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The native–non-native speaker distinction and the diversity of linguistic profiles of young people in Swedish multilingual urban contexts
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
University of Gothenburg.
2006 (English)In: Language Variation – European Perspectives. : Selected papers from the Third International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 3), Amsterdam, June 2005 / [ed] Hinskens, Frans, Amsterdam: John Benjamins , 2006, 1, 53-69 p.Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

The notion of native speaker (NS) has played a central role in all areas of linguistics, but it is also perennially questioned. This paper aims to contribute to the discussion of the usefulness of the binary distinction between native and non-native speakers (NNS) by exploring a relatively large body of empirical data collected in a study of language and language use among young people in contemporary multilingual urban settings in Sweden.

Data about linguistic background and practices from 222 informants were analyzed by means of so called linguistic profiling – here involving a number of variables reflecting various nativeness criteria. The resulting complex and varied linguistic profiles display the great diversity among informants. This diversity is presumably not unique to these 222 young people, but can also be expected to be found in other similar contexts. The application of a binary NS/NNS distinction in such contexts will either – if a single criterion is used – result in a categorization of informants into two widely heterogeneous groups, or – if multiple criteria are combined and only clear cases considered – result in the exclusion of a considerable number of language users from the object of study. These observations should also have implications for the study of language variation and change in multilingual contexts more generally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: John Benjamins , 2006, 1. 53-69 p.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36371OAI: diva2:289306
Available from: 2010-01-24 Created: 2010-01-24 Last updated: 2010-10-29Bibliographically approved

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Fraurud, Kari
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