International Journal of the Sociology of Language
Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.
Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia
6 Issues per year
CiteScore 2016: 0.53
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.505
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.716
Dimensions and determinants of dialect use in the Netherlands at the individual and regional levels at the end of the twentieth century
At the end of the twentieth century, a representative sample of people from the whole of the Netherlands was asked, for the first time in history, about their dialect use. The survey was held in 1998, at a period in which the Dutch generally considered themselves as happy and living in a privileged country. This article reports first on so-called “domains of dialect use,” on the use of dialect, the use of a variety between dialect and the standard language, and on attitudes toward the wane of dialects. It is shown that the scale of the “domains of dialect use” is tripartite and that it represents three dimensions of socialization with respect to dialect use. Second, we discuss reported dialect use from data on dialect socialization, from attitudes to the wane of dialects, from socioeconomic characteristics like gender and age, and from variables that measure urbanization and traditional life spheres. It is shown that dialect use is favored when people have a more traditional way of life, are older, when they are men, relatively lower on the educational scale, live in regions that are relatively less urbanized, and in regions where there is a higher level of dialect use in the primary socialization setting of their parents' family. In this model, the settings in which their secondary and tertiary socialization takes place and their encounters with “others” do not play a great role in determining dialect use. An attitude of deploring the wane of dialects is a strong predictor of reported dialect use. That younger people use dialect might be seen as hope for the future, but this is only the case in certain regions. We demonstrate these trends at both the regional and individual levels. Because of recent changes in Dutch society with respect to national and regional values, it is diffcult to foresee future developments. In this respect, the year of the survey was just in time to tap Dutch dialect use during a period of stability.