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Further reading

| English (below) | Dutch (>link) | Web (>link) |

1. Books and articles

a) in English

Donaldson, Bruce. Dutch. A Linguistic History of Holland and Belgium. Amsterdam: Nijhoff, 1983.

Offers 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.

Horst, 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.

A brief English summary of Horst's well received Korte geschiedenis van de Nederlandse taal (see below).

Kerckvoorde, Collette M. van. An Introduction to Middle Dutch. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993.

This 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).

Vandeputte, O. Dutch: The Language of Twenty Million Dutch and Flemish People. Trl. by Theo Hermans and Paul Vincent. Rekkem: Stichting Ons Erfdeel, 1981.

In 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

Horst, Joop van der and Fred Marschall. Korte geschiedenis van de Nederlandse taal. Third edn. Amsterdam: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 1992.

This 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.

Quak, A. and J.M. van der Horst. Inleiding Oudnederlands. Leuven: Universitaire Pers Leuven, 2002.

A 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 German.

Toorn, M.C. van de, et al. Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse taal. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1997.

As 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.

Vries, Jan W. de, Rolland Willemyns and Peter Burger. Fourth edn. Het verhaal van een taal. Negen eeuwen Nederlands. Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1994.

A 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.

Wal, Marijke van der and Cor van Bree, Geschiedenis van het Nederlands. Aulaboeken. Utrecht: Het Spectrum, 1992.

Numbering 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.

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2. Websites

The 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.

Click (@link)


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