Universiteit Leiden

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Rik van Gijn

Associate professor

Dr. E. van Gijn
+31 71 527 2413

Rik van Gijn is an associate professor at the Centre for Linguistics. His interests focus on the indigenous languages of (western) South America, and in particular on the question of the historical development of the stunning linguistic diversity there. Currently he focuses on these questions in the context of his ERC-Consolidator project South American Population History Revisited (SAPPHIRE). His teaching experience includes the languages of South America, typology, morphology, field linguistics, descriptive linguistics, and contact linguistics.

More information about Rik van Gijn

Fields of interest

  • South American Indigenous languages
  • Areal typology
  • Linguistic areas
  • Fieldwork
  • Language description
  • Multi-disciplinary research
  • Language endangerment and vitality
  • Linguistic diversity

Grants and awards

  • LOT-Grotevragenprijs, with E. van Lier, A. Backus, N. de Jong, K. Rybka, J. Smit, J. Verhagen, K. Walker, C. Welie (2023)
  •  Teaching innovation grants ECOLE and Faculty of Humanities (2022)
  • ERC consolidator grant SAPPHIRE (2019)
  • Seed money grant Leading House for the Latin American region St. Gallen (CH) (2018)
  • NIAS fellowship (2011)
  • VENI grant NWO (2008)
  • DoBeS documentation grant (2006)

Curriculum Vitae

2023-present Senior lecturer Leiden University
2019-2023 University lecturer Leiden University
2012-2019 Post-doctoral researcher University of Zurich
2009-2021 Post-doctoral researcher Radboud University Nijmegen
2006-2011 Post-doctoral researcher Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen
2001-2006 PhD researcher Radboud University Nijmegen

Key publications

  • Rik van Gijn, Hanna Ruch, Max Wahlström & Anja Hasse (eds.). 2023. Language contact: bridging the gap between individual interactions and areal patterns. Leipzig/Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • Van Gijn, Rik, Sietze Norder, Leonardo Arias Alvis, Nicholas Q. Emlen, Mattheus Azevedo, Allison Caine, Saskia Dunn, Austin Howard, Nora Julmi, Olga Krasnoukhova & Jurriaan Wiegertjes. 2022, The social life of isolates (and small language families): the case of the Northwest Amazon. Interface Focus 13.
  • Arias Alvis, Leonardo, Nicholas Q. Emlen, Sietze Norder, Nora Julmi, Magdalena Lemus-Serrano, Thiago Chacon, Jurriaan Wiegertjes, Austin Howard, Matheus Azevedo, Saskia Dunn & Rik van Gijn. submitted. Interpreting mismatches between linguistic and genetic patterns among speakers of Tanimuka (Eastern Tukanoan) and Yukuna (Arawakan). Interface Focus 13.
  • Norder, Sietze, Laura Becker, Hedvig Skirgaard, Leonardo Arias Alvis, Alena Witzlack-Makarevich, Harald Hammarström & Rik van Gijn. 2022. Glottospace: R package for language mapping and spatial analysis of linguistic and cultural data. Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) 7(7): 4303.
  • Ranacher, Peter, Nico Neureiter, Rik van Gijn, Barbara Sonnenhauser, Anastasia Escher, Robert Weibel, Pieter Muysken & Balthasar Bickel. 2021. Contact-tracing in cultural evolution: a Bayesian mixture model to detect geographic areas of language contact. Journal of the Royal Society Interface.
  • Van Gijn, Rik and Jeremy Hammond (eds.) 2016. Switch reference 2.0. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Van Gijn, Rik, Jeremy Hammond, Dejan Matic, Saskia van Putten and Ana Vilacy Galucio (eds.) 2014. Information structure and reference tracking in complex sentences.
  • Van Gijn, Rik, Katharina Haude and Pieter Muysken (eds.).
  • Van Gijn, Rik and Fernando Zúñiga. 2014. Word and the Americanist perspective. Morphology 24(3): 135-160.
  • 2011. Subordination in native South American languages. Amsterdam: John Benjamins [Typological Studies in Language 97].

Associate professor

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics

Work address

Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden
Room number 2.10



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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