Historical sociolinguistics of Dutch. Orthography in Flanders (1720-1830)

Rik Vosters, Gijsbert Rutten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


This talk discusses metalinguistic discourse and orthographical practice in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in the Southern Netherlands ('Flanders'). Whereas a lot is know about Dutch language standardization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, what happened after that, especially in the Southern territories, is still partly uncharted territory. This contribution will examine and challenge the myths of language decline and linguistic chaos that are often associated with eighteenth and early-nineteenth-century Flanders. The authors show that there was a vivid and coherent normative tradition, especially on the level of orthography, and that even a case of apparent orthographical disorder, such as the so-called accent spelling, can be counted as an instance of language standardization in the eighteenth-century Southern Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistorical Sociolinguistics: past, present and future. Celebrating the work of Prof. Dr. Roland Willemyns. Brugge.
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 Jan 2009 → …


Period1/01/09 → …


  • historical sociolinguistics
  • Dutch
  • language history


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