|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2009)|
|Native to||Belgium, Netherlands|
|(no estimate available)|
|This article is a part of a series on|
|"Dutch Low Saxon"|
|West Low Franconian|
|East Low Franconian|
Brabantian or Brabantish, also Brabantic (Dutch: Brabants [ˈbraː.bɑnts]), is a dialect group of the Dutch language. It is named after the historical Duchy of Brabant which corresponded mainly to the Dutch province of North Brabant, the Belgian provinces of Antwerp and Flemish Brabant, as well as the institutional Region of Brussels-Capital (where its native speakers have become a minority) and the province of Walloon Brabant. Brabantian expands into small parts in the west of Limburg while its strong influence on the Flemish dialects in East-Flanders weakens towards the west. In the northwest of North Brabant (Willemstad), Hollandic is spoken. Conventionally, the South Guelderish dialects are distinguished from Brabantian, though there are no objective criteria apart from geography to do this.
Because of the relatively large area in which Brabantian is spoken, it can be roughly divided in three sub-dialects:
- West Brabantian, spoken in the area west of the river Donge; in the west of North Brabant (the area around the cities Breda, Roosendaal, and Bergen op Zoom) and in the north and west of the Province of Antwerp in Belgium.
- East Brabantian, spoken in the area east of the river Donge; in the middle and east of North Brabant (the area around the cities Tilburg, Eindhoven, 's-Hertogenbosch and Helmond), the east of the Province of Antwerp and the far west of the Province of Limburg.
- South Brabantian, spoken in the province of Flemish Brabant and the south of Antwerp.
Brabantian is not recognized as a minority language in the Netherlands. Brabantian has compared to other main Dutch dialects had a big influence on the development of Standard Dutch. This was because of Brabant was being the dominant region in the Netherlands when standardization of the Dutch started in the 16th century. The first major formation of standard Dutch also took place in Antwerp, where a Brabantian dialect is spoken. The default language being developed around this time had therefore mainly Brabantian influences. Standard Dutch has mainly developed from Brabantian and Hollandish dialects. About one third of the Dutch-speaking population lives in the Brabantian dialect zone. In large Dutch towns such as Breda and Eindhoven, where there are many people of Hollandic descent speaking standard Dutch, Brabantian dialects have been largely abandoned, whereas in rural areas many people still speak the original dialect. Tilburg and 's-Hertogenbosch, however, have a large number of people speaking the Brabantian dialect.
In Belgium, dialects are still the common spoken language. In the capital of Brussels, French largely replaced Dutch in the middle of the 20th century. Despite this, there are many cultural activities using the Brussels dialect, and recently also at masses in a church in Jette. Moreover, use of Dutch is reviving due to young Dutch-speaking families moving back from the suburbs toward the old city centre.
The Brabantian dialect is rather close to standard Dutch and was a main contributor to it's development. Brabantian uses a weak/soft "G". A characteristic phrase is "Houdoe", Take care, which becomes "Adagoe!", lit. 'keep yourself alright' in South Brabantian (tussentaal: 'Houd U goed!'), where colloquial Dutch/Hollandic uses "Doei" (Bye), also "Ale, salu(kes) e!" in South Brabantian, fashioned after the French "Allez!" and "Salut!", a greeting originally.
Brabantian dialects are characterised by the historical tendency towards accusativism, the use of the accusative case in the nominative as well. While the cases themselves have fallen out of use in the modern language, it is the accusative that survives, rather than the nominative as in the more northern dialects (nominativism). As the accusative case had different forms for masculine and feminine nouns, this development allowed these two genders to remain distinguished, and they are still kept separate in the spoken dialects of Brabant to this day. In areas with nominativism, the two genders fell together as the older nominative was the same for both genders.
The first attempts on standardizing the Dutch language in the 1540s were based on the Brabantian dialect, specifically that of Antwerp and its surroundings. However, following the Dutch Revolt, the Dutch economical and political focus shifted North, centering on the County of Holland and the importance of Brabantian dwindled. More recent attempts to establish a Standard form of Brabantic have met little success. However, the new phenomenon of tussentaal is more and more widespread.