In the period 2008–2011 we compiled a large database of fieldwork recordings for 86 local dialects of Dutch spoken in the Netherlands and the northern part of Belgium (‘Flanders’) and of Standard Netherlandic Dutch and Standard Belgian Dutch. In each of the 86 locations two older male speakers and two younger female speakers were recorded, representing conservative dialect speakers and innovative dialect speakers, respectively. Using this data we measured dialect change (and resulting convergence and divergence across varieties) in apparent time, focusing on lexis, morphology and the sound components. It appeared that geographically, dialect change is a capricious process.
In this talk we will look for explanatory factors. Factors that we will considerinclude: the influence of the standard language, the speakers reported dialect usage and reported contact with speakers from other locations, the speakers’socio-economic status, average income of the population and population size.