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Samiska skolbarns samiska: en undersökning av minoritetsspråksbehärskning i en språkbyteskontext
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts.
1993 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Saami of Saami schoolchildren : a study of minority language proficiency in a context of language change (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation presents an investigation of the proficiency in Saami of Swedish Saami schoolchildren. Several different aspects of language proficiency were examined with different methods of elicitation. The investigation had the form of a longitudinal study and mainly concerned language structure, i.e. the children's grammatical competence. The aim was also to study other aspects of the children's proficiency in the language, e.g. their pragmatic competence. Fifteen children at different levels of proficiency were selected for study. The level of proficiency was seen in relation to the child's linguistic background. The subjects comprised both children with Saami as their first language and children with Swedish as their first language.

The results showed that the children with Saami as their first language had no problems with the phonological processes tested, i.e. consonant gradation, while children with Swedish as their first language had varying degrees of difficulty with the same. Among the children with Saami as their first language were some with a very good grammatical competence, and some who had not mastered all inflectional forms. The children with Swedish as their first language had command of very few inflected forms. The results showed a very clear hierarchy among the investigated inflected forms. This indicates that the inflectional forms are acquired in a particular order.

The varying proficiency of the children is very typical of a situation of language change. Since Saami is a minority language, the use of the language is reduced to certain domains. This means that some speakers do not acquire all aspect of linguistic competence. The dissertation shows what parts of the grammar are especially sensitive to loss, e.g. the dual and conditional forms. The results support recent assessments of the position of the Saami language in Sweden, namely that a language change from Saami to Swedish is taking place.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå :: Umeå universitet , 1993. , 215 p.
Umeå studies in the humanities, ISSN 0345-0155 ; 113
Keyword [en]
Saami language, language attrition, first language acquisition, second language acquisition, minority language, language proficiency, language development
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66617ISBN: 91-7174-780-XOAI: diva2:608923
Public defence
1993-04-23, Humanisthuset, hörsal G, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-02-26 Last updated: 2013-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Svonni, Mikael
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