Spoken Dutch in Flanders:

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Oct 24, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Spoken Dutch in Flanders:

Perceptions and attitudes of the Dutch language
situation by non
-
linguists





Chloé
Lybaert

Chloe.Lybaert
@
ugent.be

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Johan De
Caluwe

1.
Introduction


The Dutch language situation


Dutch
=
pluricentric

language


Focus on
Flanders

= Dutch
-
speaking
part of Belgium


Standardization in Flanders during
the 20th century:

written language: strongly standardized




spoken language: lack of standardization &
strong diversity


Focus on the
spoken language
, esp.
on
tussentaal


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Lybaert

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1.
Introduction


Tussentaal


Tussentaal

(TT) = lit. “in
-
between
-
language”

= that spoken language use of some Flemish people which is
neither ‘Standard Dutch’, nor is it purely dialectical: it is
something in between
(Jaspers 2001, p. 129
-
130)
.


Features from Standard Dutch (SD) and Dutch dialects (DIA).


Continuum of varieties of TT in between SD and DIA


Diaglossic

language situation
(Auer 2005)



DIA




Tussentaal




SD




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1.
Introduction


Tussentaal


Many publications on
tussentaal

(TT):


In spontaneous conversations, soaps, commercials,
etc.
(De
Caluwe

2009; Van
Gijsel

et al. 2008).


Studies based on the
Spoken Dutch Corpus
(e.g.
Plevoets

2008)


General consensus:
increasing use of TT (TT)


But: TT is
not

a
new

phenomenon


Language characteristics of TT have always existed
(
Willemyns

2005)


New: change in the intentions of the speakers?


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1.
Introduction


Tussentaal

Change in the intentions of the speakers?


Formerly: TT seen as an attempt to speak Standard Dutch


intermediate stage


cf.
interlanguage

in second language acquisition
(
Beheydt

1993,
Geeraerts

1999).


TT as the highest attainable level!


Hypothesis: now in addition, TT with no intention of
speaking SD


Language used at home (replacement of dialect)
(De
Caluwe

2000)


Hypocorrect

language: “deliberately more careless use of
language by highly educated people”
(
Plevoets

2009, p. 5)




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1.
Introduction



Tussentaal

Consequences
of this hypothesis?


Now different types of TT alongside one another


TT as
interlanguage


TT as home
language


TT as
hypocorrect

language


TT
considered

as a thread to Standard Dutch

cf
. debate about TT in Flanders
:


W
rong intentions of the speakers


No
attempt to speak
Standard Dutch




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1.
Introduction


Research question

This hypothesis still remains largely
uninvestigated


Perceptions and intentions of Flemish language users
are still
underexposed

(De
Caluwe

2009)


Linguists project their knowledge and perceptions on
linguistic lays

(De
Caluwe

2009: 9):


Supposing

that

the

average

language

user

in

general,

and

young

people

in

particular,

perceive

and

value

the

current

variation

of

dialectical,

regiolectical
,

standard

and

English

forms

differently

from

language

specialists,

the

future

of

Dutch

in

Flanders

might

be

quite

different

from

what

specialists

think

and

hope

[my

translation,

CL]
.


Here:
perceptions of linguistic lays
= centre of attention
!


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2.
Ideological

background


Debate on TT against the background of the
Flemish
history of standardization
:


19th
-
20th century: dominance

of French in
Flanders


Flemish opposition, esp. by the Flemish Movement


=

a

political

movement

for

emancipation

and

greater

autonomy

of

the

Belgian

region

of

Flanders,

for

protection

of

the

Dutch

language,

and

for

the

over
-
all

protection

of

Flemish

culture

and

history


Internal conflict: Integrationists vs.
particularists


Take
-
over of the Dutch language as it is spoken in the Netherlands


Strong climate of standardization in
Fland
ers
.


1950


1980:
Hyperstandardizatio
n

(Van Hoof & Jaspers
2012)

=>
Language use in Flanders strongly
ideologized
!

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3.
Spoken language use in Flanders


Standardization of spoken Dutch in Flanders
:


Formal spoken language bears close resemblance to
spoken language in the Netherlands


BUT:
hardly ever spoken in reality


“Sunday suit”
(
Geeraerts

2001)


Room for an informal spoken SD?
(De
Caluwe

2009)


Informal SD closely resembles formal SD


Standard = too high


Hardly ever spoken


Use of an
umgangssprache

instead


U
se of
t
ussentaal


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3.
Spoken language use in Flanders

Status of TT?


