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Thread: German & Dutch/Flemish Separation

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    German & Dutch/Flemish Separation

    As I understand the German and Dutch/Flemish people descend from the same common Saxon, Frankish and Frisian ancestry.
    What caused the split and change of language ?

    At what point in time did the Dutch and German languages become different enough to be a separate language ?

    And finally is Frisian closer to the Dutch or Low German dialect ?

    Furthermore is there a large differnce between the Dutch and Flemish dialects ?

    Have the Dutch and Flemings grown apart culturally and lingustically ?

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bollwerk
    What caused the split
    The United Netherlands wished to secede from the Holy Roman Empire. They had previously signed a unilateral Act Of Abjuration in 1581 to become independent from Philipp II., Spanish Habsburg Emperor. They finally seceded in/after the Westphalian Peace of 1648.

    Quote:
    and change of language ?
    You seem to believe that they had a committee which drew up to adopt a different language altogether? Well, I hope not, because that's certainly not the case.

    Phonetic and syntactic change are both very slow - it's not something that happens from one day to another. What you had before was simply originally a different end of the German dialect spectrum. They grew apart over a longer period of time, we cannot set a given date, because phonetic change is a continuous phenomenon.

    "Dutch" as a langauge initially started around 450-500 when Old Frankish failed to fully participate in the Second Germanic (or, High-German) Consonant shift. It did participate in the þ/ð→d shift, but not in the /ɣ/→/ɡ/, /s/→/ʃ/ or the /v/→/b/ shift. Curious about this is that the þ/ð→d shift was the latest, during Phase 4 of this consonant shift, whilst it did not participate in any of the three earlier Phases.

    Low German, notable Low Saxon, also did not participate in this consonant shift. This is why Dutch and Low German are essentially very closely related, it wouldn't be entirely incorrect to call the Dutch linguistically a Low German dialect of sorts.

    That even bordering regions should speak different speech is a later phenomenon, this happened when the "South 'colonised' the North" in linguistic terms --- Standard German is based on the Central German and Upper German dialects which did experience this HG consonant shift.

    Dutch dialect from the easternmost region (well, easternmost Drenthe) and the westernmost Platt dialects is still near-enough mutually intelligible, though. Dutch, by all means, is still part of the German dialect continuum, just that we need to pretty much analyse enough near-extinct Low-German dialects to see this.

    Hope this helps. I will leave the Flemish/Dutch question to a Netherlander or Fleming to answer though, as they might be more knowledgeable on the exact details.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    I've a question to add: does the development of modern Dutch between the 17th century and today reflect a further divergence from its commonality with German? In other words, would it be correct to claim 17th century Dutch still had more in common with German than it has today?

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