4. Receptive multilingualism and inter-Scandinavian semicommunication

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This article is aimed at providing a theoretical subsumption of the term receptive multilingualism. Receptive multilingualism is seen as a communicative practice used in situations of verbal interaction under special circumstances. It is characterised by different languages being used by the different discourse participants. This overview is illustrated with examples taken from interscandinavian semicommunication, i.e. the oral communication between speakers of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. These examples show that the crucial difference between ‘usual’ and receptive multilingual communication lies in the fact that the discourse participants belong to different speech communities. They apply different linguistic and non-linguistic frames of reference and are thus unable to rely on an unconditional functioning of the communication. The larger the differences between the languages, the more probable is the appearance of trouble sources that can be overcome with different methods.


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