Brabantish

Genealogical Classification
Indo-European / Germanic / West Germanic / Low German / Low Frankish (Dutch)

Area and Varieties
It is the dialects of the Netherlands’ province Northern Brabant (Noord-Brabant) and the Belgian provinces of Antwerp (Antwerpen) and Flemish Brabant (Vlaams-Brabant) that are considered Brabantish. Of course, the isoglosses do not exactly coincide with the provincial boundaries. There are three smaller areas in Northern Brabant where non-Brabantish dialects are used: the Westhoek around Dinteloord with dialects that are rather more Hollandish, Budel and environs, that is Dommellands (d.h. Northwestern Belgian Limburgish), and the region of Cuijk where Kleverlandish is used, thus being more connected with the northern parts of Netherlands Limburg and southeastern Gelderland. Furthermore, there are a few transitional areas in which no exact boundary can be determined. The dialects of the Bommelerwaard to the north of eastern Northern Brabant strongly resemble the Brabantish dialects south of the Maas River. Flemish Brabant borders the Eastern Flemish dialect area in the west; the dialects in the transitional area, the Denderstreek, are also more or less Brabantish. Flemish Brabant borders Belgian Limburg in the east; the dialects of the transitional area, the Geteland, are also more or less Brabantish. In these three problematic cases, the provincial boundaries are referred to for the sake of convenience, although this is not quite correct in terms of dialectology.
Important features of Brabantish dialects include umlauting, diminutive forms with -ke, and 2nd person pronouns with g- (ge, gij, gellie).

Number of Speakers
The number of speakers is unknown.

Status
Brabantish is not considered a minority language. For this reason, there are no efforts to standardize Brabantish, nor to include these dialects in education or to use them in formal situations.
In 1999, orthographic guidelines were developed for all Brabantish dialects, with participation of representatives from Northern Brabant, Antwerp and Flemish Brabant.

Culture
Some areas have developed strong cabaret and music traditions in which the dialects are used. Especially the bailiwick of ’s-Hertogenbosch, the cities of Antwerp, Mechelen and Leuven, and the Pajottenland (Brussels and the area west of it), are home to many advocates of dialect use. This is hardly the case in other areas, such as the eastern part of the province of Antwerp, the region of Heusden and Altena, and the northwestern parts of Northern Brabant.