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The Languages of ScandinaviaSeven Sisters of the North$
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Ruth H. Sanders

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226493893

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226493923.001.0001

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Epilogue: The Seven Sisters Now and in the Future

Epilogue: The Seven Sisters Now and in the Future

(p.170) Epilogue: The Seven Sisters Now and in the Future
The Languages of Scandinavia

Ruth H. Sanders

University of Chicago Press

The survival, flourishing, and decline of languages may be caused, or abetted, by several factors. For example, foreign powers may make their languages dominant in the countries they govern, as was the case of Danish in Norway, or Swedish in Finland; or commerce and capital may bring foreign influence to a people’s native language, as in the case of Low German in Swedish and Norwegian, or early Germanic, Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish in Sámi. Native speakers may affect the future of their language unconsciously, as when consonant and syllable-stress shifts occur. Consciously, they may work to change their language or to alter its national status, as in the cases of Faroese, Finnish, and Norwegian. Minority language speakers often create colorful dialects called ‘multiethnolects’, placing their first language into a framework of the language of the country to which they have immigrated. However, there is no evidence that the widespread knowledge throughout the North of English as a second language is causing decline of the languages of Scandinavia.

Keywords:   national language, minority language, multiethnolects, Scandinavians in North America, English in Scandinavia

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