The social side of syntax in multilingual Oslo

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This chapter is concerned with the social side of syntax, which is crucial for examining mechanisms of contact-induced change. The linguistic feature we shed light upon is violations of the syntactic V2 constraint, which has been observed and described as a feature of multiethnic youth varieties in several European urban areas. Drawing on conversational data from Oslo, Norway, we pursue an intuition that multilingualism may be exploited also at a symbolic level in urban areas. L2 usage may have played a role indirectly, by providing input to the feature pool and as a ground for accommodation strategies. The V2 violations may have developed from interactional accommodation to intentional usage imitating in- group prestigious patterns that index coolness, toughness and “foreignness”.


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