2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Languages

This article is a part of

the Dutch dialects series.

The Dialects
West Flemish
East Flemish
Dutch Low Saxon

Hollandic (Dutch: Hollands) is, together with Brabantic, the most frequently used dialect of the Dutch language. The other important Low Franconian dialects are East Flemish and West Flemish.

Originally in the later county of Holland the West Frisian was spoken. Low Franconian settlers came only in the early Middle Ages. They mixed with the original inhabitants and a dialect was created that was partly Franconian, partly Frisian. In the 16th century the Dutch language was standardized, the Dutch of Antwerp being the most influential. In that time the written language of the county of Holland, then the most urbanised province in Europe, imitated this Brabantic standard. After 1585, when during the Eighty Years' War Antwerp was retaken by the Habsburg authorities, many Brabantic and Flemish Calvinist (and other) refugees settled in Holland proper, which had the result of creating a mixture of their Dutch with the Dutch of the residents before this immigration. This new language perhaps destroyed most of the original Hollandic dialects, and certainly slowed linguistic change through the influence on spoken language of the very conservative written standard.

Hollandic (in blue) within the Low Franconian-speaking area.
Hollandic (in blue) within the Low Franconian-speaking area.

As a result the colloquial Dutch in Holland proper (i.e. the area of the old county), spoken in the urban dialects, is today closer to the standard than any Dutch spoken elsewhere; traditionally the Dutch of the urbanity of Haarlem is seen as the most "pure", though this has no basis in linguistic fact. The Dutch in Belgium has diverged more during the last centuries, which is partly due to the fact that there the Dutch standard language most of the time had no official status between the 17th and 20th century. The language of administration was French. In Friesland there are areas and cities where Hollandic is spoken, strongly influenced by Frisian. In the north of North Holland province (especially West Friesland), Scheveningen and other places the original Frisian substrate of the Hollandic dialect is still an important part of the local West Frisian dialect group. On the South Holland province island of Goeree-Overflakkee West Flemish is spoken. In the east and south the Hollandic dialects gradate into more Brabantic forms like the Zuid-Gelders. Utrechts-Alblasserwaards, spoken in the area immediately east of the coastal districts, is variously considered a subdialect of Hollandic or a separate dialect.

List of the subdialects

  • South Hollandic
  • Westhoeks
  • Waterlands and Volendams
  • Zaans
  • Kennemerlands
  • West Frisian
  • Bildts, Midslands, Stadsfries, and Amelands
  • Utrechts-Alblasserwards
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