Peter Dekker

Pleinlaan 9, 1050 Brussels, 3rd floor

Peter Dekker

PhD Student


I am a PhD student in agent-based models of language change, in Bart de Boer‘s ABACUS group at the AI lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. In my PhD project (start: 2019), I study the social, cognitive and language-specific factors that drive language change using agent-based models. I apply my models to real-world case studies, in which questions about morphology and language contact are common denominators:

  • Contact-induced morphological simplification. Agent-based model of Alorese, Eastern Indonesia.
  • Conversational priming in repetitional responses. Agent-based model inspired by Lithuanian dialects.
  • Learning and transmission of verb inflection classes. Neural model applied to Romance languages.

My research is supported by an FWO PhD Fellowship Identifying drivers of language change using neural agent-based models. I was previously funded by the Flanders AI Program.

My general interest is the use of computational methods to study language change, from a bottom-up (agent-based modelling, neural networks, crowdsourcing) and a top-down (phylogenetic reconstruction, computational historical linguistics) perspective. I studied Artificial Intelligence at the University of Utrecht and the University of Amsterdam. I previously worked as a systems developer at the Dutch Language Institute.