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Double Dutch: Language in the Lowlands John Nerbonne, Former Director, Linguistic Research, Univ. of Groningen Curious about the Dutch? 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Double Dutch: Language in the Lowlands John Nerbonne, Former Director, Linguistic Research, Univ. of Groningen Curious about the Dutch? 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Double Dutch: Language in the Lowlands John Nerbonne, Former Director, Linguistic Research, Univ. of Groningen Curious about the Dutch? 2012

2 Double Dutch n Basic facts n History n Structure n Influence on English n Varieties n Color n Future

3 Basic Facts about Dutch n 21 million speakers in The Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders) –more in Suriname, Aruba, Indonesia –approx. 140,000 in US (1990 census) –48th in list of most widely spoken languages (2000) n Afrikaans is related, nearly intelligible (but speakers not the counted in the 21 mill.) n “Plattdeutsch” likewise closely related (Low German spoken in Northern Germany) n Frisian also related, but less closely n First documents ca. 1100 AD

4 Genealogy of Dutch

5 How Do We Know Prehistory?

6 Influences n Statenbijbel (1637) standardization n Celtic -- rijk ‘kingdom’, ijzer ‘iron’, klok ‘clock’, ambacht ‘craft’ n Latin -- keizer ‘emperor’, straat ‘street’, school ‘school’, poort ‘gateway’, pond ‘pound’, peper ‘pepper’ n Frisian -- tjalk ‘small boat’, sjokken ‘trudge’, klunen ‘walk w. skates on land’, kapen ‘capture (as a pirate)’

7 French Borrowings n enquête ‘questionaire’, bureau ‘office’, bureaucratie, administratie, officieel, procedure n avontuur ‘adventure’, blazoen ‘coat of arms’, lans ‘lance’, rivier ‘river’, kampioen, ‘champion’ n buffet, kasteel ‘castle’, matras ‘mattress’, meubel ‘furniture’, feest ‘feast’, plantsoen ‘plantation’

8 French Cuisine, Family n asperge ‘asparagus’, azijn ‘vinegar’, citroen ‘lemon’, compote ‘stewed fruit’, fazant ‘pheasant’, meloen ‘melon’, prei ‘leek’, rijst ‘rice’, saus ‘sauce’, taart ‘cake’ n papa, mama

9 More Influences n Spanish -- cargo, tornado, commando, orkaan ‘hurricane’ n Russian -- doerak ‘fool’, mammoet ‘mammoth’, apparatsjik n Japanese -- japon ‘gown’, samoerai, sjogoen, geisha, zen, mikado

10 Yiddish n smeris ‘cop’, gesjoemel ‘dishonest dealings’, jatten ‘steal’, stiekem ‘secretly’, bajes ‘jail’, gokken ‘gamble’ n smoes ‘dodge, excuse’ kapsones ‘insolence, rudeness’ n lef ‘guts’, ‘mazzel ‘luck’, gein ‘joke’ n mies ‘bad, poor’ tof ‘nice, fine’

11 Colonial Influences n Sranan -- bo-bo ‘big shot’ n Indonesian, Malaysian -- pakkie-an ‘task’, piekeren ‘worry’, pienter ‘smart’, nasi (goreng), bami (goreng), sambal oelek, sate, ketjap, rames

12 German Influences n Medical: arts, allergie, chromosoom, secreet `secretion’, polikliniek, heilgymnastiek `physical therapy’, homeopathie n Psychology: autisme, paranoia, waanzin `madness’, narcisme, gestaltpsychologie n General: Nachwuchs `younger generation’, überhaupt, Kater (meaning hangover)

13 English Influences n Too many modern borrowings to count –Technology, politics, pop culture, science –Some resistance: webstek/‘website’ n no way, whatever, anyway (fill words) n “Reborrowings” –cruise `pleasure trip on a boat’ –gin `genever’ made popular in England by William III of Orange (taxed French imports) –cookie ‘entry in textual log of web browser’

14 “Improved” English Borrowings n stationcar ‘station wagon’ n cola light ‘diet coke’ n folder ‘brochure’ n liften ‘hitchhike’ n globaal ‘rough’ (globale schatting) n beamer ‘lcd projector’ n picknick ‘picnic’, showbizz `show biz’ n lat (relatie) ‘living apart together’ relation, i.e. that of a non-cohabitating couple

