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Attitudes towards the English influx in the Nordic countries: A quantitative investigation

Author:

Jacob Thøgersen

Abstract

This paper aims at investigating two questions: The first question is whether some Nordic populations really are more purist than others or if this commonly accepted truth is a mere myth. The second issue is whether a society's official purism or laissez faire is generally acknowledged ideology within the society or, alternatively, if they are parts of particular elite discourses.

The paper comprises two independent analyses. The first attempts to empirically investigate the stereotypical image of the sociolinguistic environments of Nordic linguistic communities, here expressed as their attitudes towards English influx. The second attempts a more fine-grained analysis of the attitudes towards English as a product or emblem of belonging to certain social classes. "Social class" is here operationalised as "degree of formal education".

In the first study we find the prevalent stereotypical image of the societies roughly reproduced. In the second we find, on the whole, that positive attitudes towards English (and hence anti-purist attitudes) correlate with high levels of formal education irrespective of the linguistic climate of the country. Iceland makes for a noteworthy exception to this trend.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.160
How to Cite: Thøgersen, J., 2004. Attitudes towards the English influx in the Nordic countries: A quantitative investigation. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 3(2), pp.23–38. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.160
Published on 01 Jul 2004.

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