|Polder Dutch in a nutshell
|| Polder Dutch is a variant of Dutch
speech that differs from standard Dutch because the diphtongs /ei/,
/ui/ and /ou/au are pronounced with a wider mouth opening, which makes
them sound more or less like [ai], [αy] and [au].
|| The fact that standard Dutch still
has the sounds ei, ui, and ou,
phonetic: [ei], [y] and [αu], is the result of language
culture and language construction. It was the choice of 17th century
linguists and writers.
|| Lowering of the diphtongs is a
universal phenomenon; consider for example, the German word "Wein"
and the English word "wine." The standard Dutch language
is unique in retaining its original diphthongs in the pronunciation.
||Polder Dutch is not a Dutch dialect,
nor has it emerged from one. Its speakers intend to speak standard
Dutch, but as for the diphtongs they do not conform to the norm, even
though they are not aware of this.
|| Taking into account that the current
speakers are middle-aged (educated) women, Polder Dutch must have
started in the 1970's. It has been a result of women's emancipation.
|| Women's emancipation has brought
along a looser attitude towards language norms, and has thus lead
to the lowering of the diphtongs.
|| From a sociolinguistic point of
view, Polder Dutch is a very interesting phenomenon: for the first
time, women lead the way in a language change that drifts away from
the language variant that was the norm.
|| Since the amount of Polder Dutch
speakers grows very rapidly every generation, in men/boys as well
as in women/girls, it's reasonable to expect that Polder Dutch will
become the norm instead of standard Dutch.
||The name "Polder Dutch"
refers to the Dutch political term "poldermodel" (meaning
consensus politics), which has spurred economic growth, which has
profited the women's emancipation movement greatly.
Now, listen to a typicl Polder Dutch speaker: Click on the loud?speaker.