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Interview Alex Kerkhof: 'Old Frisian still has something to tell everybody'

This summer the Friesch Dagblad will be talking to young scientists in Fryslân who want to contribute to a better world with their research. Our colleague Alex Kerkhof, historical linguist at the Fryske Akademy, was also invited for an interview. The result is a two-page article in the Saturday newspaper of 30 July 2022. 

In the interview, Kerkhof talks about what he considers one of the most important events in the history of our language area: the language change from Old Frisian to Old Dutch. In the early and full Middle Ages, Old Frisian was spoken in a large part of the Netherlands, as far away as Flanders. "The insight that Old Dutch was the language of the newcomers in Holland, was taken along and slowly replaced Old Frisian there, is also valuable for gaining a different perspective on the current situation of multiculturalism and integration in Dutch cities." 

In the article he also talks about how he would like to bring the multilingual history of the Netherlands to the widest possible audience. "It is my belief that in principle you can reduce any research to a core that can also be conveyed to a broad audience." 

Read the full article at (paywall).