From SIL‘s LinguaLinks Library, the Glossary of linguistic terms: “This is a living glossary, and suggestions are welcome for additions or corrections.” Useful. (Via Incoming Signals.)


  1. The first web link mentioned is a bibliography and I don’t like bibliographies of recommended reading … just get me into a good library and I can easily find all the good books on linguistics that I want by myself including some that are mentioned in the biliographies.
    In addition to “Glossary of Linguistic Terms,” YOUR DICTIONARY also offers “Lexicon of Linguistics” which I like better even though both of them are a little too brief. It was from the second one that I learned an interesting fact that Dutch has two genders, NEUTER and NON-NEUTER compared to the usual pair or triad: Masculine, Feminine and Neuter found in most Indo-European languages.

  2. How many genders Dutch has is a matter of some controversy. In the standard language, it’s considered that there are now just “common” (as non-neuter is generally called) nouns, which use the definite article “de” and “neuter” nouns which use the definite article “het”. However, a large proportion of Dutch speakers don’t speak the standard since they don’t live in Amsterdam. Especially in Belgium, there are still masculine and feminine nouns but they both use the same definite article. It is only when they are referenced by pronouns that the gender becomes apparent.
    Current Dutch bilingual dictionaries use the two-gender approach if they even show gender, my late 1960s dictionary thankfully still uses three genders yet a few are misteriously absent. I wonder if those were the first to disappear or they were never differentiated. In fact, I’ve even set up a category for them on Wiktionary if you’re interested…

  3. Please note that there is no such thing as a standard Dutch spoken language. So Amsterdam is NOT the place for standard Dutch.
    The Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union) recognises three standards for Spoken Dutch:
    Dutch: spoken in the Netherlands
    Flemish: spoken in Flanders
    Surinam Dutch: spoken in Suriname
    As for genders, there is a discerning tendency in the Netherlands (especially in the language arrogant Randstad area) to treat all non-neuter words as masculin.
    E.g. “de koe, hij…” (the cow, he), while ‘cow’ is of course a feminin word.
    The purest and most correct form of Dutch is still spoken in Flanders. In the Netherlands, Dutch is going more and more towards English. I don’t want to ridiculise things, but if the tendency in Holland is continuing, spoken Dutch in Holland will be no more than a weird accent of English in a few decades…

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