Werkwoordvolgordes in het Amsterdams van de 17e eeuw | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 64, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214


The early 17th century comedies by Amsterdam authors Bredero, Tengnagel and Coster are written in a vernacular-like style resembling the variety spoken in Amsterdam at the time. The 17th century Amsterdam vernacular in those texts both morphologically and phonologically resembles 20th century Hollandic dialects as the Marken or Katwijk dialects or West-Frisian. The present corpus-based investigation deals with word order in verb clusters in this 17th century Amsterdam vernacular and the extent to which this deviates from present-day Standard Dutch and Hollandic dialects. The aim is twofold: first, contribute to the description of word order phenomena in older Dutch; and second, as word order is found to be an indicator for substrate influence, to investigate a Frisian substrate in Holland. Indeed correspondences between West-Frisian and Frisian word order are commonly interpreted as revealing a Frisian substrate. As far as the syntax of verb clusters is concerned, the language of the investigated comedies closely resembles present-day Dutch. While Coster seems to write rather South-Hollandish, word order in Bredero and Tengnagel resembles 20th century Katwijks and Zaans. 17th century Amsterdams does not resemble the 20th century West-Frisian which, syntactically speaking, closely resembles Frisian in being consistently verb-final, and having a distinct gerund, a restricted usage of gaan ‘go’ and blijven ‘remain’, and no ipp-effect. These findings cast doubt over the hypothesis that Frisian features used to be diffused over an area stretching much further to the south. Hence Frisian syntax does not directly testify to a historical Frisian language area in Holland, which has been reconstructed by means of other evidence.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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