KEESVERSTEEGH The subject of this special issue, koineization, is usually viewed äs a process of Speech leveling within a Speech Community in which various groups of Speakers have been forced to live together. The outcome of the process, the koine, is then regarded äs some kind of general language, in which the differences between the individual variants of the groups of Speakers that make up the speech Community have all but disappeared, and which is identical with none of the preexisting varieties. The process of koineization is in most cases connected with situations in which groups of Speakers were lumped together by accident. For the sake of curiosity I shall mention one, little studied, case where koineization was the intended outcome of an experimental process, namely that involving settlers in the new polders of North Holland that were reclaimed in the first half of the twentieth Century. When the Dutch government decided to reclaim the land of the former Zuiderzee, a special committee, Stichting voor het Bevolkingsonderzoek in de drooggelegde Zuiderzeepolders [Foundation for the Study of the Population in the Reclaimed Zuiderzeepolders], was set up in 1936. The people in charge of the scientific supervision of the project
International Journal of the Sociology of Language – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1993
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