The Reform of Dutch Spelling Anneke Nunn Nijmegen October by SayreW

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									The 2005 Reform of Dutch
        Spelling
       Anneke Nunn


        Nijmegen
      October 6, 2006
Background

Every ten years a new spelling dictionary
A) Update vocabulary
B) Make rules explicit and complete but “no
   changes”
C) For 2005: abolish differences between
   dictionaries created in 1995
Effect of changes


A) 0,04% of words in newspapers etc. changed
B) Uniform spelling in all dictionaries in the
   Netherlands and Belgium
C) Protests and alternative spelling (Witte Spelling)
Overview of changes


1)   -e(n)- in compounds
2)   S p a c e s and hy-phens
3)   CAPITAL LETTTERS
4)   diminutives

5)   French & English verbal inflection
6)   Dutchification or not?
1) -e(n)- in compounds

1995: fauna/flora exception: words
  composed of animal name and plant
  name are written with -e-
                                           not fauna/flora

paard     paarden        paardendief
“horse”    “horses”      “horse thief”
                      paardenstal, etc.
                      “horse stable”        fauna/flora


                               paardebloem
                      “horse flower”, “dandelion”
2) Spaces and hyphens
                                           combination of
                                            words which
                                            denote one
                                             concept:
                                         “samenkoppeling”



vrouw-zijn (“being a woman”)    → vrouw-zijn
ups and downs                   → ups-and-downs
       Compounds withouspaces


but
                                         apparently not a
                                        “samenkoppeling”



langzaam-aan-actie (“go-slow”) → langzaamaanactie
have-not                       → havenot
2) Spaces and hyphens (cont.)              suggests Dutch
                                                 word
                                             beschrijver
                                            (“describer”)
                                              instead of
                                               schrijver
New spelling less readable:                    (“writer”)

                                              sociable
would-be-schrijver → would-beschrijver     psychologist or
                                             practiser of
                                                social
        Compounds withouspaces              psychology ?
sociaal-psycholoog → sociaal psycholoog
                                           10 notes of 1
                                              euro or
10-eurobiljetten → 10 eurobiljetten         notes of 10
                                               euro?

bakkerij-ingrediënt → bakkerijingrediënt
(“bakery ingredient”)

                                            ij-i or i-ji?
3) Capital Letters
a)   “Donor Principle” for abbreviations and proper names
b)   Despite this: more rules
                                                               name used to
                                                            denote object: lower
                                                                   case
               brand of Mr. Ford
 een Ford                            een diesel               compound with
                                                             name of inventor/
                                                             discoverer: lower
 Dylanfan       explicit relation
                with Mr. Dylan       coopertest                    case


 syndroom van Down                   downsyndroom                       id.


 Bijbel              Dr. Down        bijbel                      a copy of the
                                                               book: lower case
 Apache                              indiaan        collective term for ethnic
                  the holy text
                                                       groups: lower case
                                     jood
                     specific kind
                       of indian                  name based on belief: lower
                                                           case
3) Capital Letters (cont.)
 Constant spelling?
     isolation           compound           derivation




 Nederland          Nederlandkunde       Nederlands
 “The Netherlands”     “Dutch studies”     “Dutch”

 Rembrandt    Rembrandtjaar
   rembrandtesk
 “id.”               “Rembrandt Year”
         “Rembrandtlike”
4) Diminutives
1954/1995/2005:
    foto – fotootje   readability overrules
                        constant spelling
    taxi – taxietje
    café – cafeetje
                                                constant spelling
    baby – baby’tje                           overrules readability



1954/1995                             2005:
    diner – dineetje                  dinertje
    souvenir – souveniertje           souvenirtje
    depot – depootje                  depotje
5) French & English verbal inflection
                                        noun adapted
                                        for verb stem

       fondue: fonduede        → fondude
                                          Dutch or
       douche:       ik douche → ik douch
                                        French verb:
                                            stem =
                                        infinitive - en
        (“shower”)

                                        noun = verb
                                           stem




       barbecue: barbecuen → barbecueën
       lease:   leasen - leaste →English stem +
                                  English verb:
                                   inflection
          leasede/leasete
6) Dutchification or not?



Accents abolished in “common” French
  words                  common word


    revérence → reverence     apparently
                                not a
                            common word
    (“curtsy”)

    apropos → à propos

                               despite
                              fabrikant,
The spelling of a few nonnative words has
                               fabriek
  been changed
    fabrikaat → fabricaat
 Conclusion


The new spelling aims at explicitness and full
  coverage. The less favourable results are:
      • increased complexity
      • decreased flexibility
      • decreased readability
In general: no obvious direction of reform; it is
   unpredictable what will happen in 10 years
    Constraints on spelling reforms


●    For each change: theoretical motivation based
     on spelling principles, research of the effects
     on writing AND reading AND learning to read
     and write.
●    Proper linguistic definition of concepts used in
     rules.
●    Dictionary and fixed rules for core spelling;
     guidelines and flexibility for the periphery.
●    Guidelines for reforms in general, in order to
     reach stability by successive reforms.

								
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