Written by Dyami Millarson
We pay profound respect to minority languages on this blog and that is why we are eager to strictly adhere to the proper use of words to refer to these languages.
The difference in the usage of Eilauner and Eilauners is a matter of stylistic preference that is characteristic of the island people and their culture.
Eilauners is the language of the most Northeastern inhabited Wadden island of the Netherlands. The Eilauner language is spoken only by a handful of people.
So how are the words Eilauners and Eilauner used? As can be seen from the above examples, Eilauners is used substantively and Eilauner is used adjectively.
Therefore, you can say “the language Eilauners” (using the substantive appositively) but you should avoid saying “the Eilauners language” because it is better to say “the Eilauner language”. (“Eilauners language” is not strictly speaking wrong even if it looks extremely weird to the speakers of Schiermonnikoogs, but in any case it is stylistically much better and more respectful to say “Eilauner language”.)
When Eilauner is used substantively, not adjectively like in “Eilauner language”, it means “the island person”.
On our blog, we keep to this usage strictly because this is also done in the Eilauner language itself; we do this in order to show deep respect for (the rules of) the language.
The same story applies to the use of Schiermonnikoger and Schiermonnikoogs (exonyms); we say “Schiermonnikoogs”, “the language Schiermonnikoogs” or “the Schiermonnikoger language”, but we prefer not to say “the Schiermonnikoogs language”. Moreover, “Schiermonnikoger”, when used substantively, means “person from Schiermonnikoog”.
If you notice an error or something weird that requires attention on our blog, please notify us in the comment section below.