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Something old, something new: Some processes for dialect change in Sweden

  • Jenny Nilsson (a1)

The traditional dialects of Sweden are changing. In order to investigate how these changes may be proceeding, the use of traditional dialect and new linguistic features have been analyzed in three separate dialect areas: Inland West Sweden, Coastal West Sweden and Torsby in Northern Värmland. The focus is on how much of the traditional dialect used in the mid-20th century is still in use in each location, and what is replacing it in the process of change; this is done by analyzing speakers’ realizations of a total of 137 traditional dialect variables and 18 new variables. In some locations, dialects are leveling towards the standard, more or less rapidly. In others, there is a clear dialect shift to the urban Gothenburg variety or to the use of a combilect, which is a mix of traditional dialect variants, standard variants, new variants and urban variants. Similarities and differences between these separate processes are discussed, with special attention given to the reasons behind dialect change.

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