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What's the target? A folk linguistic study of young Stockholmers' constructions of linguistic norm and variation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
Number of Authors: 2
2016 (English)In: Language Awareness, ISSN 0965-8416, E-ISSN 1747-7565, Vol. 25, no 1-2, 17-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To account for the full range of language use in contemporary multilingual urban contexts, the notion of target language (TL) needs to be reconsidered. In studies of second language acquisition and language variation, taking TL for granted implies that people agree on what constitutes 'good' language, or the standard norm. The TL of language learners and users is, however, more heterogeneous than is often assumed. To gain insight into what people are actually targeting in their language development and use, we need to study their perceptions of ambient sociolinguistic variation. In this folk linguistic listener study involving 343 upper secondary school students, a range of data types were analysed: attitude scales, variety labelling, and assessments of speakers' social and linguistic backgrounds. This article highlights some results pointing to a considerable divergence in the listeners' perceptions, in particular with regard to speech representing what is here characterised as migration-related social dialects. Several listeners labelled these samples as 'good' Swedish, possibly suggesting that they do not simply aim at or even relate to a TL identical with the dominating monolingual norm, but may instead have a less narrow view of the kind of Swedish they consider appropriate for use in more formal situations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 25, no 1-2, 17-39 p.
Keyword [en]
target language, sociolinguistic awareness, migration-related language variation, folk linguistics, perceptions of language variation
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132623DOI: 10.1080/09658416.2015.1122021ISI: 000378123200003OAI: diva2:954633
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-17 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Fraurud, Kari
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