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Variation in Swedish address practices

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journal contribution
posted on 03.05.2017, 01:12 by Norrby, Catrin
This article explores variation in address in contemporary Swedish in Sweden-Swedish and Finland-Swedish. The research is part of a large-scale Australian project on changes in the address systems of French, German and Swedish. The present article focuses on results from 72 social network interviews conducted in Sweden (Gothenburg) and Finland (Vaasa). Both quantitative results (questionnaire part) and qualitative results (interview part) are presented. The findings suggest that the V pronoun of address ni is gradually disappearing in both national varieties. This tendency is clearly stronger in Sweden-Swedish; in spoken Sweden-Swedish V hardly exists any more, except for a controversial re-entry in communication between the young and middle-aged and the very old in service encounters (c.f. Mrtensson 1986). Furthermore the results indicate that there is considerable variation between written (impersonal) and spoken Sweden-Swedish with a much higher acceptance for the V pronoun in written, impersonal contexts. The study demonstrates that national variation is considerable with much more use of V in Finland-Swedish. Copyright 2006 Catrin Norrby. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher.


Date originally published



Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, vol. 29, no. 2 (2006), p. 18.1-18.15. ISSN 1833-7139