Sunday, April 04, 2010

University of Oslo linguistic research into Norwegian-American dialects

Interviewed by Ruth Marie Sylte for her MulteMusic show aired March 26 on KYMN radio, Northfield, Minn., Janne Bondi Johannessen and Signe Laake of the University of Oslo, who were in the United States researching Norwegian-American dialect in older speakers. (Also aired on the show: "Wrong word, right?" from Trio Mio's album "Pigeon Folk Pieces." Right song? Right!)

The UiO linguists kept a blog while they were in the Midwest in March. Fascinating. Their introduction:
Brief introducion on the Mid-West tour 8.-22. March 2010. Part 1 [of 3]

When the Norwegian Research Council and our own department ILN at the UiO granted money to extend the Norwegian Dialect Syntax project to Norwegian-American dialects in the US, the Mid-West tour was planned immediately, and this blog recounts our experiences from Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South and North Dakota.

Janne Bondi Johannessen and Signe Laake are at present on a two-week tour in the Mid-West of the USA to record Norwegian-American speech. We have lined up meetings with informants throughout this period. The informants or acquaintances of theirs contacted us after having seen adverts we had placed in Norwegian-American journals.

We want to see what this language is like, look at its dialectal variation, a variation that is caused both by the original dialects in the old country and by the geographical conditions, distance and contact, as well as linguistic conditions. By recording the speech in various places we will get good background material for studying the language, not least as a preparation for the workshop we are planning together with the University of Wisconsin, Madison, this autumn.

For more information, see ...

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