Speak no e-vil: Is the Standard Dutch language becoming endangered?

Ester Magis, Piet Van de Craen

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract (Journal)


According to Watt (2010) digital computer technology “has become […] an increasingly popular means of communication” (p. 141). Not only our view on reading, writing and translating has changed drastically, but also our attitude towards spelling, education and standard language. Informal and regional language forms have gained popularity, by which the line between standard and non-standard language is starting to fade. Van der Horst (2008) even predicts the end of the Dutch standard language and eventually all European standard languages in general.When taking a look at the field of chat language, longitudinal and comparative studies are conspicuous by their absence. This case study attempts to bridge the existing gap by taking a closer, longitudinal look at the presence of standard Dutch and Dutch interlanguage in chat conversations of a higher-educated woman whose utterances have been collected during a period of ten years (2005 - 2015). Based on De Caluwe (2000), De Ridder (2007), Rys & Taeldeman (2007) and Taeldeman (2008) several features of Dutch interlanguage were selected and adapted to the corpus.The results show that standard Dutch is far from being a “dead language”, as predicted by Van der Horst (2008) and De Caluwe (2009). In the case study a change from Dutch interlanguage into standard Dutch is noticeable on a morpho-phonological, morpho-syntactical, syntactical, semantical, as well as a lexical level throughout the years. From the age of 16 until the age of 19, the utterances show a clear presence of Dutch interlingual features, whereas from the age of 20 years onwards the utterances are all written in standard Dutch. The educational background of the subject and the changing age are plausible explanations for this “internal language change”. Nevertheless, more research is needed in order to draw greater conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-52
Number of pages1
Journal36th Annual Linguistics Conference - TABU Dag 2015 (4-5 June 2015) - Conference abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event36th TABU Dag - Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Jun 20155 Jun 2015


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