Prof Roel Vismans

Dr Roel VismansProfessor of Dutch Studies
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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. 


My teaching experience covers Dutch language at all levels, Dutch linguistics (including sociolinguistics), and the society and culture of the Low Countries. Between 1999 and 2001 I coordinated the project that developed the web-based Dutch beginners' course Lagelands. I am also the main developer of the two Open Access learners' grammars.

Beginners' Grammar        Advanced Grammar


My current research mainly covers politeness in Dutch, especially the use of the second-person pronouns. 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). I am also interested in comparative linguistic studies on Dutch and its immediate germanic neighbours. In that context I have been involved in the so-called Germanic Sandwich conferences.

In 2005 the University launched the 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.

Between 1996 and 2002 I was the founding president of the Association for Low Countries Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (ALCS) and between 2003 and 2008 its Treasurer. I have also been a board member of the Internationale Vereniging voor Neerlandistiek (International Association for Dutch Studies; IVN) and a member of the editorial team of Internationale Neerlandistiek, the IVN´s scholarly journal.