Programmeur & Data Scientist, Dutch Language Institute
Wilbert Heeringa (Grins, 1970) obtained his engineering degree in 1993 and his master's degree in 1997. In 2004, he obtained his doctorate with the thesis Measuring Dialect Pronunciation Differences using Levenshtein Distance, at the University of Groningen. From 2007 to 2011 he worked at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam. He visited 86 villages in the Netherlands and Flanders, where he recorded the local dialects as they were spoken by older men and younger women. By comparing the dialect use of those two categories, he measures dialect change in apparent time with attention to vocabulary, morphology and sound components.
From 2012 to 2015, Heeringa was involved in a project of the University of Oldenburg where sound variation in Sater Frisian was investigated across villages and generations. In 2016 he was connected to the Thomas More University College in Antwerp where he developed a training system for the pronunciation of sounds.