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.