Dr Jennifer Hendriks

PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison (Germanic Linguistics)
Lecturer, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Language In Time And Space (Incl. Historical Linguistics, Dialectology) 200406
  • Language In Culture And Society (Sociolinguistics) 200405
  • Linguistic Structures (Incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) 200408

Research interests

Historical sociolinguistics with specific reference to migration and langauge change in the history of Continental Germanic languages; language/dialect contact, standard language ideology and language change particularly in German and Dutch in the Early Modern Period; the use of unpublished and unconventional archival manuscripts in researching language/dialect contact, standard language ideology and language change.

Supervisory Interests (see research interests)


Dr Jennifer Hendriks is a lecturer in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics.


2009: College of Arts and Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence

2009: The Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Researcher's projects

Mobility, instability, migration: An alternative account of language variation and change in the early modern Dutch urban context

Drawing upon the research expertise of cultural, demographic, political, religious and economic historians, as well as insights from modern sociologists and sociolinguists, this project examines the effects of migration on the linguistic repertoires and language use of individuals from the late 16th to the late 17th century. While the historical details of this period have been extensively researched, the linguistic effects of massive migration on the emerging urban Dutch vernaculars is virtually undocumented and remains poorly understood. This project aims to fill an important gap in our knowledge of language and society during this very turbulent and unstable period in Dutch history, thereby contributing to the larger goal of creating more realistic linguistic histories. More generally, it will contribute to the development and fine-tuning of models used to examine contact-induced change involving speakers of closely related language varieties.


Conference presentations linked to this project:

“The malleability of sociolinguistic identity: Intra-writer variation in the De Baccher/Thijs family correspondence, 1590-1622.” Paper presented at the HiSoN virtual conference on ‘Intra-writer variation in historical sociolinguistics’, FAU Erlangen, Germany, 17-19 March, 2021

“What do we mean by language contact? A perspective from historical sociolinguistics.” Paper presented in the workshop ‘Building bridges between typology, sociolinguistics and contact linguistics: Concepts, methods and challenges of developing a ‘sociolinguistic typology’’ held at the online conference of the Australian Linguistics Society, 14-15 December 2020.

“Glaring omissions: The use of negative evidence in historical accounts of third person reflexive pronouns in Dutch.” Paper presented at the 24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL24) held at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1-5 July 2019.

“Finding needles in haystacks: Non-dominant multilingual speakers as agents of change in Early Modern Dutch.” Paper presented at the workshop ‘New historical perspectives on non-dominant speakers as agents of contact-induced language change’ held at the 23rd International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL23), The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA, 31 July–4 August 2017.


Publications linked to this project:

Hendriks, Jennifer. 2018. The effects of complex migration trajectories on individual linguistic repertoires in the Early Modern Dutch urban context. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen CXIX. 121-143.

Hendriks, Jennifer, Todd Ehresmann, Robert B. Howell and Mike Olson. 2018.  Migration and linguistic change in early modern Holland: The case of Leiden. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen CXIX. 145-172..

Hendriks, Jennifer. 2017. Taalgebruik in woelige tijden: Het belang van egodocumenten in het archief van de Bibliotheca Thysiana (Language change in turbulent times. The importance of egodocuments in the Bibliotheca Thysiana archive)', in Wim van Anrooij and Paul Hoftijzer (ed.), Vijftien strekkende meter: Nieuwe onderzoeksmogelijkheden in het archief van de Bibliotheca Thysiana (Fifteen running meters: New research opportunities in the Bibliothek Thysiana archive), Hilversum Verloren, The Netherlands, pp. 47-64.


Language contact and change in 16th century Antwerp: a prequel to the Dutch Golden Age

Dutch linguistic histories devote substantial attention to descriptions of Middle Dutch dialects up to 1500; largely glossing over the sixteenth century, these histories then focus in great detail on the emerging written standard language in seventeenth century Holland. This project aims to fill a long-standing gap in our understanding of continuity and change in sixteenth century Dutch. It focuses specifically on the development of the urban vernacular(s) of Antwerp in the second half of the sixteenth century to contribute to our understanding of how the Dutch linguistic landscape transformed from one of relative rural dialectal continuity to one of substantial urban dialectal discontinuity.

Past student projects

2021: "Bidirectional transfer in the emergence of contact varieties in Nagpur, India", Aditi Dubey, Master of General and Applied Linguistics (Advanced).


2017:  “Union is strength: Language policy and attitudes in Brussels”, Lucy Byram, Master of Applied Linguistics (Advanced).


2015:  “Old Speech, New Voices: Examining the language motivations of Portuguese learners in Macau”, Adrian Brown, Master of Applied Linguistics (Advanced).


2012:  “If the I’s have it, is it the death of me? The debated use of first person pronouns in coordinate noun phrases in object position”, Alexandra Muir, Honours in Applied Linguistics.


2012: “Investigating English as a Foreign Language test-taking among young learners of English: A case study of Jido Eiken, ‘English qualification test for pupils’”, Ruriko Otomo, Master of Applied Linguistics.


2011: “Bridging the linguistic divide: classroom based language policy in Vanuatu” Johanna Castles, Honours in Applied Linguistics.


2011:  “English in Turkey: Effects on Language Policy and Linguistic Ecology” Rebecca Hetherington, Honours in Applied Linguistics.


2008:  “Investigating Iran: A Challenge for Language Policy”, Amy Mehrton, Honours in Applied Linguistics


2003:  “The question of English language varieties in Japanese English language teaching and learning”, Junko Inoue, PhD, The Australian National University.


Return to top

Updated:  14 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers