Dr A. Versloot (1965) has been named professor by special appointment of Frisian Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Humanities. The chair was designated on behalf of the Fryske AkademyStichting Physica).
Arjen Versloot aims to teach the UvA's course in Frisian Linguistics primarily from a comparative perspective, contextualising Frisian as one the Germanic languages and exploring both what sets it apart and what links it with its sister languages. Such comparison will yield insights into not only Frisian itself, but also into those other languages, and especially into the phenomenon of language in general. To facilitate his research, Versloot will be relying on language corpora and quantitative methods of analysis, including statistics. A key concept in this work will be language variation - not only in the present day, but across time and borders.
Prior to his appointment as head of the Linguistics Department at the Fryske Akademy, Versloot worked as a linguistics researcher and cartographer. In 2008 he obtained his doctorate from the University of Groningen for his study on vowel reduction in fifteenth-century Frisian. Versloot sits on the editorial board of the academic journal Taal en Tongval and is involved in the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) programmes Alfalab and Computational Humanities, both of which focus on the use of ICT in the Humanities.