Vol. 15:1/2 (1988) ► pp.155–185
The Dutch development and the German theme
In this paper an attempt has been made to draw a picture of linguistics in the Netherlands during the 19th century. The aim of this survey is to make clear that the influence of German linguistics on Dutch works of the period is characteristic of the development of Dutch linguistics in that century. Emphasis has been placed on the period 1800–1870; three traditions are distinguished: First of all there is the tradition of prescriptive grammar and language instruction. Next attention is drawn to the tradition of historical-comparative linguistics. Finally, by about the middle of the century, the linguistic views of German representatives of general grammar become prominent in Dutch school grammars. Successively we point to the reception by the schoolmasters of K. F. Becker’s (1775–1849) work; then Taco Roorda (1801–1874) is discussed, and the relationship between L. A. te Winkel (1809–1868) and H. Steinthal (1823–1899) is presented. In conjunction with Roorda’s work on Javanese the analysis of the so-called exotic languages is mentioned, an aspect of Dutch linguistics in the 19th century closely connected with the Dutch East Indies. It is obvious that the German theme is one of the most conspicuous common elements in 19th-century Dutch linguistics, as Dutch intellectuals in many respects took German culture as a model.