15 Other “improvements” n gráfiti (note stress), maffia ‘mafia’ n occasion ‘used car’ (French meaning, English pronunciation)

16 Double Dutch n Basic facts n History n Structure n Influence on English n Varieties n Color n Future

17 Distinctive Structure n Sounds n Spelling n Words n Phrases n Meanings

18 Unusual Sounds n Diphthongs (combined vowels) hij huis hou haai hooi boei leeuw nieuwe schuwe Minimal combinations huis, schuwe, leeuw - involve front rounded vowel like German ‘ue’ or French ‘u’ Complex Combinations? i u a …groeien i e u o a Spanish,Russian

19 Unusual Sounds n ‘harde g’ as in Groningen, lage landen ‘Low Lands’, rug ‘back’, acht (8) n noisier than German Bach, Russian xopoшo n combination with ‘s’ used as a Shibboleth ‘test’ for foreigners (and spies): Scheveningen

20 Spelling n Dutsj is essensjullie a Loo Sjurmennik lenkwitsj wis det vunkie letter (det riepleezes Y) plus a serieuslie koel ortografie. n regular reforms,last ’95, ’06

21 Unusual Words n Can anything be a verb? –voetballen, tennissen, bridgen, sudokuen, fitnessen, etc. –computeren `do something w. computers’ –musiceren `make music’ –klussen `do odd jobs’ –opsexen `make sexy’ –kerken `go to church’ –uitzieken `let an illness run its course’ –rijstafelen ‘dine on rijstafel’ –sonjabakkeren, montingnaccen ‘be a on diet by..” n gebiologeerd `biologized’ (fixated)

22 Can just anything be diminutive? n lam/lammetje `lamb/lammykins’ n eventjes `shortly’-kins n tussendoortje `in the midst of’-kins n onder ons-je ‘[a conversation etc.] between you and me’-kins

23 Portmanteau words & “Splinter compounds” n Telematica – Telecommunicatie + informatica n Burkini – Burkha + bikini n Brangelina – Brad & Angelina n Horeca – Hotel, restaurant [or] cafe n Benelux – België, Nederland & Luxemburg n stufi – Studiefinanciering ‘student loans’

24 Endings or compounds? n Unusual compounds (using verbs) –koffiezetapparrat (coffee-brew V -machine) ‘coffee machine’ –brandblusinstallatie (fire-extinguish V -installation) ‘fire extinguisher’ –aardappelschilmesje (potato-peel V -knife) ‘potato peeler’ n Intensifier “prefixes” –reuze- ‘giant’: reuze-slim ‘very smart’, reuze-leuk ‘very nice’ –wereld- ‘world’ wereld-meid ‘great girl’ –reduplication: in- en in triest ‘very sad’; dood- en doodziek ‘very ill’ (lit. ‘deathly and deathly ill’) n Missing preposition –lid raad van bestuur ‘member [of] council’ –hoofd communicatie ‘head [of] communications’ –adjunct directeur juridische zaken ‘adjunct dir. [of] legal affairs’ n Productive processes –mammoet-wet ‘all-encompassing (educational) law –-baron ‘baron’: afvalbaron ‘rich trash dealer’ (cf. Engl. ‘czar’) –bliksem- ‘lightning’: bliksem-bezoek ‘quick visit’

25 Unusual Phrase Structure n “Verb Second” –like German n vestiges in English Hans gaat morgen naar huis Hans goes tomorrow to home ‘Hans is going home tomorrow’ Morgen gaat H. naar huis Naar huis gaat H. morgen In the forest lived a woodsman. Never have I been so shocked.

26 Unusual Phrase Structure n Cross-Serial Dependence n Subject-Verb Relations Cross Hans vermoedt dat (H. suspects that) Piet Marie leert zwemmen teach to swim ‘Hans suspects that P. is teaching M. to swim’

27 Cross-Serial Dependence n Crossing Relations Iterate n Theoretically hard to process Hans vermoedt dat Jantje Piet Marie zag leren zwemmen saw teach swim ‘H. suspects that J. saw P. teach M. to swim.’

28 “Repeating Construction” n herhalingsconstructie n We zijn het min of meer zijn we het eens n We are it more or less are it agreed n Aka “mirror construction”, “overflow construction” (ANS) n Overlapping templates?

