What is it about?

Like other European standard languages, Dutch is currently undergoing destandardization processes which excite concern on the part of the linguistic and cultural establishment, and inspire uncertainty in school teachers of Dutch. In the face of the progressing variability in a variety which should (in theory) be uniform, the question which norm should be taught in the schools is becoming increasingly legitimate, though theoretical linguists do not typically concern themselves with it. This paper first pools and reviews the available evidence in favour of a more positive account of ongoing developments in Netherlandic Standard Dutch (NSD). It then proposes a concrete division of labour between formal and less formal varieties of Dutch. Our principal conclusion is that the norm relaxation observed in NSD must not engender lawlessness in language teaching.

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Why is it important?

This paper is one of the first which embraces the new reality of (more) variable and indexical standards, rather than rejecting it and sticking to conservative prescriptive ideologies.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Where is Dutch (really) heading?, Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, August 2012, John Benjamins,
DOI: 10.1075/dujal.1.1.05gro.
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