This item deals with the Dutch language as it is used in NationStates. As long as this entry is not updated by other nations, it will only deal with how the Dutch language is used in Knootoss and Groot Gouda. For more information about the Dutch language : Wikipedia:Dutch language
Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands
Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands means 'general civilized Dutch', (abbreviated to ABN) is the official Knootian language, the standard language as taught in schools and used by authorities in the Dutch Democratic Republic and it is an official second language the dependencies in the Knootian Federation. Dutch is also spoken in other NS nations including some former Knootian colonies.
For reasons of political correctness, the terms Algemeen Nederlands (general Dutch, abbreviated to AN) and Standaardnederlands (standard Dutch) are also used; Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands could be interpreted as 'the Dutch that is spoken by civilized people', which would suggest that people speaking variants of the standard language are not civilized.
Knootoss has different regions and within these regions other dialects can also be found. For most Knootians the most obvious division is into northern and southern dialects - to the south of the "great rivers" (the Rhine and the Meuse River) people use a "soft g" and to the north they don't. For experts the contrast between east and west is more important. The western dialects still show a number of characteristics of "Coastal Germanic" whilst the eastern dialects (Saxon regions and Limburg), have a number of features in common with German dialects (old/ald instead of oud).
Dutch dialects aren't spoken as much as they used to be. As a result of increasing mobility, improved education and a stronger sense of conformity (parents often no longer bring their children up in their own dialect), more and more dialects are disappearing. Instead of dialects there is a regionally coloured standard language. These "regiolects" are coming ever closer to the standard language. Many dialects, especially those in towns, are now only used by speakers from the lower classes. Generally the use of dialects is also associated with these lower classes, and it can be an impediment in finding a job, for example.
The Groot Gouda Dutch Dialect
In The People's Republic of Groot Gouda, Dutch as spoken in many other nations is the official second language. However, the Gouda Dialect is officially recognized as a language and spoken mainly by about 73% of the population. The difference with Standard Dutch is mainly pronunciation, though the Gouda vocabulary is developing on its own since it was recognized as a language. The main differences are the pronunciation of the vowels: they tend to slur in the end creating extra "w" or "j" sounds. The "ij/ei" is more like "ai". Gouda Dutch resembles Australian English in the way many people shorten words to as few syllables as possible and add "-ie" to the end (eg "bloempie", "bakkie").
The Groot Gouda Dutch Dialect is spoken by all classes, though relatively less in the upper classes. Standard Dutch is a requirement for the Gouda School of Economics, and many jobs require Standard Dutch. For jobs that do not involve international contacts there seems to be little discrimination however.
Whereas the term "dialect" refers to the language of a particular region, the term "sociolect" refers to the variety of language spoken by a particular ethnic, religious, age or employment group or social class. For these groups the language (or choice of language) is an important means of identification. on the one hand the use of a common language variant strengthens the feeling of "us" within the group, and on the other hand it excludes "non members".
Ethnic groups in Knootoss, such as the formerly Burungian immigrants from the Knootian East Indies often speak their own variant of Dutch, differing from standard Dutch primarily in lexical ways, but also at the phonological and syntactical level. For example in the language used by "East Indians" the voiceless pronunciation of <v> and <z> and a strongly rolled /r/ are characteristic, and they also use words of Malay origin such as pisang for banana. These characteristics are, by and large, valued by their speakers positively - they are seen as one way of preserving a part of their identity.
Age groups also differ in their use of language. Young people try to mark themselves off from their parents' generation by the creation of new words (mostly short and ending in -ie, -o and -a such as hippo for dikzak] ["fatty"]), loan words and loan translations from, for example, English (zie je in imitation of see you) and the use of intensifiers (such as wereld-, reuze-, bere-). For young people the use of this youth language is often a condition of "belonging".
The innovative character of youth language is also characteristic "turbotaal" ["turbo-language"]. People who have authority in their area of activity often create new "trendy" words which are then adopted by others who want to be seen as equally trendy. Playing with sounds, abbreviations and the use of (above all) English words (eg loser) is typical of the language of these trendy groups.
Even the language of particular social classes is a sociolect. A snooty citizen of The Hague sets himself off from the lower classes by his "a"-like pronunciation of /e] and /o/. A speaker of lower-class Leeuwarden dialect can make it clear where he belongs by his choice of language - and thereby shut out another person from Leeuwarden who uses standard Dutch ("ABN").
Within the ethnic groups, Jews were, in the past, an important group with their own language variant characterised by words from Hebrew and Yiddish. There are still a few of these words in modern Dutch - eg "mazzel hebben" ("to have good luck" - from massal ["luck"]) and jatten ("to steal" from "hand").
The different group variants often overlap each other: the lower classes have their own youth language, but it certainly shares a large number of correspondences with the youth language of the upper classes.
Furthermore an individual can belong to several groups, and therefore speak several sociolects: somebody can, for example, speak the specialist language of the linguists in a "snooty" Hague accent.