The vibrant political, religious and cultural atmosphere of the Dutch Golden Age interacted with language. 17th century Dutch was a mixture of fading linguistic properties from the preceding language phase, Middle Dutch, and upcoming new ways to construct words and sentences. How can we account for the variation, seemingly randomly displayed by authors?
This project will chart and explain the grammatical properties of intra-author variation, as well as the social- and literary-cultural factors that influenced the way individual authors used their variation in a strategic and/or creative way. The central hypothesis of the project is that the (internal) grammars of authors created a particular range of variation, which was systematically used by authors, based on contextual factors.