Scandinavian-American English - Tracing Influences of the Scandinavian Immigrants Languages on English in the United States

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 60 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 1998 in the subject American Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2,0 (B), Free University of Berlin (John-F.-Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies), course: Varieties of North American English, 18 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Within the framework of language varieties, language contact and bilingualism in the United States, the subject to be studied closer in this paper will be the kind of English that has been spoken in the areas of the U.S. that are characterized by large-scale Scandinavian immigration. The question will be if the English language that already prevailed in these areas might have been influenced in any way by the language of the new settlers and what exactly can be traced of this interference. As there are a lot of different aspects to this subject, some restrictions regarding which of these to concentrate on will have to be made. The most important restriction is that focus will lie on Norwegian and Swedish aspects, though Danish issues are considered in passing rather than in depth. With respect to a limited extent of this paper Icelandic and Finnish issues will not be dealt with at all. These and some other considerations will be resumed after a more general introduction to Scandinavian immigration to the U.S. In the next chapter a short account will be given of the historical development of the immigration process, settlement patterns as well as characteristics of the people and cultures that have come into contact during this process. The third chapter treats some theoretical ideas and concepts which are useful in this kind of study, whereas the fourth chapter eventually deals with findings and conclusions made by researchers in this field of study. An overview of researchers' opinions and descriptions of this linguistic phenomenon will round off this report.

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Introductory notes
Studying bilingualism
Concluding remarks

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Page 10 - ... to the West, though some of them may have dropped out of use in certain Eastern districts. On the other hand, it would be natural to suppose that the languages of the strong foreign-born (especially Scandinavian and German) elements would exert some influence on the English language of these parts. Traces of foreign idioms in English can, as a matter of fact, be easily detected, but in all likelihood most of them do not transcend the limits of foreign speech communities or are doomed to early...
Page 4 - ... own class, their own neighbors and friends whom they trusted, told them by letter and word of mouth of the new possibilities. In this way one can trace the strands of human influence which reached from the first emigrants down to the mass migration of later years. Statistically regarded, the course of Norwegian migration has not been a smooth one. It presents the familiar picture of a series of camel's humps, with the largest in the middle. The movement may be compared to a pageant in five acts,...
Page 5 - Even at its height, in the 80's, the Norwegian stream was no more than 3.1 per cent of the total European migration. But no country except Ireland had a higher rate of emigration: in the 80's eleven out of every thousand Norwegians were leaving annually, compared to sixteen Irishmen...
Page 9 - JR Rayfield, The Languages of a Bilingual Community (The Hague: Mouton, 1970); and David Passow, The Prime of Yiddish (Hewlett, NY: Gefen, 1996). 64. This equation is reinforced linguistically by the fact that "Yiddish...
Page 19 - It remained for an unprofessional and unorthodox student of language, the well-known HL Mencken, to bring together for the first time evidence concerning the universality of speech mixture among immigrant Americans. In the second edition of his American Language (1921) he set out a veritable smorgasbord of commentaries on Americanized immigrant languages, from the relatively respectable Pennsylvania German to the socially outcast gypsies. Even though Mencken did not draw any significant conclusions...
Page 8 - ... ,,Is it possible to keep the patterns of two (or more) languages absolutely pure, so that a bilingual in effect becomes two monolinguals, — each speaking one language perfectly but also perfectly understanding the other and able to reproduce in one the meaning of the other without at any point violating the usages of either language?
Page 20 - From Upper Coon Valley the story comes of the man whose wife had been given a ride in a neighbor's automobile; he said to the neighbor: Thank you for riding on my woman...
Page 7 - Many Norwegians had some knowledge of English before coming to America. Some had learned it in school, and many more had picked up some English in their occupations as traders or seafarers.
Page 7 - It is clear that the Danes and Norwegians — people of basically the same race, national origin, and religion as the old American stock — would be assimilated quickly because of these similarities.
Page 4 - Wellestablished settlements of their own people assured them of bases from which they could investigate the unknown lands of the frontier.

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