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Excuse me, but can you tell me where the Nordic House is located?: Linguistic strategies in inter-Nordic communication in Iceland illustrated through participant observation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2015 (English)In: Linguistics, ISSN 0024-3949, E-ISSN 1613-396X, Vol. 53, no 2, 219-254 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Iceland, Danish is taught as a foreign language parallel to English. One purpose for this is to promote inter-Nordic communication, since Danish is generally held to be intercomprehensible for both Norwegian and Swedish speakers. Assuming the role of tourists, field workers who were native speakers of Danish, Norwegian or Swedish approached Icelandic adolescents (aged 15-20), asking in their native language for directions to the Nordic House in Reykjavik. The investigation was conducted at three different time periods (1983, 1999/2004 and 2006) and showed that the proportion of young people understanding the question thus posed to them decreased from two thirds (1983) to a little less than 40% (2006). At the same time, the number switching to English while answering the question increased. In 2006, a large majority (80%) was inclined to do so, while only one third did so in 1983, roughly 25 years earlier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 53, no 2, 219-254 p.
Keyword [en]
inter-Nordic comprehension and communication, Iceland, English as lingua franca, linguistic fieldwork
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-251631DOI: 10.1515/ling-2015-0007ISI: 000350643800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-251631DiVA: diva2:806974
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2015-04-22Bibliographically approved

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Börestam, Ulla
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