Area of tension between TT and SD


What is the status of Standard Dutch?


cf. European research network
Standard Language
Ideology in Contemporary Europe

(SLICE)


2 possible scenario’s


Destandardization

(
Fairclough

1992):
abandoning the
standard language ideal


Demoticization

(
Mattheier

1997):
incorporation of variation

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3
. Spoken language use in Flanders

Applied to the Flemish language situation:


Destandardization
: standard language vacuum
(
Grondelaers

et al. 2011)


Imported norm hardly ever used


No replacement


Demoticization

(
Plevoets

2008):


Expansion of the norm, incorporation of
tussentaal


Standard Dutch with a formal and informal pole

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3. Spoken language use in Flanders



Lack of
perceptional

and attitudinal data:


[T]here

is

an

equally

problematic

absence

of

perception

data,

pertaining

to

lay

evaluations

of

ongoing

change

[

]

it

is

essential

to

find

out

what

untrained

members

of

the

speech

community

think

and

feel

about

norm

relaxations

such

as

audible

regional

accents

in

the

standard

(
Grondelaers

&

Van

Hout

2011
,

p
.

201
)
.


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4.
Case study

4.1.
Research question

4.2. Research design

4.3. Stimulus material

4.4. Informants

4.5. Analysis


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4.1. Case study: Research question

Macro variation

Lack of research data on
perceptions and attitudes
of
the average language user:


“a general folk theory of
language”
(Preston 2002)


Perception of the Flemish
language situation


Knowledge on
tussentaal


Attitudes towards regional
variation in Standard Dutch


TOPIC OF TODAY

Micro variation

Lack of research data on the
salience
of language features


WORK IN PROGRESS

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4.2. Case study: Research design


80 informants


spoken interview


7 audio fragments


Conversation about the fragments and about language use
in Flanders in general


Conversation about linguistic features


Reported perceptions and attitudes
are central:
language
regard

(Preston 2010)


Questions:


Introductory question:
How would you describe the Dutch
language situation to someone who has never been to Belgium?


Questions on language use in the audio fragments


Which language is spoken in this fragment?


On which features do you base your judgment?

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4.3. Case study: Stimulus material


7 fragments containing
natural language use


Source:
The Spoken Dutch Corpus
(only
spontaneous conversations and interviews)


Fragments spoken in Standard Dutch or
Tussentaal

(from diverse regions)


Fragments spoken in TT:


Pronunciation: SD, but with a regional accent (cf.
tertiary
dialect characteristics

(
Rys

&
Taeldeman

2007)
)


Some morphological and syntactical dialecticisms


Vocabulary = informal, but no dialect vocabulary


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4.4. Case study: informants


80 informants:


Constant factors:


Educational level: high


Mother tongue: Dutch


Independent variables:


Age:
°
1988
-
1991 &
°
1961
-
1970


Regional distribution: East
-
Flanders, West
-
Flanders,
Brabant (=
Antwerpen

&
Vlaams
-
Brabant) & Limburg


Sex: male/female




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4.4. Case study: informants

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Edu
.

level

High

Birth

year

1961
-
1970

1988
-
1991

Sex

M

V

M

V

Region

B

O
V

W
V

L

B

O
V

W
V

L

B

O
V

W
V

L

B

O
V

W
V

L

N
°
:

80

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

4.5. Case study: Analysis


Reported knowledge and perception central:
W
hat do the informants
say about
the Flemish language
situation?


Results
qualitatively
analysed: processing the
interviews


Linguistic lays:


Reflecting on language for the first time?


Other view on language (not an inferior view!)


Other vocabulary (+ terminology does not always
cover the same ground)


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5.
Results: prototypical DIA and SD


Most informants have a similar idea on what
SD and DIA prototypically is.


Cf. prototype theory in cognitive science


Linguistics: semantics
(vb.
Lakoff

1987)


Furniture:
chair

vs.
table/bed


Here: “cognitive sociolinguistics”
(vb. Kristiansen
2008,
Geeraerts

2010)


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5.
Results: prototypical DIA and SD

Prototypical SD



Language characteristics:


Full articulation of words


No dialect vocabulary


No regional accent

=> Clearly understandable language


Area of use:


The national station, teachers (of
Dutch) & politicians


Always useable, esp. in formal
situations


Mostly asks a lot of effort from
the speakers


Normative ring: polished speech,
correct speech, etc.



