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Purism på glid? Studier i nutida isländskt ordbruk

By Håkan Jansson


The aim of this thesis is to investigate changes in vocabulary use in modern Icelandic. This is done by surveying loanwords not conforming to loanword patterns dominant in standard Icelandic since the rise of purism in the second half of the 19th century, and by mapping of the use of colloquialisms and colloquial word forms in written language. The surveys are based on a corpus study and a study of recorded speech. This research serves as a departure point for further investigation of words and word forms. The investigation has shown three categories of words that depart from earlier, purist influenced practice: (1) unorthodox words with sound-alike spelling or non-standard word formation; (2) words formed with foreign morphemes; and (3) foreign words with Icelandic spelling. The spoken language survey shows an increased use of loanwords over the time span covered (1990, 2000 and 2010). It also shows that the older interlocutants are more prepared to adhere to purist norms, while the younger ones are less hesitant to use loans. The observed tendency of change in those vocabulary use patterns is seen in the light of four underlying factors briefly explored: (1) social relations in general, (2) the organisation of education and the extent to which it involves exposure to foreign languages, (3) the development of travel, concerning both Icelanders’ trips abroad and foreigners’ visits to Iceland, and (4) the new electronic public sphere, that allows ordinary language users to communicate without the involvement of “gatekeepers”, who control language usage in other kinds of media

Topics: Icelandic, contact linguistics, linguistic loans, lexicalisation, language planning, linguistic purism, corpus linguistics
Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:gupea.ub.gu.se:2077/37846

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