More than 22 million people speak Dutch-primarily in Holland, Belgium, Suriname, and the Antilles. This book offers a well-researched and highly readable survey of the language in all its historical, geographic, and social aspects. In addition to providing a general introduction to the evolution of Dutch, Willemyns pays special attention to oft-neglected topics, such as the question of whether Dutchmen and Flemings are separated by a common language, and the
contentious matter of the spread of Dutch abroad through colonization, which led to "exotic" variations such as Afrikaans, pidgins, and creoles.
Dutch: Biography of a Language will appeal to students of Dutch and general readers interested in the history of the language.
Roland Willemyns is Emeritus Professor of Dutch Linguistics at Vrije Universiteit Brussels
Chapter One: Who speaks Dutch and where? ; Chapter Two: Old Dutch. Its Ancestors and Its Contemporaries ; Chapter Three: Middle Dutch: Language and Literature ; Chapter Four: Early New Dutch 1500-1800 ; Chapter Five: Reunion and Secession: The Nineteenth Century ; Chapter Six: Twentieth Century: The Age of the Standard Language ; Chapter Seven: Colonial Dutch ; Chapter Eight: Afrikaans ; Chapter Nine: Progress or Decay? The future development of Dutch ; Chapter Ten: Chapter Main Sources and Further Reading