Språkideologier bakom finskspråkigas attityder till svenskan


  • Saija Tamminen-Parre


language attitude, language ideology, discourse analysis, Finland Swedish, Finnish-speaking Finns


The study investigates the language attitudes by Finnish speaking Finns towards Swedish and speakers of Swedish. The study is based on interviews that have been carried out in international companies in two areas in Finland, in Ostrobothnia in western Finland and in the metropolitan region around Helsinki. The primary method used is that of discourse analysis. A detailed analysis is carried out of how the informants talk about Swedish and speakers of Swedish. The analyses show that there are different kinds of language ideologies that lie behind the informants’ attitudes, and five different ideologies were identified on the basis of the data: a pragmatic ideology, an economic ideology, an instrumental ideology, a nationalistic ideology, and a slightly derogatory ideology. Some informants express the usefulness of studying and learning Swedish, e.g., for economic reasons, or simply because it makes interaction smooth. Some interviewees were flexible with respect to speaking Swedish and used aspects of receptive multilingualism. On the other hand, expressions of a nationalistic ideology and even somewhat derogatory expressions in the attitudes toward Swedish were found among the interviewees – often directly linked to poor language skills of the interviewees. The interviewees’ choice of language when in contact with Swedish speakers was also influenced by whether the interaction took place during their free time, or whether they were using Swedish as part of their work.

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