The dialects of Dutch do not only differ from Standard Dutch in their words
and sounds, but also in the way they build their words (morphology) and
sentences (syntax). The Morphological Atlas of the Dutch Dialects (MAND)
and the Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects (SAND) provide a description
of the surprisingly rich morphological and syntactic variation in the Dutch
language area (i.e. The Netherlands, Dutch speaking Belgium and north west
France) and present this variation on maps. The first volume of these
atlases appeared in 2005. The second and final volume appears today. This
is the completion of a unique project of the Meertens Institute (Amsterdam)
and the University of Ghent that started in 1979.
Together with the Phonological Atlas of the Dutch Dialects (FAND; three
volumes) that has already appeared, MAND and SAND constitute a triptych
without precedent. There is no other language area in the world for which
such a systematic, extensive and detailed description of grammatical
variation and its geographic distribution exists. This description is very
important for research into the structure of natural language and for
research into the history of the Dutch language area and Dutch.
SAND 1 gives the variation in complementizers and complementizer
inflection, inflection on yes/ no, subject clitics, reflexives,
Wh-sentences and relative clauses. SAND 2 presents the variation in the
order of verbs and correlated variation in their form, and negative sentences.