Poetical Use of Archaisms in Hindeloopen Frisian

Written by Dyami Millarson

Hindeloopen Frisian has a rich lexical heritage, but there are interesting items of the lexicon which have been forgotten or lost in time. Their revival is often relevant for keeping the Hindeloopen Frisian language distinct or prestigious, because if it does not distinguish the Hindeloopen Frisian language from other related languages, it does certainly raise its prestige on account of the retention of its linguistic heritage. After all, Hindeloopen Frisian is notable for its conservatism. While Icelandic, Faroese and Elfdalian have high prestige in the eyes of Nordic outsiders thanks to their notorious linguistic conservatism, it could be said that Hindeloopen Frisian, Schiermonnikoog Frisian and Terschelling Frisian, which are all conservative in their own unique ways, are the Icelandic, Faroese and Elfdalian of the Frisian languages in the Netherlands as these three languages are notorious for their linguistic conservatism in the eyes of outsiders.

The following terms are a few examples of archaic or obsolete words in the Hindeloopen Frisian language:

  • Enkem, each other.
  • Naa, never.
  • Aa, ever.

Such archaisms may be used in poetry. Many archaisms in Latin and Ancient Greek are chiefly poetic as well. It is a good way for reviving old-fashioned words and keeping their memory alive as well as stimulating their active use. In addition, if such words are revived for poetical purposes, those same words may be revived in the formal or higher literary language as well. In the case of Hindeloopen Frisian, such a high language is being developed simply through the writing of literature and formal texts in the Hindeloopen Frisian language. Literary language tends to be archaising, and fully embracing this for Hindeloopen Frisian in the modern era seems reasonable, because it is an opportunity for keeping the most archaic elements of the language alive. The revival of old vocabulary and the creation of new innovations based on the old vocabulary is a restoration and development project that spans an infinite amount of time, because after reviving old words or creating new innovations based on them, those monuments require constant maintenance and therefore the restoration and development of the Hindeloopen Frisian language will never cease.

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