General linguistics

Language research is one of the pillars of TLC. General linguistics has three central research questions: what characteristics are shared by all languages; within what limits do languages vary; and how can we explain both the universal characteristics and the differences between languages. In trying to find answers to these questions we look at the limits set by human cognition, the organs of articulation and hearing, and the brain, as well as investigating the circumstances within which languages function (situational, cultural and historical contexts), the evolution of language, language learning, language loss, language pathology and language contact.

The fundamental linguistic insights this leads to can be applied in all domains that language plays a role in, from computers that can extract information from texts (Computational Lexicology), to the development of intelligent implants for people with hearing disorders (Applied Linguistics) and from developing courses for Dutch as a second language to Forensic Linguistics.