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Hindrik Sijens in Utrecht, 25 September 2015.

Language Description and Standardisation

The Fryske Akademy describes the Frisian language used today and in the past, and develops digital tools that can be used by researchers and everyday language users alike. In this way, the Fryske Akademy plays an important role in standardising the Frisian language.

Ever since the foundation of the Fryske Akademy, one of its core tasks has been to document and provide access to written and spoken forms of modern Frisian and old Frisian for scholarly research. The Fryske Akademy studies both the use of the language and the prevailing standards, and is charged with the task of developing language tools for users of the Frisian language. Our long lexicographical tradition has been essential to the standardisation of the Frisian language. In addition to the varieties of Frisian, other language varieties spoken in Friesland are documented and studied as well.

The Fryske Akademy joins in with other national initiatives regarding the digital humanities by building digital corpora and research tools, and through its international pioneering role in the development of such tools for small regional languages and minority languages.

On the subject of making old Frisian accessible, the cluster has links with the Medieval legal traditions, the modern Frisian section is linked to the Economic clusters.


Research objectives

Over the next few years, and in collaboration with external partners, the focus of the Language Description and Standardisation cluster will be on:

  • updating and completing the existing grammatical descriptions of the Frisian language;
  • the phonetic description of the Frisian language;
  • the development of dictionaries and translation tools;
  • the evaluation of the various languages and language varieties spoken in Friesland;
  • making (and keeping) the digital tools accessible to users of the Frisian language;
  • expanding and providing digital access to the language databases for Aldfrysk, Midfrysk and Nijfrysk;
  • setting up a monitor corpus of modern-day spoken and written Frisian, also taking other language varieties spoken in Friesland into account, as well as the use of the language in the new social media.