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Joint attention and cooperation in the Swedish of adolescents in multilingual settings

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Abstract

This article describes the use of the Swedish sån ‘such’ and såhär ‘like’, respectively, as a means to establish joint attention and cooperation among adolescents in multilingual settings. In the south of Sweden, in the city of Malmö, sån ‘such’ is used, primarily, as a determiner, and also a focus marker. In contrast, adolescents in Stockholm (approximately 600 kilometres north of Malmö) make frequent use of såhär ‘like’ as a focus marker. However, there is no corresponding development into a determiner. The two expressions have overlapping meaning and function. They both serve to direct the hearer’s attention to a linguistic expression. Simultaneously, sån and såhär may function as an appeal to the hearer to co-construct a referent that is being introduced by the following expression.

References

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