Universiteit Leiden

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Lauren Fonteyn

University Lecturer

Dr. L. Fonteyn
+31 71 527 2727

Among other things, Lauren is interested in using new methods to get a firmer understanding of language change, and creating ways to quantify developments of the perhaps-not-so-easily-quantifiable aspects of language.

More information about Lauren Fonteyn


My previous research has a diachronic focus, and has been heavily influenced by usage-based approaches to language change and variation. I have worked elaborately on providing a fuller understanding of how changes in the structural make-up of linguistic categories like nouns and verbs (which is arguably gradient in nature) relate to functional-semantic changes of the elements in those categories. Thus far, I have mainly focussed on the (historical development of) the English gerund (and related non-finite clause types, e.g. present-participial clauses), but recently started looking into the functional-semantic features of other nominalisation strategies.


2018 - present: University Lecturer (Assistant Prof), English Linguistics, Leiden University 
2016 - 2018: University Lecturer (Assistant Prof), English (historical) linguistics, University of Manchester 
2012 - 2016: PhD Linguistics, KU Leuven 
2011 - 2012: MA Linguistics & Literature [English & Dutch] 
2008 - 2011: BA Linguistics & Literature [English & Dutch]

Key publications

Fonteyn, L. (forthc.). Categoriality in language change: the case of the English gerund. Oxford studies in the history of English. Oxford: OUP. 

De Smet, H., D’Hoedt, F., Fonteyn, L. & K. Van Goethem. 2018. The changing functions of competing forms: attraction and differentiation. Cognitive Linguistics, 29(2), 197-234. 

Fonteyn, L. 2018. Assessing theory with practice: an evaluation of two aspectual-semantic classification models of gerundive nominalizations. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory. 

Fonteyn, L. 2017. The aggregate and the individual: thoughts on how to make the best of ‘bad data’. English Language and Linguistics, 21(2), 251-262. 

Fonteyn, L. & S. Hartmann. 2016. Usage-based perspectives on diachronic morphology: a mixed-methods approach towards English ing-nominals. Linguistics Vanguard, 2(1), 1-12. 

Fonteyn, L. & N. van de Pol. 2016. Divide and conquer: the formation and functional dynamics of the Modern English ing-clause network. English Language and Linguistics, 20(2), 185-219. 

Fonteyn, L. 2016. From nominal to verbal gerunds: a referential typology. Functions of Language, 23(1), 82-106. 

Fonteyn, L., De Smet, H. & L. Heyvaert. 2015. What it means to verbalize: the changing discourse functions of the English gerund. Journal of English Linguistics, 43(1), 1-25. 

Fonteyn, L., Heyvaert, L. & C. Maekelberghe. 2015. How do gerunds conceptualize events? A diachronic study. Cognitive Linguistics, 26(4), 583-612.

University Lecturer

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

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number B1.09



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