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Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal (Dutch : Dictionary of the Dutch language, commonly abbreviated WNT) is a dictionary of the Dutch language. It contains between 350,000 to 400,000 entries describing Dutch words from 1500 to 1976. The paper edition consists of 43 volumes (including three supplements) on 49,255 pages. It is believed to be the largest dictionary in the world in number of pages. The dictionary was almost 150 years in the making; the first volume was published in 1864, and the final volume was presented to Albert II of Belgium and Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1998.
The WNT follows the formula of the Oxford English Dictionary and the Deutsches Wörterbuchin being a historical dictionary whose entries are based on primary sources of actual usage.
Its impetus was the inaugural 1849 Nederlandsch Congres ("Dutch Congress"), a conference of linguists from the Netherlands and Belgium. The conference, which was held alternately south and north of the border, ran from 1849 to 1912; its goal was to (re-)establish contacts between Netherlanders and Belgians (after Belgium split off from the Netherlands in 1830) and to lend strength to the Flemish movement in Belgium (which was up against the widespread influence of French). At that first conference, in August 1849 at Ghent University, it was proposed that a dictionary be written "for our common tongue". Dutch linguist Matthias de Vries (1820–1892) was given the task of writing it.
Financial support for the project came from the Dutch and Belgian governments. Also part of the project was spelling reform; De Vries's coauthor Lammert Allard te Winkel (1809–1868) designed the new orthography, though the system is named for both. Another project related to the WNT was the development of a dictionary of Middle Dutch, the Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek (1885–1927), by two students of De Vries, Jacob Verdam and Eelco Verwijs.
De Vries published the first fascicle (A-Aanhaling) in 1864; the first volume (A-Ajuin) in 1882. The last (Zuid-Zythum) was published in 1998; afterward, three supplements to the original dictionary text containing modern-day Dutch words were published, in 2001. It is published by the Instituut voor Nederlandse Lexicologie ("Institute for Dutch Lexicology"), which works under the supervision of the Dutch Language Union, and is available for free online.
Besides its sheer size and its historical value, the WNT is credited with supporting the "integrationist" movement in Flanders, that is, those who sought a rapprochement between the speakers of Dutch in the Netherlands and Belgium. The De Vries-Te Winkel orthography was made mandatory by the Belgian government in 1864, and shortly thereafter by the Dutch government. It still underlies the rules for orthography and has thus contributed to orthographic unity between the two countries.
The Dutch Language Union is an international regulatory institution that governs issues regarding the Dutch language. It is best known for its spelling reforms which are promulgated by member states, grammar books, the Green Booklet and its support of Dutch language courses and studies worldwide. It was founded on a treaty concluded between the Netherlands and Belgium on 9 September 1980. Suriname has been an associate member of the Taalunie since 2004.
Ĳ is a digraph of the letters i and j. Occurring in the Dutch language, it is sometimes considered a ligature, or a letter in itself. In most fonts that have a separate character for ij, the two composing parts are not connected but are separate glyphs, which are sometimes slightly kerned.
Advocaat or advocatenborrel is a traditional Dutch alcoholic beverage made from eggs, sugar, and brandy. The rich and creamy drink has a smooth, custard-like consistency. The typical alcohol content is generally between 14% and 20% ABV. Its contents may be a blend of egg yolks, aromatic spirits, sugar or honey, brandy, vanilla, and sometimes cream. Notable makers of advocaat include Bols, Darna Ovo Liker, DeKuyper, and Verpoorten.
Dutch orthography uses the Latin alphabet and has evolved to suit the needs of the Dutch language. The spelling system is issued by government decree and is compulsory for all government documentation and educational establishments.
Language reform is a kind of language planning by widespread change to a language. The typical methods of language reform are simplification and linguistic purism. Simplification regularizes vocabulary, grammar, or spelling. Purism aligns the language with a form which is deemed 'purer'.
Jan Pieter Marie Laurens de Vries was a Dutch philologist, linguist, religious studies scholar, folklorist, educator, writer, editor and public official who specialized in Germanic studies.
