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Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 1 Maastricht 16 April 2010 Professor Arne Torp Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 1 Maastricht 16 April 2010 Professor Arne Torp Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 1 Maastricht 16 April 2010 Professor Arne Torp Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies University of Oslo English versus Scandinavian languages in Internordic Relations

2 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 2 Som crucial background facts about the Nordic countries, the languages of the Nordic countries and the Nordic languages

3 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 3

4 4 Languages of the Nordic countries – language families Indo-EuropeanUralicEskimo- Aleutic GermanicFinno-Ugric Nordic (= North Germ.)SaamiBaltic Finnic Sw. Da. No. Far. Icel.(North FinnishGreenlandic Saami, Ume Saami, South Saami…)

5 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Declaration on a Nordic Language Policy (signed by the Nordic Council of Ministers 2006) There are six languages in the Nordic countries that are both complete and essential to society: Danish, Finnish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian (in both written forms: Bokmål and Nynorsk), and Swedish. Goals A Nordic language policy should therefore aim: that all Nordic residents being able to read and write the language or languages that are essential to society in the area where they live that all Nordic residents being able to communicate with one another, preferably in a Scandinavian language, that all Nordic residents having a basic knowledge of linguistic rights in the Nordic countries and the language situation in the Nordic countries that all Nordic residents having very good skills in at least one language of international importance and good skills in another foreign language that all Nordic residents having a general knowledge of what language is and how it works

6 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Official languges in the Nordic countries and two areas with home rule Denmark, Norway, Sweden Finland Iceland Faroes Isles Greenland Danish, Norwegian, Swedish Finnish (91,5 %), Swedish (5,5 %) Icelandic Faroese, Danish Inuit, Danish 6

7 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 7 Nordic Insular Nordic Scandinavian Icelandic Faroese Norw. Swed. Danish Classification of modern Nordic lang. (in spoken form) on the basis of similarity North Scandinavian South Scand.

8 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 8 The main reason why Insular Nordic and Scandinavian langages are mutually incomprehensible: The Hansetic merchants came to Scandinavia, but never to Iceland! Tailor-the thought that jacket-the fit splendidly, but customer-the complained and meant that garment-the was short and material- the unsophisticated and coarse. Skredderen tenkte at trøya passet fortreffelig, men kunden klaget og mente at plagget var kort og tøyet simpelt og grovt. De schrâder dachte dat die trôie vortreffelik paste, men de kunde klâgde und mênde dat die plagge kort was und dat tüg simpel und grof. Klæðskerinn hélt að skyrtan passaði fullkomlega, en viðskiptavinurinn kvartaði og taldi að flíkin væri stutt og efnið einfalt og gróft.

9 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 9 The notion ”neighbor languages” General definition: Varieties that normally are regarded as different languages (for national and/or political reasons), but nevertheless are (to a certain degree) mutually intelligible. Neighbor language communication: The trickle of messages through a rather high level of ‘code noise’. Haugen, Einar “Semicommunication: The Language Gap in Scandinavia.” Sociological Inquiry 36:

10 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 10 What is the negative definition of ” neighbor languages”? If varieties are not mutually intelligible, they are called ”languages by distance” (Abstandsprachen, Heinz Kloss ) The borderline between the two notions may vary over time and between individuals within the same language community. The alternative if neighbor language communication is impossible, is a lingua franca (i.e. in our part of the world normally English)

11 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 11 English version of a the text on a toothpaste tube Daily use of Aquafresh gives a triple protection for strong teeth, healthy tooth flesh and fresh breath. The new improved formula gives your mouth a fresh feeling.

12 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 12 The same text in ”Scandinavian” DK/NO/SE Daglig brug av Aquafresh ger ett 3-dobbelt beskyttelse/skydd for stærke tænder/tänder, friskt tandkød/tandkött og frisk ånde/pust/andedräkt. Den nye forbedrete/förbättrade formulan ger deres/din mun en frisk følelse/känsla.

13 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 13 - and here marked with ”national” color symbols DK/NO/SE Daglig brug av Aquafresh ger ett 3-dobbelt beskyttelse/skydd for stærke tænder/tänder, friskt tandkød/tandkött og frisk ånde/pust/andedräkt. Den nye forbedrete/förbättrade formulan ger deres/din mun en frisk følelse/känsla.

