Denmark: a perhaps unexpected dialect laboratory

Britain, David (2020). Denmark: a perhaps unexpected dialect laboratory. In: Maegaard, Marie; Monka, Malene; Mortensen, Kristine Køhler; Stæhr, Andreas Candefors (eds.) Standardization as Sociolinguistic Change A Transversal Study of Three Traditional Dialect Areas. Routledge studies in language change (pp. 228-237). New York: Routledge

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The chapter is a commentary which discusses and offers perspectives on the nine previous chapters of the book. First, the general tendencies of standardization within Europe are discussed, and then the discussion is broadened to the present volume. Britain concludes that the collection has both alerted us and sensitised us to a range of sites where we should investigate obsolescence-in-progress beyond the usual, but essential, variationist descriptions of dialect structure from sociolinguistic interviews. Furthermore, it is argued that the volume has enriched our understanding of the broader sociolinguistic context in which obsolescence occurs, demonstrating clearly how language attitudes and ideologies; local discourses about dialect and place; the use of dialect in the media, older and newer; and stylisations and performances of dialect interact with actual dialect use. Finally, the chapters together demonstrate how sociolinguistic change—social changes which have knock-on implications to the sociolinguistic and language ideological order, such as geopolitical reconfigurations, mediatisation, and so on—affects the terminal stages of linguistic change. The commentary concludes by stating that even though Denmark may not be celebrated for its dialect diversity, the volume demonstrates how productive it can be for our understanding of linguistic change to examine communities where diversity is more moribund.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Modern English Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Britain, David


400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures




Routledge studies in language change






Marion Irena Troxler

Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2020 08:13

Last Modified:

24 Feb 2022 09:51


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