Nederland en Vlaanderen: (a)symmetrisch pluricentrisme in taal en cultuur | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 51, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729


Dutch is a pluricentric language with Dutch Dutch as the dominant variety and Belgian Dutch in the non-dominant position. In discussions on the pluricentrism of Dutch there is a tendency to focus on the differences or similarities in grammar, pronunciation or lexicon. We claim that in order to determine the status of (non-)dominant varieties, exploring purely linguistic standards is necessary but not sufficient, and that we must take into account the linguistic and cultural organisation of the language communities involved. Therefore we will investigate how markets for language-related products and services are organised both in Flanders and the Netherlands. Both regions have their own newspapers, magazines, radio and television market, et cetera. They also have their own language-related institutions and academies. However, since 1980 the Dutch Language Union (DLU), a binational organisation, has stimulated cooperation between the Netherlands and Flanders (and recently also Suriname) in the domains of Dutch language, literature and education. This has led to highly symmetrical forms of cooperation in a wide variety of projects. In recent years however, the Dutch-Flemish symmetry has come under serious pressure. With the financial support of the Dutch Science Organisation (NWO), new norm-setting projects for Dutch are being launched without any substantial participation from Flanders.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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