Prototypical DIA


Language characteristics:


Dialect vocabulary


Regional pronunciation

=> Hard to understand: strong
regional differences


Area of use:


Regional language use


Informal language use


Often used by older people


No effort


Normative ring: “plat” (coarse
language)

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5.
Results: prototypical DIA and SD

Prototypical SD


OVMJ1: ja
da’s

al AN vind ‘k

INT: ja en
waaraan herken je dat dan?
OVMJ1:
alles
alles

deftig uitgesproken

INT: ja
OVMJ1: geen dialectwoorden bijna


OVMJ2:
da’s

duidelijk AN

INT: ja en is ’t
duidelijk uit welke regio de spreker
komt?
OVMJ2: ‘k zou ’t echt niet weten
ze spreekt echt wel heel AN


OVMJ5:
pff

ja der wordt
vanalles

gesproken
hé natuurlijk maar ge kunt wel bij
iedereen overweg met standaardtaal

INT: dus wat wordt er dan gesproken?
vooral dialect?
LMJ2: via ik vind het
vooral veel dialect er zijn maar weinig
mensen die echt correct AN spreken
INT: ja
LMJ2: enkel volgens mij maar op
het
VRT
-
nieuws

ofzo




Prototypical DIA

INT: ja
ja

en waarom vind je dat dan
dialect of
BMJ5: ja
ja

ik zeg het
euh

ze
gebruikt bepaalde woorden die niet
overal voorkomen
INT: ja
BMJ5: en ja
die klanken die intonatie
da’s

echt wel
euh

LVO3: ja de dialecten hé
INT: ja
ja

en
LVO3:
per regio en per bijna per dorp bijna
hebde

een ander dialect

INT: ja en
euhm

in welke situaties is dat
gepast?
WVVJ5:
euh

in een informele
situatie
INT: ja en wat vind je zelf van
dat taalgebruik?
WVVJ5:
euhm

ja als ’t
informeel is dan vind ik dat
dat

zeker
mag
INT: ja
WVVJ5: maar en zeker
tussen twee West
-
Vlamingen

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5.
Results: prototypical DIA and SD

Mindmap

invoegen

als

voorbeeld

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5. Results: variation in SD

Is a regional accent allowed in (less prototypical)
Standard Dutch?


13/80: Unclear


Not/hardly mentioned during the interview


(apparently ?) contradictory statements of one informant



23/80: Regional accent unacceptable


Regional accent:
approximation of SD, attempt to speak
SD,
etc.


11/80: Slight accent acceptable


33/80: Accent acceptable


Not necessarily tolerant towards all accents


Often a case of not being able to speak without an accent


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5.
Results:
tussentaal

Strong variation in how
tussentaal

is recognised and
named:


All the informants recognise language use in between
SD & DIA

…but many still have a bipolar/
diglossic

model.


25/80 knows and uses the term
tussentaal

or
Verkavelingsvlaams

(= language spoken on real estates):


Usually described with reference to SD and the dialects


Not really SD, not really DIA


In
-
between
-
language, mixture


According to some: TT as an attempt to speak SD


Gradations of TT

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5
. Results:
tussentaal


Other informants:


Other term (not
tussentaal
):


Regiolect


Spreektaal

(= Spoken language)


Omgangstaal

(=
umgangssprache
)


Vlaams

(= Flemish)


Gekuist

dialect (=Polished dialect)


Vertrouwenstaal

(= confidential language)


Description (cf. descriptions of the term

tussentaal
) =>
further research required

=> Not everyone knows and recognises
tussentaal

because they have learnt about it at school! Also
spontaneous recognition!

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6
. Summary


Perception of the Flemish language situation
by linguistic lays + attitudes towards accent
variation in Standard Dutch


Prototypical conception of SD & DIA


Diverse attitudes towards accent variation in SD


Recognition of in
-
between
-
language


Different ways of describing in
-
between
-
language: TT,
other terminology or description


Reference to SD and DIA

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References


Auer
, P. (2005).
Europe's

sociolinguistic

unity
,
or

A
Typology

of
European

Dialect/Standard
Constellations
. In N.
Delbecque
, J. Van Der
Auwera

& D.
Geeraerts

(
Eds
.),
Perspectives

on

Variation

(pp. 7
-
42). Berlin/New York:
Mouton

De
Gruyter
.


