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Historical sociolinguistics

Historical sociolinguistics studies how language and society have interacted in the past, combining the fields of sociolinguistics and historical linguistics. This research group will focus on language contact and change in its socio-historical context. Language contact happens when speakers of different varieties of a language, or of different languages, interact with each other, causing the languages to influence each other. 

Key objectives  

  • study processes of language change from a historical sociolinguistic perspective
  • investigate stability (and the lack thereof) across dialects and languages
  • investigate bilingualism in its historical context
  • identify and discuss methodological issues connected to working with historical written sources


The group will have monthly meetings and organise a yearly thematic workshop. 

Coordinator and group members

Coordinator: Liesbeth Zack
ACLC members: Margreet Dorleijn, Rebeca Fernández Rodríguez, Camiel Hamans, Caroline Roset, Manfred Woidich, 
Arjen Versloot, Ewa Zakrzewska, Liesbeth Zack

External members:
Sabine  Dedenbach-Salazar Saenz (University of Stirling), Sune Gregersen (University of Copenhagen)