Frisian language and literature

Frisian language and literature
   Frisian belongs to the North Sea subgroup of the Western Germanic languages, to gether with English. From the 13th century, its language area has decreased from a long coastline (Northern Hollandto Denmark) to just the province of Frisia (north of the river of the Tsjonger). Variants of the language, however, are also still spoken in a few parts of northern Germany (Saterland in Eastern Frisia, Northern Frisia on the coast of Schleswig-Holstein, and on the island of Hel goland). The Habsburg authorities replaced Frisian with Dutch in Frisian public administration during the 16th century. Neverthe less, the poet Gysbert Japiks (1603–1666) demonstrated that Frisian could still be used as a literary language. Influenced by the Romantic and nationalistic movements, this language was propa gated from the 1840s, among others by the Halbertsma brothers, Joast (1789–1869) and Eeltsje (1797–1858). Other important Frisian authors were Pieter Jelles Troelstra, Obe Postma (1868– 1963), Douwe Kalma (1896–1953), and Anne Wadman (1919– 1997). Publication of scholarly texts in Frisian was promoted by the Fryske Akademy, founded in 1938. Poet and journalist Fedde Schurer (1898–1968) stimulated the authorities to introduce Frisian into the public domain again. Since 1980, the Frisian lan guage has been a compulsory subject at the Frisian primary schools. Although the regional authorities and several churches use Frisian, Dutch remains dominant in public life.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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