Bilingualism, ideology, and identity: Change in the Finland-Swedish variety

Janine Astrid Elvina Strandberg, Charlotte Gooskens

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    Finland has two national languages; Finnish and a variety of Swedish known as Finland-Swedish. This chapter discusses the ideological and practical issues surrounding the two national languages of Finland, exploring how increasing bilingualism and frequent translanguaging in Finland-Swedish communities may lead to phonetic and lexical changes in the Finland-Swedish variety. During the Swedish rule of Finland, from the twelfth until the nineteenth century, Swedish was the language of the state. Due to the urbanisation of the capital city of Helsinki, located in southern Finland, Finnish native speakers have migrated in great numbers to traditionally Swedish-speaking regions on the southern coastline. Since it is only possible to report one native language per child in Finland, the concept of a single ‘mother tongue’ is socially enforced, and is often strongly connected to a person’s experiences and identity. For the Finland-Swedish bilingual, the choice between using Swedish or Finnish in a specific public setting may depend on a number of factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLinguistic choices in the contemporary city
    Subtitle of host publicationPostmodern individuals in urban communicative settings
    EditorsDick Smakman, Jiří Nekvapil, Kapitolina Fedorova
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429348037
    ISBN (Print)9780367366766, 9780367366735
    Publication statusPublished - 23-May-2022

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Studies in Language and Identity

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