Dutch and Frisian grammar made available online for international public

25 February 2014

Make all existing knowledge about Dutch and Frisian available for an international public of linguists and professional language users. That is the aim of the Taalportaal (language portal), which was officially launched on Saturday 1 February by professor Hans Bennis (Meertens Institute) during the Grote Taaldag 2014 in Utrecht.

Dutch and Frisian grammar made available online for international public

Dutch is one of the best-studied languages within the field of linguistics. Yet a complete and scientifically based description of Dutch grammar was not yet available. That has now changed: NWO has allocated more than 1.7 million euros for the setting up of the virtual language institute.

Modern Dutch grammar

Over the past three years, researchers from the Meertens Institute, the Fryske Akademy, the Institute for Dutch Lexicology, Leiden University and Utrecht University have worked together on an accessible online grammar for Dutch and Frisian. In the Wikipedia-like environment, the word and phonetic structures as well as the sentence structure of Dutch and Frisian are described. The Taalportaal provides a description of what modern Dutch grammar looks like, based on existing publications. As Dutch grammar is changing, the information will be kept up to date in the future. In South Africa detailed plans have now been made to add Afrikaans, the daughter language of Dutch.

Researchers and professional language users

The Taalportaal is written in English and is aimed mainly at researchers. However, it is also very important for professional language practitioners, such as teachers of Dutch as a second language. Grammatical standards will also be provided in the Taalportaal for the benefit of this group.

So far only a very limited demo version of the portal has been available. This demo version has now been expanded with a large quantity of grammatical texts and search options. The final version of the Taalportaal should become available in 2015.

Source: NWO