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Swedish in America: past and present

with Dr. Benjamin Lyngfelt, Department of Swedish, University of Gothenburg

Mon, April 15, 2013 | BUR 337

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Swedish in America: past and present

In the early twentieth century, there were still Swedish speaking communities in America, populated by immigrants and descendants of immigrants. They had Swedish newspapers, heard sermons in Swedish, and some children hardly spoke any English until they started school. Those days are long gone; but fortunately, American Swedish is not. It’s just different.

Dr. Lyngfelt will report from field trips to Minnesota in 2011 and Illinois in 2012, where a group of Swedish linguists interviewed and recorded about 70 Swedish-speaking Americans. The results from these trips will be compared with data from earlier recordings, collected in the 1960s. Thereby, he will shed some light on how Swedish in America today differs from the varieties spoken 50 years ago. The main focus of the talk, however, will concern present-day American Swedish.

Sponsored by the Department of Germanic Studies, the Swedish Excellence Endowment, the English Department, and the Texas Language Center. For more information, call the Department of Germanic Studies at 471-4123.

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