Four languages, one text type

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The present chapter discusses bilingualism and language shifts in Bergen, Norway, by analysing one specific text type: the neighbours’ books of Bryggen, produced in the period 1529–1936. The examples of language shifts found in these books are analysed and discussed with regard to types of bilingualism and diglossia, and placed in relation to the sociolinguistic conditions in Bergen. Emphasis is put on the different patterns of language shift, on the linguistic distance between the varieties, and on language attitudes. The language of the books changes first from Low German to High German, during the 17th century. The second shift, from High German to Danish, takes place between 1770 and 1820. The third shift, from Danish to Norwegian is a phenomenon of the 20th century.


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