Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
I wanted to give a short overview of the most typical changes and tendencies which occur in the Polish laguage of the children of Polish descent who have been living in Sweden, compared to the Polish language in Poland.
I tried to sort out and classify the most frequent and obvious mistakes made by the pupils of primary schools in Sweden. I was especially interested in those irregularities ending up in language errors, which comes as a result of the influence of Swedish language. They was supposed to show me at least some of the general tendencies which occur in the Swedish version of Polish language in general.
In order to describe individaul language of those particluar children I applied the method of linguistic errors’ analysis. I am analysing the separate subsystems of the system which is Polish language itself. I am especially focused on spelling, inflection, syntax, and lexis considering also loanwords. As a correct matrice on the basis of wich I am anaysing the errors I concern Polish language in Poland.
My dissertion is based on written materials, such as spelling tests (dictations), school essays and written compositions concerning the family and the summer holidays. The materials presented is gathered from 2 different schools. One of them is the Polish school of the Polish Embassy in Stockholm, where children are having extra Polish lessons; the materials from this school are mainly the dictations and class essays. The other school is a swedish primary school Maria Elementarskola, of which some of the pupils were so helpfull to obey their teacher and write short compositons about themselves for the use of my dissertation.
The age of my respondences varies between 7 and 16 years old. All in all I succeeded in analysing 30 notebooks of dictations of the Polish School pupils in the age of 7-9, 8 class essays of the Polish School junior classes’ pupils at the age of 13, and 15 written compositions of the 13-6 yaers old juniors of the swedish school. All of those children have at least one of their parents Polish and lot of them was born aldready in Sweden. However they communicate in Polish language with at least one of their parents – much more seldom with their siblings.
I was writing my disseratation durig the spring semester 2006 at the Slavic Department of Stockholm University, where I studied as an exchange student within Socrates-Erasmus pogram. My supervisor was prof. Ewa Teodorowicz-Hellman.
My analysis led me to the final conclusions, which desribe the destructive influence of Swedish to Polish language in Sweden.
Many errors which are being analysed in my dissertation consider spelling. While writing pupils very often apply rules of Swedish alphabet when writing polish words. They make many mistakes concerning typically polish and absent in Swedish language consonants: africates, voiced fricative and alveolar fricative (c, z, dz, sz, ż, cz, dż, ś, ż, ć, dź) along with nasal vowels (ą, ę).
The most affected by Swedish language subsystemns of Polish language in Sweden is lexic and syntax. The pupils’ vocabulary is limited, which results in borrowig Swedish words systematically and filling with them the gaps in Polish sentences. Students adapt those self-chosen loanwords gramaticcaly to the Polish language systems, however they are still agaist the standard.
Swedish syntax also influences Polish language with a great impact: free polish syntax is interferred by strict swedish sentence rules. Typicaly swedish constructions such as det är, jag har kvar are translated directly into Polish and used in their Swedish idiomatic meaning.
Polish inflection is interferred by Swedish to less extend compared to the subsystems mentioned above and its influence’s distructive character proves Laskowski’s thesis on strong and weak cases in the Polish language. The strongest cases (NGA) are being substituted by other cases very seldom and lost at the very late stage of language system’s desinegration process, whereas the weak (ILD) are the first to be ommited and exchanged due to their defined character.
My dissertation is supposed to be treated as a very general registration of changes in Polish language when spoken in Sweden in comparision to standard Polish. Due to the fact that my respondents are restricted only to the primary school children they cannot be representative for the Swedish Polonia in genereal. Anyway some of the most stricking linguistic errors showing the most common tendencies in Polish langauage spoken i Sweden which differ it from Polish in Poland are hopefully marked above.