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Owing to commercial and colonial rivalry in the 16th and 17th centuries between England and the Low Countries, the English cognate of theodisk developed into the exonym Dutch, which came to refer exclusively to the people of the Netherlands.Although the wider definition of Dutch that included "German" continued for a while longer in the US and survived there in the name Pennsylvania Dutch, a local German dialect.
The West Germanic varieties of the time are generally split into three dialect groups: Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic), Istvaeonic (Weser-Rhine Germanic) and Irminonic (Elbe Germanic).
Early grammarians linked the name of the Dutch language to the Romans, in an attempt to give it more prestige.
In addition, the Dutch exonym Hoogduits (literarily "High Dutch", i.e.
Historical minorities on the verge of extinction remain in parts of France Dutch, like English, has not undergone the High German consonant shift, does not use Germanic umlaut as a grammatical marker, has largely abandoned the use of the subjunctive, and has levelled much of its morphology, including most of its case system.
In both Belgium and the Netherlands, the native official name for Dutch is Nederlands, and its dialects have their own names, e.g.