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Suburban Swedish maturing: Examining variation and perceptions among adult speakers of Swedish contemporary urban vernacular
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Förortssvenskan på mognadsvägen : En undersökning av variation och perceptioner bland vuxna talare av svensk ‘contemporary urban vernacular’ (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Up to now, adolescent speakers have been the primary focus when researching contemporary variation in the language of Sweden’s urban areas. This study contributes to the growing body of research on the topic by examining and reporting on adult speakers of what is here referred to as förortssvenska (English: Suburban Swedish). This study focuses specifically on formal speech registers of eight young working-class men from Stockholm along with the perception and reception of their speech by two independent native-listener groups.

The paper is the first to present quantifiable data on what has been previously referred to as a “staccato” rhythm in Suburban Swedish. Strong correlations are shown between prosodic rhythm as measured by the normalized pairwise variability index (nPVI) and speech speed to mean listener attitudes (R2=0.9). A strong correlation is also shown for nPVI’s influence on mean listener-projected ethnicity (R2=0.8). Alongside variation in rhythm, we also see phonemic variation that trends toward specific indexes of social identity as revealed by speaker interviews and native-listener assessments. Alongside linguistic variation among speakers, there is also significant variation within speaker peer groups.

In addition to identifying specific linguistic features, the study examines social mechanisms revealed in interviews with and qualitative observations of speaker and listener participants. In exploratory fashion, ideas on variation, register ranges, meta-pragmatic stereotyping, and ethnic boundary-making are presented to make a case for treating contemporary urban variation in Swedish as a habitual semiotic extension of speaker identity. Indicators that contemporary urban variation in Swedish may be heading in the direction of sociolectal entrenchment are also discussed.

Abstract [sv]

Hittills har unga talare varit det primära fokus för forskning av aktuell språklig variation i urbana Sverige. Denna studie bidrar till den växande mängden forskning i detta ämne genom att undersöka och rapportera om vuxna talare av det som här kallas för förortssvenska. Studien fokuserar specifikt på formella talregister bland åtta unga män från Stockholms arbetarklass, samt perception och mottagande av deras tal av två oberoende grupper av infödda lyssnare.

Denna studie är den första som presenterar kvantifierbar data rörande den i tidigare forskning så kallade stackato-rytmen i förortssvenska. Starka korrelationer finns mellan, å ena sidan, prosodisk rytm mätt med the normalized pairwise variability index (nPVI) och talhastighet och, å den andra, de genomsnittliga lyssnarattityderna (R2=0,9). Det finns också en stark korrelation för nPVIs påverkan på genomsnittlig lyssnarprojicerad etnicitet (R2=0,8). Vid sidan av variation i rytm ser vi också fonemisk variation som trender mot specifika index för social identitet. Och vid sidan av variation i rytm bland talarna, finns också en stor variation inom kamratgrupperna.

Förutom att den identifierar specifika lingvistiska drag, undersöker studien sociala mekanismer som framkommer i intervjuer med och kvalitativa observationer av talardeltagarna och lyssnardeltagarna. På ett explorativt sätt, lägger studien fram idéer om variation, registeromfång, meta-pragmatiska stereotyper och etniska gränsskapande för att framhäva argumentet för att behandla den aktuella förortsvariationen i svenska som en habituell avsiktlig utbyggnad av talarens identitet. Det diskuteras också indikatorer till att den aktuella urbana variationen i svenska kan vara på väg mot sociolektal stabilisering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 112 p.
Keyword [en]
Rinkeby Swedish, slang, Suburban Swedish, contemporary urban vernacular, normalized pairwise variability index, nPVI, prosodic rhythm, linguistic artifacts, sociophonetic variation, meta-pragmatic stereotypes, prestige forms
Keyword [sv]
rinkebysvenska, förortsslang, förortssvenska
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-104642OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-104642DiVA: diva2:724444
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Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-06-12 Last updated: 2014-06-23Bibliographically approved

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