Hur skönlitteraturen gjorde svenskan modern. Fiktionsprosa, författare och språkförändring 1830–1930

Tidsperiod: 2021-01-01 till 2023-12-31

Projektledare: David Håkansson

Medarbetare: Johan Svedjedal, Carin Östman, Sara Stymne

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 3 654 000 SEK

The project aims to investigate colloquialization in the history of Swedish (c. 1830—c. 1930) by exploring fictional prose. The term colloquialization refers to the incorporation of colloquial linguistic features in written genres. During the 19th century, a number of significant changes took place in the Swedish society. The societal changes were also reflected in the literature by the strong movement towards naturalism (The Modern Breakthrough). The Swedish language was also influenced by these radical changes in society and culture, and linguistic features that previously were reserved for conversational speech started to occur more frequently also in the written language. Since it has been claimed that colloquialization first was expressed in fictional prose, the project focuses on stylistic variability in literary texts and investigates whether colloquial linguistic features have spread from dialogue to narrative by developing and using digital methods of corpus stylistics in large scale materials. The empirical point of departure is Litteraturbanken, a corpus of 4274 Swedish works from 1650 to 1940. Theoretically, the project connects on a sociohistorical model of linguistic change. In order to evaluate such model of language change, large scale investigations of fictional prose will be highly significant. Hence, the project will not only contribute empirically and methodically, but also make a contribution to the development of models and theories of language change.