Dutch English: Death or the gladioli

I’m giving a talk on 12 December in Leiden for Ingrid Tieken-boon van Ostade’s research group. ‘Death or the gladioli’ is a reference to Louis van Gaal’s English, which I think is marvellous (seriously … stay tuned for a column to that effect). Admittedly Der Tod oder die Gladiolen is one of his German coinages, but I have a solid month to come up with its relevance for (Dutch) English …

Dutch English: Death or the gladioli

With native speakers of English today in the minority of the world’s English speakers, scholars de-emphasise normativity vis-à-vis Standard English and trumpet the rise of ‘new’ Englishes from Asia and Africa. Why has Europe been overlooked? Existing theories in the field of World Englishes suggest that (de)colonisation produced a fertile breeding ground for the specific identity developments that spawned new English varieties. In this talk I suggest that postcolonial processes are just one possible trigger for the identity reconstructions that give rise to new varieties, and that the forces of globalisation are another. Can we see these identity developments in the Netherlands, suggesting the dawn of ‘Dutch English’?

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