English book surveys old and new Dutch dialects

A new book has just been published that looks at different dialects of Dutch spoken in the Netherlands and Flanders. The third in a series on dialects, Language and Space: An International Handbook of Linguistic Variation, Volume III: Dutch was edited by Frans Hinskens of the Meertens Instituut and Johan Taeldeman of Ghent University.

“This is about new forms of dialect in Dutch, such as regional and ethnic variations,” says Hinskens. “It also covers Dutch spoken abroad, such as the Dutch spoken in the United States, Germany and Australia.”

The book begins by looking at the six traditional dialect regions in the Low Countries – West Flanders and Zeeland, East Flanders, Brabant, Limburg, Holland and Utrecht and the Lower Saxony region (see map). Hinskens explains that Fries is not included because it is classified as a Germanic dialect. It is in fact a unique case that deserves to be covered in a separate volume, he adds.

But the book also goes into the new forms of dialect that are the result of an increasingly multicultural society, such as Moroccan Dutch and Turkish Dutch.

The book: Frans Hinskens and Johan Taeldeman (eds): Language and Space: An International Handbook of Linguistic Variation, Volume III: Dutch (in the series Handbook of Linguistics and Communication Science), 2013.

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