14 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 14 A short specimen of Scandinavian languages

15 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 15 Why Bokmål and Nynorsk? The reason why there are two language varieties in Norway, whereas one variety of both Danish and Swedish is sufficient, is both historical and political. Bokmål is historically seen a “norwegianized” version of the Danish written language which was used in Norway since the time when the country was in political union with Denmark (from about 1450 to 1814). Translated from Nordens språk med røtter og føtter, p. 44

16 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 16 Specimen 1 Varför bokmål och nynorska? Orsaken till att man har två norska språkformer i Norge, medan man klarar sig med bara en form av både danska och svenska, är både historisk och politisk. Bokmål är historiskt sett en »förnorskad« utgåva av det danska skriftspråket som användes i Norge sedan den tiden då landet var i politisk union med Danmark (från ca 1400 till 1814). From Nordens språk med rötter och fötter s. 44

17 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 17 Specimen 2 Hvorfor bokmål og nynorsk? Grunden til at man har to norske målformer i Norge, mens man klarer sig med én form af både dansk og svensk, er både historisk og politisk. Bokmål er historisk set en »fornorsket« udgave af det danske skriftsprog der har været i brug i Norge siden landet var i politisk union med Danmark (fra ca til 1814). From Nordens sprog med rødder og fødder s. 44

18 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 18 Specimen 3 Hvorfor bokmål og nynorsk? Grunnen til at man har to norske målformer i Norge, mens man klarer seg med én form av både dansk og svensk, er både historisk og politisk. Bokmål er historisk sett en »fornorsket« utgave av det danske skriftspråket som har vært i bruk i Norge siden landet var i politisk union med Danmark (fra ca til 1814). From Nordens språk med røtter og føtter s. 44

19 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 19 What are the main differences between the Scandinavian languages? The differences between South Scand. (Danish) and North Scand. (Norw. and Swed.) lie in the pronunciation. This implies that Norw. and Swed. are very similar in their spoken form, whereas Danish is very different. The differences within North Scand. (i.e. between Norw. and Swed.) lie in the vocabulary. This means that Danish and Norw. (particularly Bokmål) are very similar in writing (written Danish looks almost like Bokmål!), whereas Swed. is clearly different from both Danish and Norw. in writing.

20 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 20 Einar Haugen about the relationship between Danish, Norw. and Swedish: When Norwegians and Swedes communicate orally, they can tell what word is being spoken, though they may be uncertain of its meaning [affär – affære]. When Norwegians and Danes communicate, they have to listen hard to be sure what word the other is using, but once they get that, they usually know what it means [meget – meget]. Or as one wit has put it: Norwegian is Danish spoken in Swedish. Haugen: ”Danish, Norwegian and Swedish” (1990)

21 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 21 INS Internordisk språkförståelse i en tid med ökad internationalisering Internordic language comprehension in a time of increasing internationalization pdf-version of the final report:

22 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 22 Copenhagen Stockholm Oslo Helsinki Reykjavik Århus Malmö Bergen Mariehamn Vaasa Jyväskylä Torshamn Akureyri Nuuk Places of research and number of (young) informants (red columns: number of informants tested for comprension of Scandinavian) (blue columns: number of informants tested for comprension of English)

23 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 23 Total results for comprension of Scandinavian 3,87 4,38 6,14 4,20 Denmark Sweden Norway Swed. Finland 2,14 7,01 4,00 4,19 Finland Far. Isles Iceland Greenland

24 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 24 Results for the separate languages Sweden Norway Sved. Finland Finland Far. Isles Iceland Greenland 3,80 6,07 3,64 1,54 8,28 5,36 6,61 Danish Denmark Norway Finland Far. Isles Iceland Greenland 3,53 6,21 3,24 5,75 3,34 2,23 Swedish Denmark Sweden Swed. Finland Finland Far. Isles Iceland Greenland 4,15 4,97 4,76 1,63 7,00 3,40 Norwegian 3,73

25 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 4,5% 43,2% 52,3% Yes A little No Teaching of neighbor languages Hva you studied Danish/Norwegian/Swedish at school?

