Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919



Ongoing processes of dialect leveling and loss have given rise to the widespread use of the concept of hyperdialectism in sociolinguistic research. Hyperdialectisms are considered to be a reaction to dialect loss: a typical dialect feature that is distinctive from the standard language or a neighboring dialect is overgeneralized. However, there is pitfall in using the concept as an umbrella term for all deviating dialect forms. In this paper, we aim to provide a revisited view of hyperdialectisms based on written dialect sources. In doing so, we use hyperdialectal adnominal gender marking in southern Dutch Brabantish dialects as a case study. We show that unexpected forms were already present in early twentieth-century dialect use, despite dialect grammar descriptions from the second half of the century often being used as a point of reference for ‘correct’ grammar. Furthermore, we argue that the concept of hyperdialectism requires careful layering in sociolinguistic analysis.

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