29 Empty sentence endings? n Dat is de zoon van [X]. ‘That’s X’s son’ (X a celebrity). ‘Het is Jean Sarkozy. Hij is de zoon van. n We zullen het steunen mits [X]. ‘We’ll support it as long as [X]’ n We kunnen het niet accepteren tenzij [X]. ‘We can’t accept it unless [X]’ n U moet begrijpen dat we deze maatregelen niet zomaar nemen, maar in het kader van [een reorganisatie]. ‘…in the context of [a reorganisation]’ n Je kunt hem schrijven, bij wijze van [spreken] ‘You could write to him

30 Unusual Meanings n ‘Negative items’ occur only with negation –English ‘ever’, ‘any’, ‘budge’, ‘give a hoot’ n Dutch has at least 100 of these –Groningen research Hoeksema, Zwarts (former rector)

31 Double Dutch n Basic facts n History n Structure n Influence on English, relations with English n Varieties n Color n Future

32 Dutch Borrowings in English n Shipping and naval –boom, bow, buoy, commodore, cruise, dock, freight, keel, keelhaul, pump, skipper, sloop, yacht, smuggle n Textiles –bale, duck (cloth), nap, spool, stripe n Art –easel, etching, landscape, sketch n War –beleaguer, holster, freebooter, onslaught

33 Dutch Borrowings in English n Food and Drink –booze, brandy, coleslaw, cookie, crullers, waffle n Other –bluff, bully, boss, derrick, dollar, drill, dike, frolic, grime, hunk, kink, runt, scum, slim, snap, spook, stoop

34 Dutch Accents in English n Dutch “English” is excellent—generally n this [d I s]/[z I s], thin [s I n] n Dutch [dytš] (like French u, German ü) –“spelling” mispronunciation –Balkenende’s “flut-u’s” (Paola Escudero, Heineken award winner) n Bob [bop], God [got], dog [dok] n bad/bed [bεt], language [lεŋk.f I tš] (Eng. [læŋ.gwədž])

35 ‘Dutch’ in English n ‘double Dutch’ - nonsense n ‘in Dutch with her’ - in trouble with n ‘Dutch treat’, ‘go Dutch’ - split costs (no treat) n ‘dutchman’ - cover-up for construction error n ‘Dutch courage’ - from alcohol n ‘Dutch bargain’ - deal made w. alcohol n ‘Dutch uncle’ - someone with unwanted advice n ‘Dutch disease’ - politics of consensus (W.Laqueur) n also ‘Dutch oven’, ‘Dutch doors’ -- but mostly negative

36 Double Dutch n Basic facts n History n Structure n Influence on English n Varieties n Color n Future

37 Dutch Dialects n Experts distinguish 3-5 main areas, approx. 30 areas in total (in only 40K km 2 ) n Frisian recognized as second language of the Dutch kingdom, and as European “minority language” n Lower Saxon, Limburgs recognized as “regional languages” n Lay interest enormous –clubs, songs, web sites, publications

38 Dutch Dialect Areas

39 How different are dialects from each other? n Standard Dutch n Groningen n Zeeland n Frisia n Flanders n Twente Ons oude huis is afgebrand Our old house [is] burned down

40 Dialect Differences n oude / ouwe / olle n huis / hus (ü) / hoes n afgebrand / afbraat / outband / afabraat

41 How different are dialects from each other? n Standard Dutch n Groningen n Zeeland n Frisia n Flanders n Twente De pastoor heeft goede wijn The minister has good wine

42 Dialect Differences n wijn / win n xoede / xoeje / xoje / xoeoe / hoede / goede / beste n heeft / het / ai / hat

43 Other major differences n final n ‘lopen’ –standard lope, Groningen lop’m n hard/soft g ‘laag’, ‘goede’ –how much “noise” in the g/ch (and how far forward in the mouth it’s pronounced) n aspirated (English-like) vs. unaspirated (French-like) p,t,k –p h aard, paard

44 Dialects vs. Standard Dutch

45 Dialect Continuum?

46 Double Dutch n Basic facts n History n Structure n Influence on English n Varieties n Color n Future

47 Color n Interest in Language n Coinages with cultural speculation n Humor n Obscenity/Cursing? n Idioms, Proverbs

48 Interest in Language n Onze Taal - private foundation for language issues n Taalunie - government organization for questions of standards, technology n Algemeen Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal - 45K pages! World’s largest Dictionary. n Six semi-regular language columns in newspapers

