‘Kinsto it Frysk ferstean?’
Intelligibility of West Frisianfor Dutch native speakers
West Frisian is a minoritized language spoken in the province of Fryslân, in the Netherlands. It has been said to be converging with Standard Dutch (see De Haan, 1997; Nerbonne, 2001), and it has been found to be largely intelligible for speakers of regional language varieties in the Netherlands, such as Low Saxon or Limburgish for example (see, for instance, De Vries, 2010).In this research, we tested how much Frisian native speakers of Dutch can actually understand, as well as the degree of difficulty of each type of task. An online test was designed (N = 225) to measure the intelligibility of both written and spoken Frisian. The results seem to indicate that West Frisian is highly intelligible for Dutch native speakers, which we argue should be used to enrich the school curriculum and foster receptive skills in the minoritized language (see Fonseca, 2012; Belmar, 2019b), which could in turn boost its use.
Keywords: West Frisian, intelligibility, Dutch, minoritized languages, receptive multilingualism
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Published online: 16 October 2020
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