Written by Dyami Millarson
Afrikaans does not exist in a linguistic vacuum, but it exists within a linguistic context. Namely, Afrikaans, which is mutually intelligible with Dutch to a high extent, is a Dutch-related independent language. One might as well say that Afrikaans is an independent Dutch language, implying that Dutch is not a single language but a language family just like we discovered to be the case with Frisian. My study of Afrikaans this year has definitely made me more cognizant of the fact that it is a myth that Dutch is a single language and it is an obstacle to the growth of our consciousness about the diversity of the linguistic world around us that people are still generally clinging to this myth. Linguists classify Dutch and Afrikaans as Low Franconian, and therefore the language family that Dutch and Afrikaans belong to may be called Low Franconian, but I would be more inclined to simply call it a Dutch language family with the aim of addressing the myth of Dutch being a single language and thereby highlighting the truth that Dutch is not a single language, but rather a collection of related languages; Foundation Operation X will henceforth follow the convention of describing Dutch as a language family rather than a single language, just like we do with Frisian. Additionally, there being multiple Dutch languages is a highly interesting notion, which we will definitely investigate further in the coming years as we intend to study Zeelandic, Brabantian, Limburgish, Flemish and Hollandic. Based on what the Frisian linguistic situation has taught us over the years, we have come to suspect that many Germanic languages, which are commonly supposed to be one single language, are actually language families, i.e., collections of interrelated languages which have been supposed to be a single language, perhaps for political purposes such as nation-building which has often involved the genesis of national identity, national assimilation, and (mandatory) national education. For instance, we suspect that German is probably not a single language either. While we do suspect this, it is nevertheless still important to confirm this with our own studies; we will therefore study the German linguistic situation extensively in the future. Furthermore, I will investigate the linguistic diversity of Afrikaans this year; I will investigate to what extent Afrikaans is a single language, and whether there might be multiple Afrikaans languages.