Professor Roel Vismans


Dr Roel VismansProfessor of Dutch Studies

Room 3.32, Jessop West, University of Sheffield, 1 Upper Hanover St, Sheffield S3 7RA

Telephone: + 44 114 222 4919


Kandidaatsexamen (≈ BA; Free University Amsterdam), MA (University of Manchester), PhD (Free University Amsterdam)


I come from Rotterdam, the Netherlands´ second city. After studying English at the Free University Amsterdam and Linguistics at the University of Manchester, I returned to the Free University Amsterdam in 1994 to obtain my doctorate in Dutch linguistics, with a dissertation on Dutch modal particles.

My career as a teacher of Dutch started when I was an MA student at the University of Manchester. Between 1981 and 2003 I taught Dutch at the University of Hull, where I also spent three years as director of the university´s language centre. I joined the Department of Germanic Studies in Sheffield in September 2003 as Senior Lecturer in Dutch. Between 2007 and 2011 I was Head of Germanic Studies. I was promoted to Reader in January 2011 and to Professor in 2018.

I have been the School of Languages and Cultures’ Director of Learning and Teaching (2013 - 2016), its Deputy Head of School (2014 - 2016) and its Head of School (2016 - 2018).

Professional Activities

Learned societies

Association for Low Countries Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (ALCS; 1996 - 2008)
- Founding President (1996 - 2002)
- Treasurer (2004 - 2008)

Internationale Vereniging voor Neerlandistiek (International Association for Dutch Studies; IVN)
- Board Member (1994 - 1997)
- Hon. Secretary (1997 - 2000)
- Hon. Treasurer (2000 - 2003)

University Council for Modern Languages, Executive Committee (UCML; 2015-18)

Editorial work

Dutch Crossing. A Journal of Low Countries Studies, International Advisory Board (1997 -)

Journal of Germanic Linguistics, Advisory Boar, (2008 - 2018)

N/F, Advisory Board (academic journal of the Association des néerlandistes de Belgique francophone et de France; 2008

Neerlandica extra muros/Internationale Neerlandistiek, Editorial board (2000 - 2009)

Topics in Address Research, Editorial Board book series (John Benjamins; 2015 -)

Reviewing and accreditation

Accreditation panel International MA Comparative Dutch Studies, Universiteit van Amsterdam – Freie Universität Berlin (for German accreditation body ACQUIN and Dutch-Flemish accreditation body NVAO; 2006-07)

AHRB ICT Strategy Project Scheme (2005)

AHRC Peer Review College (Academic and International; 2009-13)

FNRS Research Fellowships; Evaluator (Research Council of the French Language Community in Belgium; 2010, 2013, 2016, 2017)

Free University Brussels, internal funding application for Concerted Research Action scheme (2008)

FWO International Visiting Fellowship; Evaluator (Research Council of the Dutch Language Community in Belgium; 2010, 2017)

JPICH Digital Heritage Call through NWO, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research; Evaluator (2017)

Nederlandse Taalunie:
- Member of advisory committee for awarding subsidies for projects outside the Dutch language area (Adviescommissie Projectsubsidies Neerlandistiek Extra Muros; 2006)
- Invited participant in planning conference on international research in Dutch Studies (Werkconferentie Raad voor de Nederlandse Letteren; 28 November 2008)

RAE 2008: Sub-Panel.

Reviews for: John Benjamins, Leiden University, Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Routledge, UCL Pres; Dutch Crossing, Linguistics, Journal of Germanic Linguistics, Journal of Pragmatics,, Journal of Historical Pragmatics, Nederlandse Taalkunde, Neerlandica extra muros/Internationale Neerlandistiek, Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, Transactions of the Philological Society


My current research mainly covers politeness in Dutch, especially the use of forms of address and since 2013 I have been an active member of the International Network on Address Research (INAR) . I am also interested in contrastive linguistic studies on Dutch and its immediate Germanic neighbours (English and German) and have been involved in the so-called ‘Germanic Sandwich’ conferences since 2006.

In the past I have also carried out research into Dutch durative constructions; Dutch modal particles; computer-assisted language learning; Dutch word order, accentuation and intonation; the integration of language and culture in courses in Dutch as a foreign language (with Miranda van Rossum); and the history of Dutch Studies in the UK (with Eddy Verbaan).

In 2005 the I launched the University’s Centre for Dutch Studies, an interdisciplinary research centre bringing together all expertise at the University of Sheffield on the culture of the Low Countries. In 2017 the Centre was relaunched as the Centre for Dutch and Flemish Studies.


I have taught Dutch language at all levels from absolute beginner (CEFR A1) to highly proficient (CEFR C2). I am responsible for the online Dutch Learner’s Grammar.

I also teach various aspects of (Dutch) linguistics, especially:

History of Dutch (GER239)
Dutch Sociolinguistics (GER319)
Contrastive Germanic Linguistics (GER331)