South Dutch pronouns

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A pronoun replaces a noun or another pronoun. E.g. 'he', 'which', or 'her'. There are different types of pronouns: personal, possessive, indefinite, relative... You can post your questions about Dutch pronouns here.
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Andrius
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South Dutch pronouns

Post by Andrius » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:55 am

Hello,
I hope someone could help me, because pronouns are killing me! I have just started learning Dutch and I came across this:
Its: Zijn

We do not have a translation for 'its' in Dutch, we simply use zijn (his). Here, it does not matter whether the noun is neuter ('het'), feminine, or masculine (both 'de').
Het weer en zijn onvoorspelbaarheid. The weather and its unpredictability.
De politie maakte zijn cijfers openbaar. The police published its statistics.
'De politie' is actually a feminine word but in everyday Dutch, the Dutch do not distinguish between masculine and femine words any more (but the Flemish still do). The Dutch sometimes make this distinction for abstract nouns (which sounds rather sophisticated). When in doubt, in everyday Dutch, zijn is acceptable.
Now that you know that de politie is feminine, you can also write haar:
De politie maakte haar cijfers openbaar. The police published its ('her') statistics.
That's fine with me, I'm a perfectionist (a trait I hate having), so then I decided to dig deeper and found this:
n the South-Dutch (Flemish) colloquial speech, a difference is made between masculine and feminine words, unlike in Standard Dutch. Masculine words have different articles, possessives and demonstratives than feminine words:
Indefinite article: (ee)ne(n) - versus the Standard Dutch een
Definitive article: often remains de (like in Standard Dutch), but is sometimes den (unlike Standard Dutch)
Possessives: mijne(n), jouwe(n)/je, zijne(n), hare(n), onze(n), uwe(n), hunne(n) - versus the Standard Dutch mijn, jouw/je, zijn, haar, ons, uw, hun (mine, your/your, his, her, our, your, their)
Demonstratives: diene(n), deze(n) - versus the Standard Dutch die, deze
Example 1: (vrouw is feminine)
South-Dutch: Heeft u mijn vrouw gezien?
Standard-Dutch: Heeft u mijn vrouw gezien?
English: Have you seen my wife?
versus: (auto and boom are masculine)
South-Dutch: Ik heb mijnen auto onder diene boom geparkeerd.
Standard-Dutch: Ik heb mijn auto onder die boom geparkeerd.
English: I parked my car beneath that tree.
So I undestand that the ending of "mijn" is determined by object's gendre (in this case auto, vrouw). mijn is for fem. mijnen is for masc, and so what is used for neut.? mijn/mijne/minjnen or something else? Second question: why "diene boom" and not "dienen boom"? Boom is masc. , isn't it?

Thnaks in advance!

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Joke
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Re: South Dutch pronouns

Post by Joke » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:32 pm

Hoi Andrius,

If you're a beginner, I'd advise that you forget about the information in your second quote, at least for now.
Following the rules in your first quote will make you speak understandable everywhere and there are much more important things to focus your attention on.

If you specifically want to learn the variation of Dutch that is spoken in Flanders, it is good to be aware that these endings exist, so that you recognize them when other people are speaking. But then still I wouldn't worry about them much untill your Dutch is at a pretty high level.

If you want to learn the kind of Dutch that is spoken in the Netherlands, the only thing that you have to remember is that some people from Flanders may sometimes use these kind of endings. I'm a native speaker of 'Netherlands Dutch' and I have no idea of these exact rules, but I have no problem understanding people from Flanders when they use these forms or being understood by them.
(I also think that the exact use differs per dialect, but I'm not sure of that.)

For now, I think you'd better focus on learning vocabulary, plurals, verb conjugation and word order.

Succes met Nederlands leren!
Joke

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Quetzal
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Re: South Dutch pronouns

Post by Quetzal » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:29 pm

To add the perspective of a Fleming to what Joke said...

I did grow up in a family that was perhaps unusually "pure" in its language - my mother's family really speaks no dialect at all, and my father's native tongue is French so obviously his Dutch is also that of a foreign speaker and so almost entirely free from dialectal influences. So I'm probably less good at Flemish dialects than the average Fleming, even if my language - depending on who I'm talking to - contains plenty of dialectal influences all the same.

But I think I can safely say all the same that the vast majority of Flemings, including those who regularly do use "diene" and the like, would have no clue as to what the rules for its usage are. That's not to say that there aren't any - but only linguists particularly on those things would know them, as they would be the only ones to bother to investigate it. Since it's absolutely not acceptable in written language, it's not something either native or foreign speakers would ever be likely to learn in any class.

Regarding the N at the end or not, though, that's mostly a matter of euphony - putting an N at the end is easy when the next word starts with a vowel, e.g. "den appel", with the N allowing you to go easily from the first word to the second. When the second word starts with certain consonants, the N would cost you more effort instead of saving you effort, so there's no point to it. Same with "diene" or "dienen".

It's nice that you want to learn Flemish / south Dutch and not just focus on the Holland Dutch as many foreigners do, but in terms of pronouns, the only two things you really need to bother with are firstly the increased tendency of distinguishing between genders of nouns (but let's not exaggerate, most Flemings won't be able to tell you the gender of many nouns off-hand either), and secondly the very widespread usage of "gij" as alternative for "jij", instead of being a highly formal pronoun as it is in Holland Dutch.

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Re: South Dutch pronouns

Post by Andrius » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:12 pm

Thank you both for the responses, guys! All of the information is very useful for me, I guess I will continue learning pure Dutch until I get quite good and then maybe try to investigate Flemish vocabulary differences (if any exist) rather than grammar, which besides pronouns seems quite similar to Dutch. And yes, I'm already familiar with "gij"! The reason my interest in Dutch began with Flemish is that later this year I'm moving to Belgium with my family and so I just want to increase my chances of finding a job, which (in my case) seems to be impossible at the moment without knowing a local language. Have no idea if I will be any good any soon, but noticed that knowing English and a bit of German really helps somehow.

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Re: South Dutch pronouns

Post by Joke » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:51 pm

I'm not a guy ;)

You can find more information on typically Flemmisch stuff in the subforum 'Vlaams' on this website.

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Re: South Dutch pronouns

Post by Andrius » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:11 pm

Joke wrote:I'm not a guy ;)

You can find more information on typically Flemmisch stuff in the subforum 'Vlaams' on this website.
Pardon me, I had an opportunity to live in the USA awhile and so I got used to the fact that "guys", as long as it's plural, is considered to be gender-neutral over there :o

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Re: South Dutch pronouns

Post by Bert » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:25 pm

Andrius wrote:
Joke wrote:I'm not a guy ;)

You can find more information on typically Flemmisch stuff in the subforum 'Vlaams' on this website.
Pardon me, I had an opportunity to live in the USA awhile and so I got used to the fact that "guys", as long as it's plural, is considered to be gender-neutral over there :o
Ja, je hebt gelijk. (Het blijkt dat je niet op je mondje gevallen bent. :))

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