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Open Access Streektaaldood in de Lage Landen

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Dialect Death in the Low Countries

The death of Dutch dialects has been anticipated on various occasions in the past, a prediction that had not been borne out until the end of the twentieth century. Reliable figures about the state of autochthonous language diversity are surprisingly scarce. Lumping together and harmonizing figures from long term studies on dialect competences of students and schoolchildren from Belgium and the Netherlands, one can observe a gradual decline in the Netherlands over the 20th century and a more rapid decline in Flanders since the sixties, both ultimately heading towards (nearly) ‘zero’ for children born in 2020. Drastic reduction of linguistic diversity turns out not to be a privilege of the Amazonas or Papua New Guinea. The linguistic map of the Dutch speaking areas is filled with Randstad-oriented speech in the Netherlands, an emerging Tussentaal (‘In-between-language’) in Flanders and pockets of resistance of traditional vernaculars in Frysl├ón and Dutch Limburg, as well as some incidental communities in a few villages around the country.

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Keywords: Dutch dialects; language death; language shift

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2021

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  • Taal en Tongval is een wetenschappelijk tijdschrift over taalvariatie in Nederland en Vlaanderen, waarin ook aandacht wordt geschonken aan naburige taalgebieden en aan het Nederlands verwante talen. Alle vormen van variatie kunnen worden besproken zoals geografische, sociale, etnische, stilistische en diachrone variatie. Verder mogen daarbij ook alle aspecten van de menselijke taal aan de orde komen. Het blad staat zowel open voor empirisch werk als voor studies die een verbinding leggen tussen taalvariatie en theoretische taalkunde.

    Taal en Tongval publiceert bijdragen in het Nederlands, Engels, en Duits. In bepaalde gevallen kunnen ook artikelen in andere talen in overweging genomen worden, zoals Fries, Afrikaans en Frans.

    Taal en Tongval. Language Variation in the Low Countries is a journal devoted to the scientific study of language variation in the Netherlands and Flanders, in neighbouring areas and in languages related to Dutch. All types of variation are covered, including but not restricted to geographical, social, ethnic, stylistic and diachronic variation. Articles may deal with all aspects of human language. The journal welcomes both empirical work as studies linking language variation to developments in theoretical linguistics.

    Taal en Tongval welcomes contributions in Dutch, English and German. In certain cases we also consider articles in other languages, including Frisian, Afrikaans, and French.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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