H.L. Mencken > The American Language > Subject Index > Page 417
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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956).  The American Language.  1921.

Page 417
 
rowed also from the Mindi (Lenâpe-Delaware) Indian language a few animal and plant names. This Dutch has suffered little or nothing from modern Holland or Flemish immigration, although Paterson (the county seat of Passaic County) has at present a large Netherlands population. The old county people hold themselves strictly aloof from these foreigners, and say, when they are questioned as to the difference between the idioms: ‘Onze tal äz lex däuts en hoelliz äs Holläns; kwait dääfrent’ (our language is low Dutch and theirs is Holland Dutch; quite different). An intelligent Fleming or South Hollander with a knowledge of English can make shift at following a conversation in this Americanized Dutch, but the converse is not true.”
  As usual, contact with English has worn off the original inflections, and the definite and indefinite articles, de and en, are uniform for all genders. The case-endings have nearly all disappeared, in the comparison of adjectives the superlative affix has decayed from -st to -s, the person-endings in the conjugation of verbs have fallen off, and the pronouns have been much simplified. The vocabulary shows many signs of English influence. A large number of words in daily use have been borrowed bodily, e. g., bottle, town, railroad, cider, smoke, potato, match, good-bye. Others have been borrowed with changes, e.g., säns (since), määm (ma’m), belange (belong), boddere (bother), bääznäs (business), orek (earache). In still other cases the drag of English is apparent, as in blaubääse, a literal translation of blueberry (the standard Dutch word is heidebes), in mep’lbom (=mapletree; Dutch, ahoornboom), and in njeuspampir (=newspaper; Dutch, nieuwsblad). A few English archaisms are preserved in the dialect; for example, the use of gentry as a plural for gentleman.
  The Dutch spoken by the colonists from Holland in Michigan has been very extensively modified by American influences, both in vocabulary and in grammar. As in Jersey Dutch and in South African Dutch there has been a decay of inflections, and the neuter article het has been absorbed by the masculine-feminine article de. Says Prof. Henry J. G. Van Andel, of the chair of Dutch history, literature and art in Calvin College at Grand Rapids: “Almost all the American names of common objects, e. g., stove, mail, carpet, bookcase, kitchen,

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