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"Ja bare skrivar som e låter": En studie av en grupp Närpesungdomars skriftpraktiker på dialekt med fokus på sms
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis studies the literacy practices of a group of young people in Närpes in southern Ostrobothnia, Finland with focus on SMS (Short Message Service), both in Standard Swedish and in dialect, but for the most part written in dialect. The aim of the investigation is to describe this writing as a social marker (young people against adults) and its function as an identity act. In addition the study investigates the orthographic norms and conventions that the young people use in their writing. The material consists of 520 SMS and such material as was collected through inquiries and interviews.

In Närpes, as in many other Finland Swedish dialect areas, the dialect has got widened areas of usage and is well established and accepted in more domains than before. It is used in the new media and is thereby also gaining larger scope in public space. This also applies to writing SMS in dialect.

The theoretical points of departure are taken from sociolinguistics and literacy research. A central concept is the new writing, i.e. writing in electronic media such as e.g. SMS and e-mail, which are somewhere between speech and writing. This has given speech and writing new forms with new preconditions, forms that the new media have “triggered” forth and that the language is adapting itself to.

In the first investigative chapter (Ch. 3) eleven literacy practices divided into five groups are analysed: I electronic literacy practices (SMS, e-mail, chat), II hand-written slips of paper (reminder slips, purchase lists, slips to parents and friends respectively), III picture postcards and letters, IV diaries and V school assignments. The informants participate with one exception, group V, in all literacy practices in dialect to a greater or lesser extent. The second investigative chapter (Ch. 4) accounts for the dialect features, diphthongs and consonant combinations that were concretely investigated in the SMS material.

The young people’s writing in dialect is functional and shows that the dialect is an important identity marker. The lack of shared conventions for spelling is not conceived of as a problem but allows everyone to create their own conventions, which in its turn has resulted in the tolerance level for variations in orthography being high. One group think that they write as it sounds, while another think that they do not follow any rules. The dialect is reserved for everyday matters, while Standard Swedish is used in more formal writing situations. The literacy practice may be the same, but the choice of language variety varies with the aim, content and length.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för språkstudier, Umeå universitet , 2011. , 267 p.
Nordsvenska / Institutionen för litteraturvetenskap och nordiska språk, ISSN 0282-7182 ; 20
Keyword [en]
literacy, literacy practices, SMS (Short Message Service), dialect, young people, identity, Modern Swedish
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-49976ISBN: 978-91-88466-80-8OAI: diva2:458455
Public defence
2011-12-16, Humanisthuset, Hörsal E, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-22 Last updated: 2011-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Greggas Bäckström, Anna
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