Hyperstandardisation in Flanders: Extreme enregisterment and its aftermath
Journal article by Jürgen Jaspers and Sarah Van Hoof in Pragmatics: Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association, volume 23, issue 2, 2013.
Our intention in this article is to document and analyse an exceptional period in Flemish linguistic history that has not received a lot of attention thusfar, viz., the 1950s through the 1980s. We will argue that these decades mark a period best described as an era of hyperstandardisation, as they involved a large-scale, propagandistic, scientifically supported and highly mediatised linguistic standardisation campaign that has thoroughly ideologised language use in all corners of Flemish society. We will propose that the Flemish ‘intermediate variety’ (tussentaal) ought probably to be seen as an unmistakeable side-effect of this hyperstandardisation process rather than as a transitional stage on the road to full standardisation or the result of a decline in standardisation efforts. In addition to this, we will propose that discourses of declining standardisation efforts are difficult to reconcile with the recruitment of linguistic standardisation in the new global economy.