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Metta Magdalena Lillies dagbok: En 1700-talstext och dess språk
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2004 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The diary of Metta Magdalena Lillie : Linguistic aspects of an 18th century manuscript (English)
Abstract [en]

Metta Magdalena Lillie (1709–1788) from Västergötland kept her personal diary between the years of 1737 and 1750. Her writing during these years resulted in a total of 241 pages, a number of which contain marginal notes along with a main body of text. The diary begins with a thorough 15-page description of her relatives presented in chronological order. Her notes describe not only her personal and private experiences, but also her thoughts and opinions regarding political and societal events. Metta Lillie’s piety is a common theme that runs through the diary, her daily entries often giving way to emotionally charged prayers.

The purpose of this thesis is to analyze and describe the language in Metta Lillie’s diary in terms of orthography, phonology, morphology and word formation, vocabulary and syntax.

The spelling in the diary is inconsistent and a number of factors clearly demonstrates the uncertainty that existed at a time when there was no orthographic norm to follow. Metta Lillie’s writing often emulates speech and the diary reflects a variety of forms that indicate features of the Västergötland dialect.

Extending over a variety of subjects, Metta Lillie’s vocabulary was comprehensive. It contained, among other things, words of French origin, whose spellings appear to be formed based on her pronunciation of them.

An examination of the diary’s various themes reveals marked morphological, syntactical and stylistic differences. While notes concerning her private sphere are written in more common everyday language those on public events display influences of the upper class Swedish spoken in Stockholm. This is most likely an affect of Metta Lillie’s contact and correspondence with her brother, who worked in the capital, and of her reading newspapers and letters. Entries of a more spiritual nature have characteristics of older Swedish, a probable influence of the religious texts that Metta Lillie read. Her religious musings and prayers often contain longer sentences with many nominal phrases, as she seemed to let the words flow more freely.

This linguistic examination of the diary reveals how with time Metta Lillie developed her writing skills and awareness as a writer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk , 2004. , 189 p.
Keyword [en]
Scandinavian languages - general
Keyword [sv]
Nordiska språk - allmänt, dagbok, Metta Magdalena Lillie, morfologi, ortografi, fonologi, syntax, lexikon, Västergötland, 1700-talssvenska
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4305OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-4305DiVA: diva2:164807
Public defence
2004-05-19, Ihresalen, Språkvetenskapligt centrum, Villav. 4, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2004-04-26 Created: 2004-04-26Bibliographically approved

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