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Åland som språksamhälle: Språk och språkliga attityder på Åland ur ett ungdomsperspektiv
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
Responsible organisation
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Åland Islands as a Language Environment : Languages and Language Attitudes from an Adolescent Perspective (English)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis deals with Åland, i.e. the Åland Islands, as a language environment. Its main focus is on the language attitudes of adolescents. The status, role and use of Swedish, Finnish and English are topical. Its main part consists of an empirical study, which is based on an extensive questionnaire answered by students in grade 9 of primary school and in the second grade of the (theoretical) secondary school in Åland.

The thesis includes a description of Åland as a language environment. The legal framework making Åland an autonomous region in Finland with Swedish as the only official language is presented. Language policies in Åland are compared with those of Sweden and Finland (outside of Åland). Special treatment is given to the school as a linguistic environment and recent language related debate in Åland.

The central questions in the questionnaire relate to language choice, media habits, subjective estimations of the respondents’ own language competence and language attitudes in a broad sense.

Six hypotheses based on a model of secure and insecure majorities and minorities as well as the Interactive Acculturation Model are postulated and treated.

The results of the empirical study reveal very strong feelings of affinity towards Åland. Attitudes towards English and English-speakers are in general positive. The results reveal somewhat ambivalent attitudes towards Finnish and Finland. Many variables show a tendency among the respondents to favour Sweden ahead of Finland and negative attitudes towards Finnish but there are also other conflicting results. The respondents who have parents who speak Finnish to them display more positive attitudes towards Finnish and Finland. These differences between the groups are statistically significant. However, the group with a Finnish language background also displays its strongest feelings of affinity towards Åland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Centrum för tvåspråkighetsforskning , 2008. , 249 p.
Dissertations in Bilingualism, ISSN 1400-5921 ; 16
Keyword [en]
Åland, Åland Island, language attitudes, adolescents, autonomy, quantitative study, affinity, language competence, majority-minority relaations, secure/insecure groups, interactive acculturation
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Bilingualism Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8153ISBN: 978-91-7155-709-4OAI: diva2:199704
Public defence
2008-09-20, hörsal 9, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2008-09-05 Created: 2008-09-05Bibliographically approved

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