Dutch in Belgium

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Standardization of Dutch in Belgium (Flanders) was mainly a 20th century phenomenon, whereby the Dutch of the Netherlands was introduced as an exogenous model. The relation between standardization and multilingualism has changed over time. During the long 19th century, there was Dutch-French multilingualism on the level of society, but hardly on the individual level. The larger first half of the 20th century saw a growing individual multilingualism Dutch-French, whereas from about 1968 onwards both societal and individual multilingualism seem to be on the decline. This is due to a very restrictive language policy, inspired by the ambition of policy makers to establish standard Dutch as the unique variety in as many domains as possible of both public and private communication.


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