A historical-sociolinguistic analysis of ego-documents from 19th century Flanders

Project Details


This final postdoctoral project deals with egodocuments from Flanders (letters, diaries, travel journals) from the first half of the 'long 19th century' (1787-1840). Using original documents from scribes pertaining to all social classes, the sources will be analysed on the levels of spelling, style, dialect interference, official writing norms, and the social stratification of writing quality. This should render an overview of language variation and language use during three crucial periods of the language history on the Dutch language area:
-the French period (1787-1814), usually branded as the catalysing factor for the assumed decay of Dutch during the later 19th century
-the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1814-1830), during which the Northern and Southern Low Countries (and the Dutch used in both areas) were reunited
-and the first years of the kingdom of Belgium, the real 'anni horribili' for Dutch in Flanders
As such, the project should provide us with new insights (based on primary sources) in the linguistic reality of the everyday writer during the half-century that determined the later evolution and standardisation of Dutch in Flanders.
Effective start/end date1/01/0731/12/07

Flemish discipline codes

  • Languages and literary studies