Theodiscus was a term used in the early Middle Ages to refer to the West Germanic languages. The Latin term was borrowed from the Germanic adjective meaning "of the people" but, unlike it, was used only to refer to languages. In Medieval Western Europe non-native Latin was the language of science, church and administration, hence Latin theodiscus and its Germanic counterparts were used as antonyms of Latin, to refer to the "native language spoken by the general populace". They were subsequently used in the Frankish Empire to denote the native Germanic vernaculars. As such, they were no longer used as antonym of Latin, but of walhisk, a language descendant from Latin, but nevertheless the speech of the general populace as well. In doing so Latin theodiscus and the Germanic reflexes of *þiudiskaz effectively obtained the meaning of "Germanic", or more specifically one of its local varieties – resulting in the English exonym Dutch, the German endonym Deutsch, the Dutch exonym Duits, and the Dutch endonym Diets, all of which are cognates of theodiscus, which in Italian yielded tedesco.
The Low Countries comprise the coastal Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta region in Western Europe, whose definition usually includes the modern countries of Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Both Belgium and the Netherlands derived their names from earlier names for the region, due to nether meaning "low" and Belgica being the Latinized name for all the Low Countries, a nomenclature that went obsolete after Belgium's secession in 1830.
A tussenvoegsel in a Dutch name is a family name affix positioned between a person's given name and the main part of their family name. There are similar concepts in many languages, such as Celtic family name prefixes, French particles, and the German von.
The Dutch language in its modern form does not have grammatical cases, and nouns only have singular and plural forms. Many remnants of former case declensions remain in the Dutch language, but few of them are productive. One exception is the genitive case, which is still productive to a certain extent. Although in the spoken language the case system was probably in state of collapse as early as the 16th century, cases were still prescribed in the written standard up to 1946/1947. This article describes the system in use until then. For a full description of modern Dutch grammar, see Dutch grammar. See also History of Dutch orthography.
The history of Dutch orthography covers the changes in spelling of Dutch both in the Netherlands itself and in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in Belgium.
The Handwoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (HAT), is the best known explanatory dictionary for the Afrikaans language and is generally regarded as authoritative. Compared to the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal it is a shorter Afrikaans explanatory dictionary in a single volume. The latest edition of the HAT, the sixth, was published in 2015, 50 years after the first edition of 1965. HAT6 comprises 1,636 pages.
Frans Van Coetsem was a Belgian (Flemish) linguist. After an academic career in Flanders and the Netherlands he was appointed professor at Cornell University in 1968, and consequently he emigrated to the US, where, after a few years, he chose to become a naturalized American citizen.
OpenTaal is a Dutch foundation which provides free Dutch language files to be used in open-source software spell checking, hyphenation, thesaurus and grammar checking.
Van Dale's Great Dictionary of the Dutch Language, called Dikke Van Dale[ˈdɪkə vɑn ˈdaːlə] for short, is the leading dictionary of the Dutch language. The latest edition was published in 2015.
Ordbog over det danske Sprog or ODS is a comprehensive dictionary of the Danish language, describing its usage from c. 1700 to 1955 in great detail.
Flemish (Vlaams) is a Low Franconian dialect cluster of the Dutch language. It is sometimes referred to as Flemish Dutch, Belgian Dutch, or Southern Dutch. Flemish is native to Flanders, a historical region in northern Belgium; it is spoken by Flemings, the dominant ethnic group of the region. Outside of Flanders, it is also spoken to some extent in French Flanders and the Dutch Zeelandic Flanders.
Johan Hendrik van Dale was a Dutch teacher, archivist, and lexicographer. He created Van Dale's Great Dictionary of the Dutch Language ; first published in 1874, after his death. It was, and in its subsequent editions remains, the leading dictionary of the Dutch language.
Lucretia Wilhelmina van Merken was a Dutch poet and playwright. Born in Amsterdam, she began writing occasional poetry and in her early twenties had published her first tragedy. Influenced by the Enlightenment, her tragedies were classicist in style and proved to be popular, being performed all over the country. She wrote an ode in French for George Washington, and sent it to him, and for the revised Dutch version of the Book of Psalms she provided seventeen of the psalms.