Dirk Geeraerts - Biography#

Dirk Geeraerts is professor of linguistics at the University of Leuven. He studied Germanic languages (Dutch and English), and in addition holds a bachelor's degree in Philosophy. He received his PhD in 1981.

From 1977 to 1985, he worked at the Instituut voor Nederlandse Lexicologie in Leiden (The Netherlands). After an interlude at the department of Dutch of the University of Leiden, he taught Dutch linguistics at the Kortrijk campus of the University of Leuven from 1986 to 1993. Since 1993 he is professor of general linguistics in Leuven, where he founded the research group Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL) at the turn of the millennium.

In terms of research domains, Dirk Geeraerts' main focus involves the fields of lexical semantics and lexicology. Specific attention goes to social variation and diachronic change of meaning and vocabulary, to the interaction between semasiological and onomasiological phenomena, and to empirical methods for semantic description. His lexical focus also took shape in an applied lexicographical form between 1995 and 2005, when he was editor of the authoritative Van Dale Groot woordenboek van de Nederlandse taal.

His theoretical orientation is mainly that of cognitive and usage-based linguistics, with a special emphasis on cognitive sociolinguistics, and on the position of Cognitive Linguistics in the history of contemporary linguistics. His involvement with Cognitive Linguistics dates from the 1980s, when his PhD was one of the first in Europe to explore the possibilities for linguistic semantics of a prototype-theoretical model of categorization.

As the founder of the journal Cognitive Linguistics, he played an important role in the international expansion of Cognitive Linguistics. He is the editor, with Hubert Cuyckens, of The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Since 2005, he is managing editor of Mouton de Gruyter's Cognitive Linguistics Research monograph series.

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