descriptive in nature. My interest focuses in particular on the lives, language and works of individuals from the Late Modern English period (1700-1900). Though heralded as a recent development within (historical) sociolinguistics, my research throughout my academic career may be viewed as characteristic of the kind of identity (re)construction done within Third Wave Historical Sociolinguistics. I have taken a special interest in creating and engaging in  networks of academics worldwide, as witness my many published collections of articles and special journal issues. Several of these were based on international workshops organised over the years. In addition, I have published several monographs, notably with the prestigious Oxford University Press but also other major publishers. Since the advent of the social media I have interacted with scholars as well as members of the general public online through the publication of academic blogs (most recently bridging the unbridgeable and Late Modern English letters), while I published an Internet journal called HSL/SHL between 1999 and 2011. The journal is the forerunner of De Gruyter's Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics. I have been the instigator of the HUGE database (Hyper Usage Guide of English), set up by Robin Straaijer and published in 2014. Since moving to The Hague in 2014, I started a project called Languages of The Hague, the main purpose of which is to create awareness of the positive aspects of The Hague as a multilinguals city. One of the major outcomes of the project is the creation of a Sayings Walk leading towards the city centre. 

Grants and awards

  • LUCL's first awarded VICI project (2005-2010)
  • A major grant in NWO's Vrije Competitie scheme (2011-2016)
  • The Order of St Mellitus, awarded by the Bishop of London (2011)
  • Membership of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2014)
  • Royal decoration in the Order of the Dutch Lion (2020)

Curriculum vitae

  • BA and MA degrees from the University of Leiden (1975, 1978)
  • Appointment as lecturer in the English Department at Leiden in 1980 (fixed contract since 1982)
  • First academic publications in 1982 (not shown on my university profile page, which doesn't go back in time beyond 1992)
  • PhD degree from the University of Leiden in 1987
  • Senior Lecturer (UHD) by special appointment since 1999
  • Chair in English Sociohistorical Linguistics since 2006
  • Head of the English Department at the University of Leiden: 2001-2005 and 2014-2020
  • Research Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge (2011), currently life member of the college
  • University of Leiden Academic Intregrity Councellor 2013-2020
  • Retirement July 2020

Key publications

Retirement Lecture

  • Nóg meer brieven van Lowth?!. LUCL, Leiden.


  • 2020: Describing prescriptivism. Usage guides and usage problems in British and American English. London and New York: Routledge (pb edition 2022)
  • 2014: In Search of Jane Austen. The Language of the Letters. OUP, Oxford, New York etc.: Oxford University Press.
  • 2011: The Bishop’s Grammar. Robert Lowth and the Rise of Prescriptivism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2009: An Introduction to Late Modern English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Professor emeritus English Sociohistorical Linguistics

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics
  • LUCL Engels



  • No relevant ancillary activities
This website uses cookies.  More information.