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More than 22 million people speak Dutch-primarily in Holland, Belgium, Suriname, and the Antilles. This book offers a well-researched and highly readable survey of the language in all its historical, geographic, and social aspects. In addition to providing a general introduction to the evolution of Dutch, Willemyns pays special attention to oft-neglected topics, such as the question of whether Dutchmen and Flemings are separated by a common language, and the contentious matter of the spread of Dutch abroad through colonization, which led to "exotic" variations such as Afrikaans, pigeons, and creoles. Dutch: Biography of a Languagewill appeal to students of Dutch and general readers interested in the history of the language.