Beheydt
, L. (1993). De toekomst van het Nederlands. Een nieuwe
taalstrijd? In L.
Beheydt

(Ed.),
Tussen taal en staat: vooruitkijken voor
Vlaanderen (pp. 75
-
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Davidsfonds
.


De
Caluwe
, J. (2000). Over de functie en status van tussentaal in
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Viering 20 jaar taalunie: conferentie taalbeleid en taalvariatie.


De
Caluwe
, J. (2009). Tussentaal wordt omgangstaal in Vlaanderen.
Nederlandse Taalkunde, 14, 8
-
25.


Fairclough
, N. (1992).
Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity
Press.


Geeraerts
, D. (1999). Noch standaard, noch dialect. 'Tussentaal' in
Vlaanderen en Nederland.
Onze Taal, 9, 232
-
235.

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References


Geeraerts
, D. (2001). Een zondagspak? Het Nederlands in Vlaanderen: gedrag,
beleid, attitudes.
Ons Erfdeel, 44, 337
-
344.


Geeraerts
, D. (2010). Schmidt
redux
:
How

systematic

is the
linguistic

system
if

variation

is
rampant
. In K.
Boye

& E.
Engeberg
-
Pederson

(
Eds
.),
Language

Usage

and
Language

Structure
. Berlin/New York:
Mouton

De
Gruyter
.


Grondelaers
, S., & Van
Hout
, R. (2011). The Standard Language Situation in the
Low Countries: Top
-
Down and Bottom
-
Up Variations on a
Diaglossic

Theme.
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-
243.


Grondelaers
, S., Van
Hout
, R., &
Speelman
, D. (2011). A perceptual typology of
standard language situations in the Low Countries. In T. Kristiansen & N.
Coupland

(Eds.),
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(pp.
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Jaspers, J. (2001). Het Vlaamse stigma. Over tussentaal en normativiteit.
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-
153.


Kristiansen
, G. (2008).
Style
-
shifting

and
shifting

styles
: A
socio
-
cogintive

approach

to
lectal

variation
. In G.
Kristiansen

& R.
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(
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Sociolinguistics
.
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,
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Models,
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-
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References


Lakoff
, G. (1987).
Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal
about the Mind. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.


Mattheier
, K. (1997).
Über

destandardiseiering
,
Umstandardisierung

and
Standardisiering

in modernen
Europäischen

Standardsprachen
? In K.
Mattheier

&
E.
Radtke

(
Eds
.),
Standardisierung

und

Destandardisierung

Europäischer

Nationalsprachen
. (pp. 1
-
9). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.


Plevoets
, K. (2008).
Tussen spreek
-

en standaardtaal. Een
corpusgebaseerd

onderzoek naar de situationele, regionale en sociale verspreiding van enkele
morfo
-
syntactische

verschijnselen uit het gesproken
Belgisch
-
Nederlands
.,
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven.


Plevoets
, K. (2009).
Verkavelingsvlaams

als de voertaal van de verburgerlijking van
Vlaanderen.
Studies van de BKL, 4.


Preston, D. (2002). Language with an attitude. In J. K. Chambers, P.
Trudgill

& N.
Schilling
-
Estes (Eds.),
The handbook of language variation and change (pp. 40
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66).
Oxford/Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell
Publichers
.


Preston, D. (2010). Perceptual Dialectology in the 21st Century. In A. Anders, M.
Hundt

& A.
Lasch

(Eds.),
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Neue

Wege

der
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(pp.
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Gruyter
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References


Rys
, K., &
Taeldeman
, J. (2007). Fonologische ingrediënten
van Vlaamse tussentaal. In D. Sandra, R.
Rymenans
, P.
Cuvelier

& P. Van
Petegem

(
Eds
.),
Tussen taal, spelling en
onderwijs. Essays bij het emeritaat van Frans
Daems
. (pp.
23
-
34). Gent:
Academia

Press
.


Van
Gijsel
, S., Speelman, D., &
Geeraerts
, D. (2008).
Style

shifting

in commercials.
Journal of
Pragmatics
, 40, 205
-
226.


Van Hoof, S., &
Jaspers
, J. (2012). Hyperstandaardisering.
Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal
-

en Letterkunde, 128(2),
97
-
125.


Willemyns
, R. (2005).
Verkavelingsbrabants
. Werkt het
integratiemodel ook voor tussentalen?
Neerlandica Extra
Muros
, 43, 27
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40.


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