This research program sets out to re-evaluate several important themes in the history of Dutch, by applying current insights from historical sociolinguistics internationally to the language as it developed particularly in the Southern Low Countries. More specifically, we will take as a point of departure three domains on which significant progress has been made for larger languages such as English and German, but where these innovations have not fully made their way into the classic historiography of Dutch: (1) the relationship between norms and usage as a basis for standardization ‘from above’, (2) dialect contact and subsequent processes of dialect leveling and koineization which arise as a form of standardization ‘from below’ out of contact between speakers with different regional backgrounds; and (3) historical multilingualism and language contact, and the impact which the co-existence of different languages in an individuals’ linguistic repertoires had on the development of Dutch in Flanders. For each of these themes, we will present a relevant case study, and the different cases will be joined into a single and coherent whole by focusing on the standardization as a transversal theme: based on the three case studies, we will question and test existing models and theories of standardization as a historical and linguistic process, and we will offer alternatives which take the interrelatedness of language and society as their main point of departure.
Effective start/end date1/03/1929/02/24

    Research areas

  • historical sociolinguistics

    Flemish discipline codes

  • Linguistics not elsewhere classified

ID: 44488770