Dutch: Biography of a Language

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OUP USA, Apr 11, 2013 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 336 pages
More than 22 million people speak Dutch-primarily in Holland, Belgium, Suriname, and the Antilles. This book offers a well-researched and highly readable survey of the language in all its historical, geographic, and social aspects. In addition to providing a general introduction to the evolution of Dutch, Willemyns pays special attention to oft-neglected topics, such as the question of whether Dutchmen and Flemings are separated by a common language, and the contentious matter of the spread of Dutch abroad through colonization, which led to "exotic" variations such as Afrikaans, pidgins, and creoles. Dutch: Biography of a Language will appeal to students of Dutch and general readers interested in the history of the language.

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About six years ago, when I was studying Dutch in Belgium, I remember my surprise when I learned that the Dutch word for 'floor' is 'verdieping', and then saw the word 'étage' (the French word for ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)


Roland Willemyns is Emeritus Professor of Dutch Linguistics at Vrije Universiteit Brussels

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