Reviews and commentaries

Amelanner taalferoarings ûnder it fergrutglês


  • S. Dyk


On the Frisian island of Ameland a dialect is spoken which is, in a certain sense, a mix of Dutch and Frisian. It is in this respect comparable to dialects spoken in the larger towns on the Frisian mainland. The Ameland dialect is the subject of Jansen (2010): a sociolinguistic study about dialect change and dialect loss focussing mainly on the levels of phonology and morphology. This review is critical of certain analyses of linguistic properties of the Ameland dialect presented in the book. The review also takes a critical stance towards an, at times, poor interpretation of previous findings in Frisian linguistics, and towards aspects of the categorization of the investigated variables. It is further argued that Jansen overestimates the role of Frisian, both with respect to its social position on the mainland and as a factor of influence on the Ameland dialect. As to the latter, 
inconsistencies in Jansen’s account of this alleged influence are pointed out. 
Jansen overlooks the factor of linguistic distance. In the constellation of the mixed dialects there is no continuum with Frisian, and as a matter of fact, it can be argued that its speakers think they speak a variety that is closer to Dutch. In the case of this particular island dialect, linguistic distance might be as influential a factor as is geographical isolation.





Reviews and commentaries