Books and articles
Bruce. Dutch. A Linguistic History of Holland and Belgium.
Amsterdam: Nijhoff, 1983.
a good general introduction, but
is not always reliable in its use of terminology. The word 'Holland'
in the title, rather than the Netherlands, is an instance in point.
There are some factual inaccuracies in the sections on the linguistic
situation in Belgium.
J.M. van der. 'A Brief History of the Dutch Language' in: The Low
Countries: Arts and Society in Flanders and the Netherlands. A Yearbook
1996-97. Rekkem: Stichting Ons Erfdeel, pp. 163-72.
brief English summary of Horst's
well received Korte geschiedenis van de Nederlandse taal (see below).
Collette M. van. An Introduction to Middle Dutch. Berlin and
New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993.
book offers a comprehensive introduction
to Middle Dutch. Analyses and descriptions of grammatical features
alternate with passages on, for instance, cultural and socio-economic
developments during the High Middle Ages and the position of Dutch
within an Indo-European context. Fragments from some of the highlights
of Middle Dutch literature have been fully annotated (with English
translations where appropriate).
O. Dutch: The Language of Twenty Million Dutch and Flemish People.
Trl. by Theo Hermans and Paul Vincent. Rekkem: Stichting Ons Erfdeel,
about sixty pages, this book aims
to give 'a precise and scholarly sketch of the development and principal
features of [the Dutch] language'. Appendices are devoted to the
linguistic characteristics of Dutch, the Dutch dialects, and to
Afrikaans. The bibliography lists works aimed primarily at an Anglophone
audience. Click (@link)
to go to the homepage of the Foundation 'Ons Erfdeel' [Website of the Dutch/Flemish Foundation Ons Erfdeel which promotes the culture of Belgium and the Netherlands abroad. It publishes journals and yearbooks in English and French].
b) in Dutch
Joop van der and Fred Marschall. Korte geschiedenis van de Nederlandse
taal. Third edn. Amsterdam: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 1992.
is a concise and very readable overview
of the linguistic history of Dutch. It offers excerpts from real
historical texts to illustrate the various changes that occurred
over the centuries. There are small chapters on Frisian, Afrikaans,
Surinamese, and the language situation in Belgium.
A. and J.M. van der Horst. Inleiding Oudnederlands. Leuven:
Universitaire Pers Leuven, 2002.
systematic description of Old Dutch,
its grammar, history and historical records, followed by fragments
from the Wachtendonck Psalms (>link)
and the Egmond (or Leiden) Williram. The book contains a full
word list to help you with the reading of the fragments. The extensive
bibliography mainly lists books and articles written in Dutch and
M.C. van de, et al. Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse taal. Amsterdam:
Amsterdam University Press, 1997.
the authors point out themselves
in the preface, this scholarly overview (nearly 700 pages long,
including a fifty-page bibliography) 'has been written with the
language specialist in mind' It is the most demanding of all the
works listed in this bibliography.
Jan W. de, Rolland Willemyns and Peter Burger. Fourth edn. Het
verhaal van een taal. Negen eeuwen Nederlands. Amsterdam: Prometheus,
richly illustrated, and very accessible
history of Dutch aimed at a non-specialist audience. Apart form
the historical overview, there are also chapters devoted to Dutch
dictionaries and grammar books, dialects, loan words, the difference
between Dutch in the Netherlands and Flanders, etc. There is also
a Dutch-language video to accompany the book.
Marijke van der and Cor van Bree, Geschiedenis van het Nederlands.
Aulaboeken. Utrecht: Het Spectrum, 1992.
nearly 500 pages, this overview
is geared towards a slightly more specialist audience than Het verhaal
van een taal. It starts with a discussion of the Germanic language
family in general (paying particular attention to Gothic) and explains
the major sound shifts that occurred in this language group. The
emergence and disappearance of various grammatical features in Dutch
is treated more comprehensively than in the other works mentioned
above (with the notable exception of Toorn, 1997). The excellent
list of suggested secondary reading and the detailed index make
this a reliable work of reference.
Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Vienna
has an excellent site on the history of Dutch. There is a version
in Dutch, German, and English.