The different Swedish tack: An ethnopragmatic investigation of Swedish thanking and related concepts
2010 (English)In: Journal of Pragmatics, ISSN 0378-2166, Vol. 42, no 5, 1258-1265 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In Sweden, people thank each other a lot. The reasons for this are partly linguistic, as the Swedish tack is different from e.g. English thanks. It encompasses both the meaning of 'thanks', and that of 'please'. More interestingly, there are cultural reasons for this. For ethnic Swedes, there are some higher-order cultural scripts, such as equality, self-sufficiency, consensus seeking and conflict avoidance, which make people say tack a lot in order to show that they agree, and in order not to be indebted to other people. For ethnic Swedes, it is culturally important to pay your way, to return favours (tjanster och gentjanster to retain the equilibrium between individuals. If this practise is not observed, the equilibrium is disturbed, and you end up in a debt of gratitude (tacksamhetsskuld), which can be very unpleasant for an ethnic Swede. This means that s/he thinks that s/he loses her independence and the equilibrium between him/her and the other person. This may result in ethnic Swedes seeming inhospitable, as they are reluctant to make other people feel tacksamhetsskuld. This study of the cultural key word tack and its related notions shows that there are peculiarities in the Swedish language that can be accessible to outsiders through the natural semantic metalanguage.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 42, no 5, 1258-1265 p.
Tack, Natural semantic metalanguage (NSM), Cultural scripts, Sweden, Ethnopragmatics, Cultural key words
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49002DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2009.09.026ISI: 000276861000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-49002DiVA: diva2:376191
authorCount :1>2010-12-102010-12-102011-01-26Bibliographically approved