Universiteit Leiden

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Jenny Doetjes

Professor of Semantics and Language Variation

Prof.dr. J.S. Doetjes
+31 71 527 2181

Jenny Doetjes is a Professor of Semantics and Language Variation.

More information about Jenny Doetjes


My main research interests are in the domain of semantics and the syntax-semantics interface. In my dissertation I already started to work on two (related) topics that I am still fascinated by: the mass/count distinction and the cross categorial distribution of degree modifiers/ quantity expressions and consequences thereof for the representation of the expressions they combine with. 

Besides these topics, I am interested in the interface between syntax, semantics and prosody (I was one of the supervisors of Stella Gryllia, who defended her dissertation on focus in Greek in 2009). Recently I started to work on issues related to language processing (in collaboration with, among others, Leticia Pablos Robles and Lisa Cheng).

Teaching activities

I mainly teach courses in French linguistics (introductory and advanced courses), and French language courses (‘Outils’, grammar). I supervised a large number of BA and MA theses on a large variety of subjects, including the imparfait du subjonctif, the determiners  différents and  certains, verlan, cleft sentences, and several topics in second language acquisition. 
Course material : I developed a series of readers for introductory courses in French linguistics.

Curriculum vitae

I wrote my dissertation in Leiden under the supervision of Teun Hoekstra, who inspired my first interest in linguistics. While working on my dissertation, I got more and more interested in semantics and the syntax-semantics interface. After finishing, I went to Utrecht, where I worked on the project  Focus on French (an individual postdoc project funded by NWO, 1999-2005). During this project, I collaborated with many people in the Netherlands and in France brought together by the PICS project  Formal semantics and French data. This project resulted in the publication of the  Handbook of French Linguistics, edited by the principal investigators of the project, Francis Corblin and Henriëtte de Swart, in 2004. In 2002 I returned to Leiden, where I work in the French department. From 2006 to 2011, I was principal investigator of the NWO funded VIDI project  Degrees across Categories. This project has resulted, among others, in two dissertations: Kateřina Součková,  Pluractionals in Hausa ( cum laude) and Camelia Constantinescu,  Gradability in the nominal domain, both defended in 2011.

Key publications

Jenny Doetjes (to appear in december 2012). Count-mass distinctions across languages. In: Claudia Maienborn, Klaus von Heusinger and Paul Portner, Semantics. An International Handbook of Natural Language meaning. De Gruyter. A prefinal version of the paper can be downloaded here.

Jenny Doetjes, Camelia Constantinescu & Kateřina Součková (2011). A Neo-Kleinian Approach to Comparatives. In Ito, S. & Cormany, E. (Eds.) Proceedings of SALT XIX. Elanguage, 124-141. 

Claire Beyssade, Elisabeth Delais, Jenny Doetjes, Frank Drijkoningen, Aafke Hulk, Brigitte Kampers-Manhe, Jean-Marie Marandin, Georges Rebuschi, Annie Rialland, Petra Sleeman (in various combinations) (2004). Information. Handbook of French semantics, part V, Francis Corblin & Henriëtte de Swart (eds), CSLI Publications, Stanford, 455-581. 

Jenny Doetjes (2004). Adverbs and quantification: degrees versus frequency. Lingua, 117:4, 685-720. 

Jenny Doetjes (1997). Quantifiers and selection:  On the distribution of quantifying expressions in French, Dutch and English. Dissertation Leiden University, HAG, The Hague.

Other publications can be found under 'Publications' (top of page).

Professor of Semantics and Language Variation

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

Work address

Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden
Room number 1.26



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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