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By John Gledhill (auth.), P. Brachin, J. Goossens, P. K. King, J. de Rooij (eds.)

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Additional info for Dutch Studies: An annual review of the language, literature and life of the Low Countries Volume 2

Sample text

Their programme was pragmatic rather than theoretical. Their sole aim was to make spelling easier to learn by removing unnecessary difficulties. 6 should be abolished. They also advocated abolishing the distinction between ee and e and between 00 and 0 in open syllables by applying the rule for a and u, "one vowel symbol in an open syllable", to all instances of ee and 00 as well, regardless of etymology. e. bedelen and bedeelen. Citing the rule of cultured pronunciation the reformers argued for the abolition of the etymological spelling of -sch for the final s, as in mensch, visch, dagelijksch.

1. Introduction: De Vries and Te Winkel The general impression abroad about the spelling of Dutch is that the Dutch themselves are dissatisfied with it and are assailed at regular intervals by a feverish urge to change it. The reasons for this are generally unknown outside the countries concerned, but in fairness it should be added that the large majority of Netherlanders are little better informed. The following remarks are intended to give a brief account of the Dutch spelling system and some explanation of the efforts to improve it.

G. g. g. g. in the place name Dokkum. Adherence to the etymological principle is responsible for the fact that the phoneme /ei! g. g. goud (gold) and klauw (claw). There are only a few homonyms with /ou/ which are differentiated in the spelling; an example is rouw (mourning) and rauw (raw). The number of homonyms with ei or ij is greater and it includes some words of very high frequency, as in the examples given above. De Vries and Te Winkel also applied an etymological rule to the spelling of /ee/ and /00/ in open syllables.

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