49 Interest in Language n Foreign languages –5 in college-prep. schools (gymnasia) n Excellent facility with English (even TV) n Foreigners trying to learn Dutch find it difficult to find Dutch who are willing (they all want to practice English) –but Dutch are critical of foreign residents “who don’t take the trouble to learn Dutch”

50 Culture & Coinage n vergadercultuur - ‘meetings culture’ n alle neuzen dezelfde kant op - ‘all noses in the same direction’ -- the goal of decision makers is consensus n gedoogbeleid - ‘policy of tolerance’, esp. w.r.t. soft drugs & sex, sometimes also w.r.t. zoning & safety n maaiveld ‘mowing field’ - whatever pokes out above the rest is cut back –derogatory terms for show-offs, braggarts, etc - kapsones; kakkineus, elitair of dik doen; opscheppen; naast je schoenen lopen; spatjes hebben; jezelf op de borst kloppen

51 Culture and Coinage n inspanningsverplichting - ‘responsibility to try’ n verworven rechten - ‘acquired rights’ n planologie - ‘urban planning’ n onthutst, verontwaardigd, verbijsterd, ontgoocheld - lots of words covering indignation n wildplassen ‘urination outside usual facilities’

52 Humor n About the Dutch - miserly –How to break up a demonstration? Pass a collection plate. –Why are Dutch nostrils so big? --The air is free. –What’s a Dutchman do if he wins the lottery? --Recounts the money. n In fact the Dutch donate generously

53 Dutch Humor n Strong “maaiveld” streak -- humor that cuts big shots down to size n “Gonzo” elements, free fantasy –Youp van ‘t Hek on Maxima even makes fun of the royal family (uncommon target)

54 Everyone loves Cruijff n "Italianen kennen niet van je winnen, maar je ken wel van ze verliezen.” (Italians can’t beat you, but you can lose to them.) n “Als je wilt scoren, moet je schieten” (If you want to score, you have to shoot) n “Ieder nadeel heeft z’n voordeel” (Every disadvantage has its advantage)

55 Obscenity/Cursing n lots of cursing, obscenity n obscenities focus on genital rather anal area n less sensitive –no “forbidden words” for radio, TV n cursing - wishing disease –krijg de tering/kanker/tyfus/pokken/stuipen/beroerte! `get TB/cancer/typhoid/smallpox/convulsions/stroke’ –Van der Waals ‘Dutch Terms of Abuse’ Maledicta 13, 2005 Ellending, Pestpokkentyfuskankerteringwijf! n Bond tegen het Vloeken ‘Anti-Cursing League’ campaigns in train stations –religious focus

56 Idioms and Proverbs n Appreciated in speech and prose n Idioms often based on water and shipping n Water Dat zet geen zoden aan de dijk That sets no sod on the dike That doesn’t help. oude koeien uit het sloot halen old cows out of the trench haul Bring up painful memories van de wal in de sloot from the bank into the trench out of the frying pan, into the fire

57 Idioms and Proverbs n Idioms based on shipping, fishing tussen wal en schip vallen between shore and ship fall fall between the cracks de beste stuurlui staan aan de wal the best helmsmen stand ashore Talk is cheap Achter het net vissen behind the net fish go through the motions with little chance of success

58 Idioms and Proverbs n Idioms based on shipping, fishing de boot missen, afhouden miss the boat, keep the boat away miss an opportunity, prevent something happening de stormbal hijsen Hoist the storm ball Warn of impending danger het roer omgooien turn the rudder change radically

59 Proverbs n Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564- 1638) created a painting dedicated to Proverbs n Copied his father’s work n Many other versions -- popular topic

60

61 Dutch -- The Future n Unrest about influence of English –Minister of Education Ritzen proposed that universities switch to English (1993) –Lots of English in everyday Dutch Ik heb alle hits gedownload van de web I downloaded all the hits from the web –English “more attractive” in experiments, but not more reliable, knowledgeable Giftshop Marianne / Cadeauwinkel Marianne n Will Dutch survive? Unquestionably!

62 A Bit of Gronings n Groningers known for laconic understatement n Het kon minder -- high praise n unlike Eng. ‘It could have been worse’ n My wish: when you summarize your stay here, you’ll want to say “Het kon minder” ‘It could have been less’


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