2004
Volume 74, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214

Abstract

Abstract

This study explores the micro-selection and codification of third-person pronouns in the normative discourse on Standard Dutch from ca. 1550 to 1650. The analysis shows that there is little consensus both on what the norm for these pronouns should be, as well as on how to approach variation in their use, both in form (optionality) and in meaning (multifunctionality). Three different methods of micro-selection were attested, differing in their level of acceptance towards variation. The first method allows a high degree of variation, both in form and in meaning; the second only a certain degree of variation, with some implicit limitations to multifunctionality; and the third method clearly and explicitly limits multifunctionality by means of reallocation (Trudgill 1986; Lodge 2013), thereby also limiting optionality. Variation is never entirely eradicated in these paradigms, indicating that the view that language standardization is characterized by a suppression of optional variation (e.g. Haugen 1966; Milroy and Milroy 1999) does not completely fit this early period of standardization.

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