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PhD Research School in Linguistics and Philology

Ann Kristin Molde

This project is an investigation of the linguistic situation of speakers from Eastern Norway who have moved to other parts of the country as children and who spoke some variety of East Norwegian when they moved.

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There is reason to believe that some varieties of East Norwegian dialects have a special position among Norwegian dialects by being at the top of the social hierarchy and/or function as some sort of spoken standard. At the same time, these dialects may also signal regional origin, in the sense that speakers of these varieties are usually assumed to be from Eastern Norway (Østlandet), i.e. Oslo or the south-eastern parts of the country.

My project is an investigation of the linguistic situation of a group of language users who have so far received little attention, considering that they are fairly numerous: speakers from Eastern Norway who have moved to other parts of the country as children and who spoke some variety of East Norwegian when they moved.

The project has two main aims. The first is to investigate whether children moving from Eastern Norway make linguistic choices which differ from those made by speakers moving from other areas. If so, the aim is to establish how and why and to investigate the consequences which these linguistics choices might have for the children’s sense of social and geographical belonging. A particularly important question is how speakers of various East Norwegian dialects, compared to speakers of other Norwegian dialects, experience using their dialects when they no longer represent the linguistic majority, but are in a linguistic minority.

The second main aim of the project is to use the experiences of East Norwegian speakers compared to those who have moved from other areas, as a basis for a discussion of two general questions. Firstly, the status of the various East Norwegian dialects in the Norwegian language community. Secondly the role played by language in social and in particular geographical belonging in contemporary Norwegian soiciety.

Molde works at the Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies.