North Brabant unofficially called Brabant, is a province in the south of the Netherlands. It borders the provinces of South Holland and Gelderland to the north, Limburg to the east, Zeeland to the west, Belgium to the south; the northern border follows the Meuse westward to its mouth in the Hollands Diep strait, part of the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. The Duchy of Brabant was a state of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183 or 1190, it developed from the Landgraviate of Brabant and formed the heart of the historic Low Countries, part of the Burgundian Netherlands from 1430 and of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1482, until it was split up after the Dutch revolt. After the War of Independence, Catholics in the Southern Netherlands were systematically and discriminated against by the Northern Protestant government until the second half of the 20th century, which had a major influence on the economic and cultural development of the southern part of the Netherlands. Present-day North Brabant was adjudicated to the Generality Lands of the Dutch Republic according to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, while the reduced duchy remained in existence with the Southern Netherlands until it was conquered by French Revolutionary forces in 1794.
Until the 17th century, the area that now makes up the province of North Brabant was part of the Duchy of Brabant, of which the southern part is now in Belgium. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the area experienced a golden age—especially the nowadays-Belgian cities of Brussels, Mechelen and Antwerp, nowadays-Dutch cities of Breda, Bergen op Zoom and's-Hertogenbosch. After the Union of Utrecht was signed in 1579, Brabant became a battlefield between the Protestant Dutch Republic and Catholic Spain, which occupied the southern Netherlands; as a result of the Peace of Westphalia, the northern part of Brabant became part of the Netherlands as the territory of Staats-Brabant under federal rule, in contrast to the founding provinces of the Dutch Republic which were self-governing. Attempts to introduce Protestantism into the region were unsuccessful. For over a century, North Brabant served as a military buffer zone. In 1796, when confederate Dutch Republic became the unitary Batavian Republic, Staats-Brabant became a province as Bataafs Brabant.
This status ended with the reorganisation by the French, the area was divided over several departments. In 1815, Belgium and the Netherlands were united in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the province of North Brabant was established and so named to distinguish it from South Brabant in present-day Belgium, which seceded from the Kingdom in 1830; this boundary between the Netherlands and Belgium is special in that it does not form a contiguous line, but leaves a handful of tiny enclaves on both sides of the border. A few of these irregularities were corrected, Huijbergen became Dutch, but some remain, notably Baarle-Hertog and Baarle-Nassau; when the present province was instituted, its territory was expanded with a part of the province of Holland and the former territory of Ravenstein which had belonged to the Duchy of Cleves, as well as several small autonomous entities. The period from 1900 until the late 1960s is called Het Rijke Roomse Leven, an era of strong religious belief. Het Rijke Roomse Leven came about as result of the emancipatory drive of the province's disadvantaged Catholic population and was supported by a Roman Catholic pillar, directed by the clergy, not only encompassed churches, but Roman Catholic schools and hospitals, which were run by nuns and friars.
In those days every village in North Brabant had a convent. Politically, the province was dominated by Catholic parties: the Roman Catholic State Party and its post-war successor, the Catholic People's Party, which held around 75% of the vote. In the 1960s secularisation and the actual emancipation of the Catholic population brought about the gradual dissolution of the Catholic pillar, as church attendance decreased in North Brabant as elsewhere in Western Europe; the influence of Het Rijke Roomse Leven remains in the form of education where some schools are still Roman Catholic, in North Brabant's culture, politics and customs, such as carnival. Though the interpretation of the Roman Catholic identity in North Brabant has shifted during the last 65 years from religious to cultural, the province still has a distinct Catholic atmosphere when compared to the provinces north of the major rivers. A cultural divide is still found between the "Catholic" south and the "Protestant" north, but with a total of 1.5 million people and 20% of the industrial production in the Netherlands the southern "Catholic" area BrabantStad has become one of the major economical important, metropolitan regions of the Netherlands.
As of 2010, Catholics were no longer a majority of the population in the province of North Brabant. Only 1–2% of the total population of the Catholic area attend mass, these churchgoers consist of people over 65 years old. With a population density of 501/km², North-Brabant is above average urbanized; the urbanization is at the center of the province at largest, where the'kite' is located, the rest of the province has a more rural character. The province has preserved some of its scenic nature well. National parks are found at
IJ is a digraph of the letters i and j. Occurring in the Dutch language, it is sometimes considered a ligature, or a letter in itself. In most fonts that have a separate character for ij, the two composing parts are not connected but are separate glyphs, which are sometimes kerned. An ij in written Dutch represents the diphthong. In Standard Dutch and most Dutch dialects, there are two possible spellings for the diphthong: ij and ei; that causes confusion for schoolchildren, who need to learn which words to write with ei and which with ij. To distinguish between the two, the ij is referred to as the lange ij, the ei as korte ei or E – I. In certain Dutch dialects and the Dutch Low Saxon dialects of Low German, a difference in the pronunciation of ei and ij is maintained. Whether it is pronounced identically to ei or not, the pronunciation of ij is perceived as being difficult by people who do not have either sound in their native language; the tendency for native English-speakers is to pronounce ij as, like the English vowel y in by, which does not lead to confusion among native listeners since the same pronunciation occurs in a number of dialects.
