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From diglossia to diaglossia: a West Flemish case-study

Boekbijdrage - Hoofdstuk

Auer (2005, 2011) distinguishes five types of dialect/standard constellations in Europe, which stand in a diachronic relationship and of which the diaglossic repertoire, marked by intermediate forms between standard and dialect, would be the most widespread in Europe today. While a lot of current research focuses on contemporary shifts in diaglossic situations towards dialect loss (cf. Vandekerckhove 2009), shifts from diglossia to diaglossia remain relatively understudied (cf. Auer 2005: 23). The present paper reports on the West Flemish area, where the language is said to be evolving from a diglossic to a diaglossic situation (De Caluwe 2009, Willemyns 2007: 272). In order to tap into the structure of this West Flemish repertoire, the language use of 10 speakers from Ypres is analysed systematically by means of a correspondence analysis of 28 phonological and morphosyntactic variables in five speech settings. These analyses show that in West Flanders, the emerging intermediate variations are mainly used in supraregional informal settings, illustrating the need to focus on this at present understudied speech setting when studying changing repertoires. The data clearly indicate that in the incipient transition from diglossia to diaglossia, both dialect and (an intended form of) standard language are still vital as means of regional informal and supraregional formal communication respectively. Structurally, the intermediate variations mainly result from dialect-to-standard convergence, but some speakers also show horizontal dialect convergence.
Boek: The future of dialects
Series: Language Variation
Pagina's: 35 - 62
Jaar van publicatie:2016