26 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Parents and Pupils: Comparative results 5,93 6,62 3,59 4,54 Parents Pupils Sw No Denmark Parents Pupils 7,26 6,86 4,96 5,55 Da No Sweden Parents Pupils Parents Pupils 7,92 6,73 7,98 6,88 Da Sw Norway Parents Pupils Parents Pupils

27 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Deterioration of neighbor language comprehension the last 30 years 6,13 7,90 3,41 4,64 Maurud 1972 INS 2003 Sv No Denmark Maurud 1972 INS ,43 DaNo 5,17 7,42 3,87 DaNo Sweden Maurud 1972 INS 2003 Maurud 1972 INS 2003 Da 8,33 6,62 9,10 8,05 DaSw Norway Maurud 1972 INS 2003 Maurud 1972 INS 2003

28 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 28 The sad story: Comparative results for comprehension of English versus Scandinavian languages red (Scand. speaking areas) and blue (other Nordic areas) columns: English grey columns: Scandinavian languages 3,87 4,38 6,14 4,20 Denmark Sweden Norway Swed. Finland 2,14 7,01 4,00 Finland Far. Isles Iceland 5,70 7,08 7,09 7,66 6,02 7,60 7,17

29 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Sweden Norway England 29,6 22,2 46,9 Danes Attitudes to countries Would you like to live or study in… Denmark Norway England 54,1 44,7 76,9 Swedes Denmark Sweden England 38,6 47,0 65,4 Norwegians Denmark Sweden Norway England 47,4 60,1 41,4 Finns 78,4 Denmark Sweden Norway England 74,7 63,7 49,3 Icelanders 83,1

30 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Swedish Norwegian English 43,4 53,9 73,2 Denmark Attitudes to languages 1 Do you think that Danish/Swedish/Norwegian/English is easy? Danish Norwegian English 33,5 58,4 83,0 Sweden Danish Swedish English 35,5 77,4 84,9 Norway Danish Svedish Norwegian English 13,5 49,5 18,5 Finnish Finland 81,0 Danish Swedish Norwegian English 51,7 33,2 37,0 Iceland 85,9

31 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Swedish Norwegian English 46,0 50,5 62,6 Denmark Attitudes to languages 2 Do you think that Danish/Swedish/Norwegian/English is nice? Danish Norwegian Engish 27,8 53,1 63,5 Sweden Danish Swedish English 28,9 66,6 62,5 Norway Danish Swedish Norwegian English 37,7 50,0 47,8 Finnish Finland 69,5 Danish Swedish Norwegian English 49,3 47,6 47,5 Iceland 75,3

32 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) 32 Why are Norwegians always superior in Scandinavian neighbor language comprehension? Norw. is intermediate between Danish and Swedish We have Swed. pronunciation and Dan. vocabulary Norwegians are accustomed to linguistic variation. Norwegian can be written in two different ways (at least!), and the dialects are much more widely used than in the neighboring countries. Why this? Both facts are consequences of the four centuries long union between Norway and Denmark.

33 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Encouraging facts for the Scandinavian neighbor language comprehension 1 (particularly Norwegian / Swedish) 33

34 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Encouraging events for the Scandinavian neighbor language comprehension 2 (only Norwegian / Swedish) NRK Alltid Nyheter (NRK News All the Time) cooperates with Sveriges radio (and BBC) at certain times every day (and night) NRK P2 has a Swedish speaking journalist in one of their programs (Radiofront) 34

35 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Every Friday in prime time at NRK 1 and SVt 1: 35

36 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Linguistic practices in multilingual programs like Skavlan at NRK TV (and SVt?) dialogue spoken by participants using the ”national” language (in Norway regardless of dialect!) has no subtitles dialogue spoken by participants using the neighbor language (and English) has always subtitles Skavlan speaks ”svorsk” (= 98 % Norw. and 2 % Swedish!) both with Norw. and Swedes 36

37 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Internordic oral communication at present and in the future: A personal assessment (1) The Scandinavian neighbor language community: Norwegians will never have any problems with Swedish! Swedes may have some (but minor) problems with Norwegian Conclusion: Norwegians and Swedes will probably continue to communicate in Scandinavian Danes don’t notice the difference between Norw. and Swedish, but they understand Norwegian (4,2 points) better than Swedish (3,5 points; cf. slide 24 above) Swedes find Danish hard to understand (and vice versa) Conclusion: Communication via lingua franca (i.e. English) will probably be the normal practice between Danes and Swedes and possibly also between Danes and Norwegians. 37

38 Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier (ILN) Internordic oral communication at present and in the future: A personal assessment (2) My prediction for the Nordic countries outside the Scandinavian-speaking language area Everywhere (with the exception of the Faroe Isles) the lingua franca strategy with English will be the normal practice This is sad, but probably a realistic prospect 38


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