The ij represented a'long i'. This can still be seen in the etymology of some words and in the Dutch form of several foreign placenames: Berlin and Paris are spelled Berlijn and Parijs. Nowadays, the pronunciation follows the spelling, they are pronounced with; the IJ is distinct from the letter Y. Particular when writing capitals, Y used to be common instead of IJ. In fact, the official spelling in the early 19th century; that practice has now long been deprecated, but the standard Dutch pronunciation of the letter Y is still ij when the alphabet is read. In scientific disciplines such as mathematics and physics, the symbol y is pronounced ij. To distinguish the Y from IJ in common speech, however, Y is called Griekse IJ, i-grec, or Ypsilon. In Dutch, the letter Y now occurs only in loanwords, proper nouns, or in Old Dutch, while in the related language Afrikaans, Y has replaced IJ. Furthermore, the names of Dutch immigrants to the United States, Canada and New Zealand were anglicised, with the IJ becoming a Y.
For example, the surname Spijker was changed into Spyker and Snijder into Snyder. IJ developed out of ii, representing a long sound. In the Middle Ages, the i was written without a dot in handwriting, the combination ıı was confused with u. Therefore, the second i was elongated: ıȷ; the dots were added, albeit not in Afrikaans, a language that has its roots in Dutch. In this language the y is used instead. Alternatively, the letter J may have developed as a swash form of i. In other European languages it was first used for the final i in Roman numerals when there was more than one i in a row, such as iij for "three", to prevent the fraudulent addition of an extra i to change the number. In Dutch, which had a native ii, the "final i in a row elongated" rule was applied as well, leading to ij. Another theory is that IJ might have arisen from the lowercase y being split into two strokes in handwriting. At some time in the 15th or 16th century, this combination began to be spelled as a ligature ij.
An argument against this theory is that in handwriting which does not join letters, ij is written as a single sign. Some time after the birth of this new letter, the sound, now represented by ij, in most cases, began to be pronounced much like ei instead, but words containing it were still spelled the same. Nowadays, ij in most cases represents the diphthong, except in the suffix -lijk, where it is pronounced as a schwa. In one special case, the Dutch word bijzonder, the sound is correct standard pronunciation, although is more common and is allowed. In proper names, ij appears instead of i at the end of other diphthongs, where it does not affect the pronunciation: aaij, oeij and uij are pronounced identically to aai, ei, ooi and ui; this derives from an old orthographic practice of writing y instead of i after another vowel. Spelling reforms and standardization have removed the redundant js in common words, but proper names continue to use these archaic spellings; as the rules of usage for the IJ differ from those that apply to the many other digraphs in the Dutch language – in some situations behaving more as a single ligature or letter than a digraph – the IJ is not only confusing to foreigners, but a source of discussion among native speakers of Dutch.
Its actual usage in the Netherlands and in Flanders sometimes differs from the official recommendations. Both the Dutch Language Union and the Genootschap Onze Taal consider the ij to be a digraph of the letters i and j; the descriptive dictionary Van Dale Groot woordenboek van de Nederlandse taal states that ij is a "letter combination consisting of the signs i and j, used, in some words, to represent the diphthong ɛi." The Winkler Prins encyclopedia states that ij is the 25th letter of the Dutch alphabet, placed between X and Y. However, this definition is not accepted. In words where i and j are in different syllables, they do not form the digraph ij. In compound words, a hyphen is ad
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history, sometimes involving neighbouring countries; the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as culture and education. Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population. 7,876,873 out of 11,491,346 Belgian inhabitants live in the bilingual city of Brussels. Not including Brussels, there are five modern Flemish provinces. In medieval contexts, the original "County of Flanders" stretched around AD 900 from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary and expanded from there; this county still corresponds with the modern-day Belgian provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, along with neighbouring parts of France and the Netherlands.
Although this original meaning is still relevant, during the 19th and 20th centuries it became commonplace to use the term "Flanders" to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, stretching all the way to the River Meuse, as well as cultural movements such as Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the Belgian part of this area was made into two political entities: the "Flemish Community" and the "Flemish Region"; these entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the Flemish Region does not. Flanders, by every definition, has figured prominently in European history since the Middle Ages. In this period, cities such as Ghent and Antwerp made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe and weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export; as a consequence, a sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution but Flanders was at first overtaken by French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, due to massive national investments in port infrastructures, Flanders' economy modernised and today Flanders and Brussels are more wealthy than Wallonia and in general one of the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world. Geographically, Flanders is flat, has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a population density of 500 people per square kilometer, it touches France to the west near the coast, borders the Netherlands to the north and east, Wallonia to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is an bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands; the term "Flanders" has several main modern meanings: The "Flemish community" or "Flemish nation", i.e. the social and linguistic, scientific and educational and political community of the Flemings.
It comprises 6.5 million Belgians. The political subdivisions of Belgium: the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community; the first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels. The political institutions that govern both subdivisions: the operative body "Flemish Government" and the legislative organ "Flemish Parliament"; the two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders. An ancien régime territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic; until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of what are now France and the Netherlands. One of the Flemish regions which are now part of France, in the Nord department; this is referred to as French Flanders, can be divided into two smaller regions: Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century.
