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The Golden Mean of Languages; Forging Dutch and French in the Early Modern Low Countries (1540-1620)

In The Golden Mean of Languages, Alisa van de Haar sheds new light on the debates regarding the form and status of the vernacular in the early modern Low Countries, where both Dutch and French were local tongues. The fascination with the history, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary of Dutch and French has been studied mainly from monolingual perspectives tracing the development towards modern Dutch or French. Van de Haar shows that the discussions on these languages were rooted in multilingual environments, in particular in French schools, Calvinist churches, printing houses, and chambers of rhetoric. The proposals that were formulated there to forge Dutch and French into useful forms were not directed solely at uniformization but were much more diverse.

Alisa van de Haar
02 August 2019
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All interested in the early modern discussions on the vernacular, especially scholars working on early modern Dutch and French literature and historical sociolinguists interested in early modern language debates. Keywords are vernacular, language fascination, language question, language debates, French schools, Calvinism, chambers of rhetoric, printing houses, grammar, spelling, orthography, loanwords, purism, and standardization .

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