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  • 1.
    Widbäck, Anders
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
    Ordspråk i bruk: Användning av ordspråk i dramadialog2015Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is a study of proverbs and their use in dialogue. Proverbs have a long history but have not been the subject of much linguistic research in Sweden. The purpose of the study is to examine how proverbs are used, who uses them and to what extent they are used. The focus is on the communicative functions of the proverb and on how information is disseminated through proverbs. The theoretical basis of the study is systemic-functional linguistics and its view of language use, with focus on the interpersonal metafunction. A qualitative analysis has been performed using the principles and perspectives of conversation analysis. The source material consists of 45 Swedish plays published between 1700 and 2000, which form part of the corpus Svensk dramadialog (Swedish drama dialogue).

    Proverbs are used among other things to argue, criticise, comment, comfort, defend, object or explain. Their use varies over time in terms of frequency as well as to which speech functions are expressed, but they are predominantly used in much the same way today as 300 years ago. The results of the study show a clear decline in use over time in the number of proverbs in the material. They are used most frequently in the 18th century to argue and object, while in the 20th century they tend to be used to criticise. Their most common function in all periods is to comment. Older people use proverbs in speech more than younger people, and there is a frequent tendency for proverbs to be aimed at other people of the same generation. Equally as many women as men use proverbs in speech in relation to their speaking space in the corpus. Proverbs are frequently multifunctional and act as a linguistic resource in the dialogue.

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