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Address in pluricentric languages: The case of German and Swedish
University of Melbourne.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2011 (English)In: Línguas Pluricêntricas Pluricentric Languages: Variação Linguística e Dimensões Sociocognitivas Linguistic Variation and Sociocognitive Dimensions / [ed] Augusto Soares da Silva, Amadeu Torres, Miguel Gonçalves, Braga, Portugal: ALETHEIA – Associação Científica e Cultural , 2011, 147-160 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on address practices in German and Swedish, which bring out contrasts in address in the national varieties. It draws mainly on a large-scale project on address in a number of languages in Europe (Clyne, Norrby, Warren 2009). Data were collected in key localities of the national varieties in focus groups, interviews, chat groups and through participant observation. The results demonstrate that the dominant variation between address in the German and Austrian national varieties of German is the much greater use of titles in Austria and the much more widespread use of T in the workplace, both to superiors and at the same level of seniority. There is also variation within Germany, which highlights the issue of whether East and West German were separate national varieties during the division of Germany. In Sweden-Swedish, the V form was virtually abandoned in the 1960s and is now restricted to addressing especially very old and frail people in service encounters. In Finland Swedish, V is still employed in a way that has been abandoned in Sweden – expressing status and formality, reflecting conservatism and the influence of the Finnish language. This means that controversy as to whether V is exclusionary in Sweden is not relevant in Finland-Swedish. Our study of German and Swedish also demonstrates that knowledge of address in others’ varieties is largely stereotypical.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Braga, Portugal: ALETHEIA – Associação Científica e Cultural , 2011. 147-160 p.
Keyword [en]
pluricentricity, national variation, German, Swedish, address
Keyword [sv]
pluricentricitet, nationell variation, tyska, svenska, tilltal
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63835ISBN: 978‐972‐697‐201‐3OAI: diva2:452820
International Conference on Pluricentric Languages. Linguistic Variation and Sociocognitive Dimensions
Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2012-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Norrby, Catrin
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