Introduction: The linguistic consequences of globalisation: The Nordic laboratory

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1. Background: the laboratory
As is well-known from the literature on language contact (e.g. Weinreich 1953; Thomason and Kaufman 1988) the factors and forces that are in play in close and longstanding contact between (speakers of ) two languages are both linguistic and social in nature, and involve both quantitative and qualitative relationships. Indeed, the outcome of language contact is a question of numbers and frequencies in terms of use and users, of sameness vs. differencein terms of linguistic structure, of dominance vs. subordination in terms of socio-historical contexts, etc. The history of the Nordic communities is rich in illustrative examples of such relationships, with Denmark and Sweden as the stronger communities, opposing each other “in the middle” of the Nordic area, all while dominating “the periphery” — westwards in the case of Denmark and Danish with a long history in Norway, the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland — eastwards in the case of Sweden and Swedish with a long history in Finland. And we may add the linguistic and socio-historical complexities that relate the Sami people in the far north to the southern majority populations of Norway, Sweden and Finland. Superposed on these intra-Nordic relationships, so to speak, “foreign” cultures
and languages — most importantly Latin, German and French — have reached the Nordic area as a whole throughout its history, leaving a similar imprint, with variations, on its languages. The complex linguistic and socio-historical relationships hinted at here are among the most thoroughly studied and documented in the world (Bandle et al. 2002–2005).
TidsskriftInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Udgave nummer204
Sider (fra-til)1–7
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 2010

Bibliografisk note

De Gruyter Reference Global

ID: 32441690