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Verfransing onder de loep

On the 24th of May, Brenda Assendelft successfully defended a doctoral thesis. The Leiden University Centre for Linguistics congratulates Brenda on this achievement!

B.M.E. Assendelft
24 May 2023
Leiden repository

Over the centuries, the French language has had a lot of influence on the Dutch language⁠. Thousands of words from French entered Dutch and apart from that, Dutch has borrowed morphological elements such as suffixes from French⁠. Moreover, it is assumed that the popularity of certain Dutch morphosyntactic constructions can be attributed to language contact with French⁠. Despite the fact that histories of Dutch often speak of so-called ‘Frenchification’ because of these French influences, hardly any empirical research has been carried out so far on the actual influence of French on Dutch⁠.

The aim of this thesis is to provide insight into the influence that French had on the Dutch language between 1500 and 1900⁠. This is done by means of corpus analyses with the diachronic Language of Leiden corpus, which comprises texts from Leiden from different social domains⁠. The corpus analyses aim to trace the language changes in Dutch as a consequence of language contact with French on three language levels: lexicon, morphology, and morphosyntax⁠. In this way, this thesis aims to contribute to a better understanding of the historical language contact between Dutch and French⁠.

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