Dutch dialect: "tons"/"teus" for "dan"

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Peterdg, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Peterdg

    Peterdg Senior Member

    Belgium
    Dutch - Belgium
    I don't know if it is allowed to ask for the etymology of dialect words. If not, please cancel this thread.

    In the Dutch East Flanders dialect of Ghent, the word "dan" (= English "then" in the sense of : "and then he came") is "tons". In the dialect of Smetlede (*) (a town between Ghent and Aalst, but also a dialect of East Flanders), "dan" is "teus", which is presumably of the same origin as the Ghent word "tons".

    Now, I'm wondering where this "tons"/"teus" comes from. As far as I know, there is no other dialect that uses these words for "dan".

    The only thing I can come up with is that it comes from the Spanish "entonces", which also means "dan" ("then" in English"). Moreover, in Dutch, the Spanish word "entonces" can be interpreted as "en" + "tonces", where "en" is the standard Dutch word for "and".

    Big part of Flanders (if not all) has been dominated a long time by the Spanish, so I don't think my theory is outrageous. However, someone with more etymological skills than I have (I don't have any:D) may be able to shed some different light on my theory.

    (*) This is my dialect from my mother's side in which I was raised; my other native dialect, from my father's side, is the Brabant dialect (Halle).
     
  2. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Absolutely no problem.
     
  3. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    According to this, Ghent dialect tons is a variant of toens and a more obvious explanation for that would be toen+adverbial -s, wouldn't it? I don't know, but I wouldn't take it for granted that teus an to(e)ns is the same word. East Flemish is a patchwork dialect mixing Flemish and Brabant dialects and urban and rural dialects are often quite different is dialect regions characterized by one dialect (i.e. Brabant) expanding into the territory of another one (i.e. Flemish).

    Just my two cents. I am not an expert on Nederlands dialects.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  4. Peterdg

    Peterdg Senior Member

    Belgium
    Dutch - Belgium
    Thanks Berndf. I didn't know this site. But look what I found on that same site:

    I swear I hadn't seen this before you mentioned that link.

    But your comment about "toen" is also a possibility; I just never thought of that.
     
  5. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    By the way, the explanations are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The similarity to toen could well have been instrumental in reinterpreting entonces, shortened to entons, as en to(e)ns.
     

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