The Finnish of Rautalampi and Värmland

A comparison




Värmland Finnish, Rautalampi Finnish, Finnish dialects, language contact, language change


In this paper some of the features of the Finnish spoken in the former great-parish of Rautalampi and Värmland are discussed. These two Finnish varieties are, owing to their common historical background, closely affiliated, both being defined as Eastern Finnish Savo dialects. These varieties were isolated from each other for hundreds of years and the circumstances of the two speech communities are in many respects different. The language contact situation in Värmland involves Swedish varieties and Värmland Finnish but limited contact with other Finnish varieties. The contact situation in what once was the great-parish of Rautalampi involves mainly Finnish varieties, both dialects and Standard Finnish. Social and economic circumstances have also had an effect on the contact situations, especially since the 19th century when Finland was separated from Sweden and industrialization made its definite entrance into both areas. The differing language contact situations have in some respects yielded different results. This paper provides examples of the differences, which have occurred as an effect of the circumstances in Rautalampi and in Värmland. I provide examples from the phonological, morphological, lexical, and syntactic levels and discuss them in light of the language contact situation in these areas.