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Chapter 14. Trolls

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Abstract

This chapter explores the use of <i>troll</i> in modern Swedish in order to show how culturally entrenched concepts, and the attitudes that are associated with them, are integrated in the language of a speech community as part of its heritage. The noun has a complex and variable sense potential, and both literal and metaphorical uses of the noun are attitudinally coloured, although these attitudes may be ambiguous and even contradictory. Using linguistic evidence gathered from dictionaries and Internet sources, this chapter describes and discusses the rich and partly antithetical set of attitudes expressed by the conventional and novel metaphorical expressions that draw on this Scandinavian mythological concept, and briefly compares Swedish uses of <i>troll</i> with those found in English.

References

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