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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Professor Henriëtte Hendriks

Henriette Hendriks
Professor in Language Acquisition and Cognition
Vice-President, Lucy Cavendish College
Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 ((0)1223 767383

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages
English Faculty Building
9 West Road
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue


Dr Henriette Hendriks is a Reader in Language Acquisition and Cognition. Her main research area is cognitive linguistics, and she researches the relationship between language and cognition through work in child first and adult second language acquisition.

Dr Hendriks studied Sinology at Leiden University, and then started her career at the Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics where she worked as a coordinator on three different projects, two DFG projects on child first language acquisition (PI Dr Maya Hickmann), and an ESF funded project on adult second language acquisition (The Structure of Learner Varieties, PI Prof Wolfgang Klein).

In 1998 she moved to the University of Cambridge, where she has since been lecturing and researching first and second language acquisition, discourse analysis*, and linguistic relativity. During her time in Cambridge she was PI on the EF-Cambridge Research Unit grant, and Co-I on a large number of other grants (European and UK based).

Major research questions deal with ways in which languages differ in their expression of concepts (person, time, space, causality), and how this impacts on first and second language acquisition. More recently, this has lead to more specific research questions regarding the relationship between language learning and teaching (Dr Hendriks leads strand 5 of the MEITS project, PI Prof Wendy Bennett), and to research questions regarding language acquisition as similar or different from the acquisition of other types of cognitive skills.

View full list of publications here.

Dr Hendriks welcomes inquiries from potential MPhil and PhD students with research interests relevant to her interests.

*Please note that Dr Hendriks does NOT work in the area of critical discourse analysis.

Teaching interests: 

First and Second Language Acquisition 

Research interests: 
  • First and Second Language Acquisition
  • Cognitice Linguistics
  • Reference to person, space and time in languages and acquisition
Recent research projects: 
  • Collaborator on the OWRI-MEITS project, Strand 5: The acquisition of a foreign language in the British educational system
  • Learning a Language at your Brain’s Pace. With Prof. Zoe Kourtzi.
  • Collaborator on the Incubator project: Talk about mind and space: paternal and maternal contributions to school readiness. With Prof. Clare Hughes and Elian Fink.
Published works: 

Tusun, A., & Hendriks, H. (in press). Voluntary motion events in Uyghur: a typological perspective. Lingua.

Soroli, E., Hickmann, M. & Hendriks, H. (2019). Casting an eye on motion events: Eye tracking and its implications for linguistic typology. In: M. Aurnague & Stosić (Ed.), The semantics of dynamic space in French: Descriptive, experimental and formal studies on motion expression, pp. 297-353. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Vincent, C., Soroli, E., Engemann, H., Hendriks, H., & Hickmann, M. (2018). Tobii or not Tobii? Eye tracking data gathering: challenges and solutions. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 11, 5, pg. 7.

Hickmann M, Hendriks H, Harr A-K, Bonnet P (2018). Caused motion across child languages: a comparison of English, German, and French. Journal of Child Language 1–28.

Arslangul, A. Hendriks, H., Hickmann, M., & Demagny, A.C. (2018). L’expression des procès spatiaux causatifs chez les apprenants francophones du chinois : pousser ou entrer ? In : LIA, 9,2, pp. 257-296.

Hickmann, M., Engemann, H., Soroli, E., Hendriks, H., & Vincent, C. (2017). Expressing and categorizing motion in French and English: Verbal and non-verbal cognition across languages. In: Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano (ed.), Motion and space across languages: Theory and applications, pp. 61-94. Human Cognitive Processing series. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.