Dr J.E. Rispens (1972) has been appointed professor of Dutch Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Humanities.
In her research, Judith Rispens focuses on the acquisition and processing of normal and disturbed language. One of her research interests is the interface between a primary language development disorder – a language disorder that does not result from another disorder – and developmental dyslexia – congenital dyslexia. Her other research interests include morphophonology, the area of linguistics in which morphology and phonology come together, and statistical learning, the ability to discover patterns in language input without instruction, making it possible for language rules to be learned.
Armed with a Vidi grant that she obtained from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in 2014, Rispens is leading a research project on the link between implicit statistical learning and the development of grammatical knowledge and reading and writing skills in children between the ages of six and ten. In this project, she also focuses children with a language development disorder and dyslexia. In another project, funded by the Netherlands Initiative for Educational Research (NRO), she has joined forces with UvA developmental psychologists Patrick Snellings, Jurgen Tijms and Maurits van der Molen to look into prediction and promotion of English language acquisition by Dutch-speaking children in primary school.
Rispens teaches Bachelor's and Master's students enrolled in the Dutch Language and Culture and General Linguistics programmes, as well as students doing the research Master's programmes in Linguistics and in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Bachelor's courses taught by her include Introduction to Linguistics and Introduction to Dutch Linguistics. She also teaches Master's students about experimental research on psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics. Rispens is also involved in the development of the curriculum for the new Bachelor's programme in Cognition, Language and Communication and is one of the programme's lecturers. In addition, she is a member of the Examinations Board for the Research Master's programme in Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
In 2007, Rispens joined the UvA as a postdoctoral researcher with a Veni grant from the NWO. In 2011, she became an assistant professor, following which she was appointed associate professor in the department of Literary Studies and Linguistics in 2015. In addition, she has been coordinating the Grammar & Cognition research group at the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC) since 2011. Initially, she did this together with Fred Weerman; he has now been replaced by Jan Don. Prior to joining the UvA, Rispens was a postgraduate researcher at De Bascule and the VU and a doctoral candidate at the University of Groningen.
Rispens is a board member for the WAP Amsterdam psycholinguist working group and a member of the advisory board for the Netherlands National Graduate School of Linguistics (LOT). She is also the associate editor of the First Language academic journal and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, another academic journal.