Volume 69, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The typological and lexical similarities between the major Scandinavian languages Danish, Norwegian and Swedish as well as a feeling of economic, political and cultural togetherness, facilitate direct interscandinavian communication. Communication participants use their own languages, both in speaking or writing and in decoding what is said or written. This specific situation is called semicommunication. There are, however, problems in semicommunication, too. The pronunciation of Danish has changed strongly over time, and English has strengthened its position as a global lingua franca. The question of how well Scandinavians really understand one another is, therefore, an interesting one. Research has shown that Norwegians have a better understanding than other Scandinavians. This can be accounted for by their language's intermediate position. Another explanation is the linguistic variation in Norway, making Norwegians more experienced in interpreting small differences between language variants. In my MA-thesis, I have focussed on the differences as regards Norwegian language variation experience between the smaller and more experienced Nynorsk group and the bigger and less experienced Bokmål group. Both groups' understanding of written Swedish was tested. A Danish control group took the same test. Results show that the Norwegian group in general had few problems understanding written Swedish. A difference between the Nynorsk group and the Bokmål group, however, could not be found.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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