The city of Lille identifies itself as "Flemish", this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The Flemish region which became part of the Dutch Republic, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland; the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the southern part of the Low Countries: the Southern Netherlands. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it became commonplace to refer to the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium as "Flanders"; the linguistic limit between French and Dutch was recorded in the early'60's, from Kortrijk to Maastricht. Now, Flanders extends over the northern part of Belgium, including Belgian Limburg (corresponding to t
Dutch orthography uses the Latin alphabet and has evolved to suit the needs of the Dutch language. The spelling system is issued by government decree and is compulsory for all government documentation and educational establishments; the modern Dutch alphabet consists of the 26 letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet and is used for the Dutch language. Five letters are vowels and 21 letters are consonants; the letter E is the most used letter in the Dutch alphabet. The least used letters are Q and X. In some aspects, the digraph IJ behaves as a single letter. Dutch uses the following letters and letter combinations. Note that for simplicity, dialectal variation and subphonemic distinctions are not always indicated. See Dutch phonology for more information; the following list shows letters and combinations, along with their pronunciations, found in modern native or nativised vocabulary: The following additional letters and pronunciations appear in non-native vocabulary or words using older, obsolete spellings: Loanwords keep their original spellings: cadeau /kaːˈdoː/'gift'.
The Latin letters c, qu, x and y are sometimes adapted to k, kw, ks and i. Greek letters φ and ῥ become f and r, not ph or rh, but θ becomes th. Combinations -eon-, -ion-, -yon- in loanwords from French are written with a single n except when a schwa follows. Vowel length is always indicated but in different ways by using an intricate system of single and double letters. Old Dutch possessed phonemic consonant length in addition to phonemic vowel length, with no correspondence between them. Thus, long vowels could appear in closed syllables, short vowels could occur in open syllables. In the transition to early Middle Dutch, short vowels were lengthened when they stood in open syllables. Short vowels could now occur only in closed syllables. Consonants acted to close the preceding syllable. Therefore, any short vowel, followed by a long consonant remained short; the spelling system used by early Middle Dutch scribes accounted for that by indicating the vowel length only when it was necessary. As the length was implicit in open syllables, it was not indicated there, only a single vowel was written.
Long consonants were indicated by writing the consonant letter double, which meant that a short vowel was always followed by at least two consonant letters or by just one consonant at the end of a word. In Middle Dutch, the distinction between short and long consonants started to disappear; that made it possible for short vowels to appear in open syllables once again. Because there was no longer a phonetic distinction between single and double consonants, Dutch writers started to use double consonants to indicate that the preceding vowel was short when the consonant had not been long in the past; that led to the modern Dutch spelling system. Modern Dutch spelling still retains many of the details of the late Middle Dutch system; the distinction between checked and free vowels is important in Dutch spelling. A checked vowel is one, followed by a consonant in the same syllable while a free vowel ends the syllable; this distinction can apply to pronunciation or spelling independently, but a syllable, checked in pronunciation will always be checked in spelling as well.
Checked in neither: la-ten /ˈlaː.tə/ Checked in spelling only: lat-ten /ˈlɑ.tə/ Checked in both: lat /lɑt/, lat-je /ˈlɑt.jə/ A single vowel, checked in neither is always long/tense. A vowel, checked in both is always short/lax; the following table shows the pronunciation of the same three-letter sequence in different situations, with hyphens indicating the syllable divisions in the written form, the IPA period to indicate them in the spoken form: Free ⟨i⟩ is rare and is confined to loanwords and names. As tense /y/ is rare except before /r/, free ⟨u⟩ is rare except before ⟨r⟩; the same rule applies to word-final vowels, which are always long because they are not followed by any consonant. Short vowels, not followed by any consonant, do not exist in Dutch, there is no normal way to indicate them in the spelling; when a vowel is short/lax but is free in pronunciation, the spelling is made checked by writing the following consonant doubled, so that the vowel is kept short according to the default rules.
That has no effect on pronunciation, as modern Dutch does not have long consonants: ram-men /ˈrɑ.mə/ tel-len /ˈtɛ.lə/ tin-nen /ˈtɪ.nə/ kop-pen /ˈkɔ.pə/ luk-ken /ˈlʏ.kə/ When a vowel is long/tense but still checked in pronunciation, it is checked in spelling as well. A change is thus needed to indicate the length, done by writing the vowel doubled. Doubled ⟨i⟩ does not occur. Raam /raːm/, raam-de /ˈraːm.də/ teel /teːl/, teel-de /ˈteːl.də/ koop /koːp/, koop-sel /ˈkoːp.səl/ Luuk /lyk/ A single ⟨e⟩ indicates short and long e but is used to indicate the neutral schwa sound /ə/ in unstressed syllables. Because the schwa is always short, ⟨e⟩ is never followed by a double consonant when it represents /ə/. Ap-pe-len /ˈɑ.pə.lə/ ge-ko-men /ɣə.ˈkoː.mə/ kin-de-ren /ˈkɪn.də.rə/ A wo