- Fonologische Atlas van de Nederlandse Dialecten. 2: De Westgermaanse korte vocalen in open syllabe. 3: De Westgermaanse lange vocalen en diftongen by J. Goossens, J. Taeldeman, G. Verleyen
This double installment of the phonological atlas of Dutch dialects (FAND) continues the series first reported in Language 76.742 (2000). Based in the department of Dutch Language Studies (Nederlandse Taalkunde) at the University of Ghent, this atlas stands alongside the morphological atlas of Dutch dialects (MAND) currently under production at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam. [End Page 219]
The work as a whole has a user-friendly format that invites scholars to follow up on the data presented here. The unbound sheets of the atlas present commentary on the back (even-numbered side) of plates for the map on the front (odd-numbered side) of the plate following. Any conjectural explanations are clearly stated as such. The use of symbols and abbreviations is both clear and consistent, the bibliography is extensive, and the list of places (including regions) is exhaustive.
The atlas treats the vowels descended from Proto-West Germanic short vowels in open syllables, and from Proto-West Germanic long vowels and diphthongs. Each proto-phoneme receives such synchronic and diachronic, descriptive and contrastive, commentary (including reference to secondary literature) as may be appropriate. A variety of words is considered for each proto-phoneme. Occasionally, an item not treated in one of the 153 major maps will be treated in a table or smaller map in the commentary section.
Only rarely does one find a slip, for example Ann Harbor as the site of University of Michigan (an intended orthographic correction, or perhaps an unintended reflection of some typist’s Flemish speech patterns?). Overall, the technical correctness of the publication is more than admirable.
As in previous work, the team behind this atlas is less intent on trying to focus on ‘norm-speakers’, to use their own term, who conform to certain stereotypical demographic types (again, as they state in English: old, non-educated, rural, male). Rather, the investigators have tried to identify truly autochthonous speakers born and raised in a target area, if possible the children of autochthonous speakers; above all, the subjects must be self-identified as regularly using the local speech variety.
The work is thorough yet streamlined and an excellent methodological model. We look forward to the fourth installment on phonological patterns derived from Proto-West Germanic consonants; the fifth and concluding part of this work, already in preparation, will treat the phonological material from a structural and theoretical approach.