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'De bril van de taalkundige. Taalbeschouwing als overdracht van culturele waarden’

By J. Noordegraaf


In the history of the development of the Dutch standard language the nineteenth century takes pride of place. It was the nineteenth century that saw the rise and the elaboration of a concept of Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands (‘Received Standard Dutch’) which was based on the Dutch that was spoken by well-educated people in the province of Holland. In the 1850's the Dutch linguist Taco Roorda argued that it was the spoken language that was the true language, not the written language, and that the standard language should be based on it. As it appears, for this insight he was much indebted to Wilhelm von Humboldt’s energeia concept. Subsequently, Roorda’s views were popularized through the Vermakelijke spraakkunst (‘Comic grammar’) composed by Jacob van Lennep (1865) and they were taken over in South-Africa by scholars such as the Dutch expat Arnoldus Pannevis and his Afrikaans student S.J. du Toit. To them, Afrikaans was not just a Dutch dialect, but a language in its own right and therefore they sought to elevate spoken Afrikaans to the level of a standard language. In the last quarter of the century Du Toit drew on Roorda’s ideas for an apologia of spoken Afrikaans (1891). Seeking to justify its promotion to a written standard language and in order to demonstrate that the spoken language was regarded as the true language by authoritative linguists, he hailed Roorda’s key publication of 1858. \ud Another Dutch linguist, the classical scholar Johannes Brill, had studied the works of the renowned linguist Max Müller with fervour. Having moved on to South-Africa, Brill propounded in a 1875 public lecture that the Cape Dutch dialect could in due time be elevated to a language of its own, also having its own literature. In doing so, Brill aptly applied Müller’s Humboldtian views he had learned when still in patria, to the Afrikaans vernacular, the ‘landstaal’. \ud Thus, it can be concluded that crucial linguistic insights acquired in the Netherlands did play a role in the Afrikaans questione della lingua, the battle for the recognition of Afrikaans as a true language in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It is a fine example of how cultural values can be transmitte

Topics: Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands, ABN, Afrikaans, landstaal,Taco Roorda, Wilhelm von Humboldt, energeia, Jacob van Lennep, Vermakelijke Spraakkunst, Arnoldus Pannevis, S.J. du Toit, Johannes Brill, Max Müller, transmission of cultural and linguistic values
Publisher: Amsterdam: Stichting Neerlandistiek VU & Münster: Nodus Publikationen
Year: 2010
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Provided by: DSpace at VU

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