Developing multiethnic youth language in Helsinki

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This paper discusses the phenomena of youth language in multiethnic suburbs in Eastern Helsinki. The paper describes how adolescents make use of multiethnic social reality and the linguistic resources of their surroundings, i.e. different languages as well as varieties of Finnish. The possibility of the emergence of new multiethnic youth varieties or styles (Quist 2008) is discussed. The paper is mainly based on a sociolinguistic study conducted in 2002–2004 (Lehtonen 2004) and the data consist of participant observation, recorded interviews and other audio and video recordings. In the data, phenomena such as stylisation and language crossing (Rampton 1995) and a continuum from code-switching to language mixing (Auer 1999) can be observed.


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