1887
Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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Abstract

Abstract

In the 1960s, Swedish address practices underwent a change from an intricate system of honorifics to universal use of the informal second-person singular . This study challenges the common characterisation of this so called “-reform” as very quick and straightforward. Previous studies, relying on reported usage and written language, suggest that the formal pronoun was considered impolite, while the informal was restricted to use amongst family and close friends. I used advertising films to trace diachronic usage patterns in dialogue and in addressing the viewer. My study shows evidence of change over a period of fifteen years. It also shows that the formal address pronoun and informal address by were both used in addressing the viewer long before the -reform. The -reform is a noteworthy change in European politeness behaviour. Today, the informal is the unmarked address form in Swedish.

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2023-03-06
2024-05-29
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): address practice; advertising films; diachronic change; sociopragmatics; Swedish
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