Prof. Bertus van Rooy (1972) has been appointed professor of English Linguistics at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).
In his research, Van Rooy focuses on the grammatical features of varieties of English, using corpus-based methods. He attempts to understand how grammatical innovations come about and gain acceptance in new varieties of English. He also studies the historical development of varieties of English in the colonial and post-colonial eras, and conducts research on the grammar of present-day Afrikaans and its development from Dutch since the 17th century.
At the UvA, Van Rooy will investigate the linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects of varieties of English among native and non-native speakers. The goal of his research will be to understand the reciprocal influence of the expanding roles of English in a multilingual world and the ongoing change in the linguistic shape of the language.
Van Rooy will be teaching linguistics to, among others, Bachelor’s students and Master’s students in the English Language and Culture programme. He will also be part of a team developing a new Bachelor’s programme with a focus on world literatures in English and on English as a world language.
Van Rooy has worked at South Africa’s North-West University since 1999. His current position, which he has held since 2009, is as a professor in the School of Languages. Until 2018, he was also director of the Research Focus Area UPSET (Understanding and Processing Language in Complex Settings). He is a member of the editorial boards of, among others, World Englishes, English World-Wide and the International Journal of Learner Corpus Research, and also a former president of the International Association for World Englishes.