The language norm in a century of Frisian dictionaries

By November 17, 2016,
AuthorPieter Duijff
TitleThe language norm in a century of Frisian dictionaries
AbstractSince the Renaissance, in Western Europe language builders have been making efforts to standardise languages. In the Netherlands and in Belgium the Dutch standard language became accepted generally. The standardising process of Frisian, the second official language in the Netherlands, was different, and it still is. The standard for Frisian had not crystallized out yet. In practice, this means that several variant forms and pronunciations are accepted. A series of Frisian dictionaries have been published in the past hundred years. In this contribution the question will be answered whether these dictionaries contributed to standardising Frisian. Did the dictionaries reflect dialectal diversity or did they have a prescriptive design? In answering this question, the position of four phonological variations in the dictionaries has been investigated. Also has been made an inventory of the editor’s comments on their selection of dialect forms. On the base of the results, the conclusion must be that Frisian dictionaries did not use one and the same standard language consequently. A small number of dictionaries consciously prefer to include only one variant entry form. Just the more elaborate and widely used dictionaries show a rather tolerant standard of language, though not in consequent fashion. The electronic language databases of the Fryske Akademy show that in practice the choices made by the most frequently consulted dictionaries were followed generally. In the paper also a picture of the Frisian language and a briefly description of the history of Frisian lexicography have been given.
SessionLexicography of Lesser Used or Non-State Languages
author = {Pieter Duijff},
title = {The language norm in a century of Frisian dictionaries},
pages = {1471-1484},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2010},
month = {jul},
date = {6-10},
address = {Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, The Netherlands},
editor = {Anne Dykstra and Tanneke Schoonheim},
publisher = {Fryske Akademy},
isbn = {978-90-6273-850-3},