Head of the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Praelector

Degrees and Honours

Masters degree in Sinology and Linguistics (1986) and a PhD in Psycholinguistics (1993) at Leiden University; HDR at Paris 8 (2003).

Membership of Professional Bodies / Associations

Guest Professor at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BeiWai)
Associate member of the CNRS laboratory (UMR 7023)
Co-Chair of the steering committee of the Cambridge Language Sciences Strategic Initiative


Henriette was born in the Netherlands and completed all here studies there. After being taught six languages and economics for her A-level equivalent (Gymnasium A diploma), Henriette decided it was time to tackle another more interesting language and chose Chinese. Arriving at the University of Leiden she realised that there was a subject called Linguistics and that an interest in Linguistics has guided her choice for Chinese. Henriette studied Chinese and Linguistics for the next five years, and then left for China, Tianjin Nankai University, where she studied for a year as a foreign exchange student. Upon her return from China, Henriette got a job in the Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, initially as a transcriber of Chinese narrative data, but with time also as a coordinator of international projects on first and second language acquisition. She wrote her PhD thesis during that time at Max-Planck. In 1998 she then applied for a job at the Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics, which has recently merged with the Department of Linguistics and is now the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics.

Research Interests

Dr Hendriks is currently involved in two large internationally-financed research projects, Langacross (DFG and ANR) and VILLA (DFG, ANR and NWO). Both deal with language acquisition. The first project looks at cross-linguistic differences and and similarities in child first and adult second language acquisition, looking amongst others at the role of language versus cognition in the acquisition process. The VILLA is specifically interested in the role of input in the acquisition process. A lot of the work in language acquisition she does with her colleague Maya Hickmann in Paris (CNRS, Paris 8), and their work is grouped in a project called Saltac.

Course involvement in the University of Cambridge

MPhil language acquisition and development; Discourse Analysis course; PhD seminar, run with Teresa Parodi, on language acquisition.

Publications (selected)

  • H. Hendriks & M. Hickmann - "Space in second language acquisition", Language and Bilingual Cognition, 2011, pp. 315-339.
  • M. Hickmann, H. Hendriks & M. Gullberg - "How to talk and gesture about motion in French and English: cross-linguistic  and developmental perspectives", Langage, Interaction et Acquisition, 2,1. Grammaticalization and language acquisition: nouns and verbs across languages, 2011, 2:1 pp. 129-156.
  • Y. Ji, H. Hendriks & M. Hickmann - "Children's expression of voluntary motion events in English and Chinese", Journal of Foreign Languages, 2011, 34, 4. pp. 2-20.
  • H. Hendriks, Y. Ji,& M. Hickmann - "Typological issues regarding the expression of caused motion: Chinese, English and French" in Space and Time in Language and Literature, 2009, pp. 22-38.

For a full list of research topics, books and publications please see full profile on the Department for Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (DTAL) website.