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Between the Private and a Public Place : Lived experiences in contemporary Elfdalian Revitalisation

  • Lundell, Johan
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2023
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Many of the languages in the world are currently dying at an alarming rate. One of these languagesis Eldalian. It is a small language spoken by about 2,500 people in the village of Älvdalen in theDalarna county of Sweden. Despite shrinking numbers, attitudes towards the language remain highand people are increasingly identifying themselves with the language.Through qualitative datacollection and by using the analytical frameworks of framing as well as place-making to examinethe issues, this thesis details the relationship between the language and its speakers with a focus onthe speakers. Based on the ethnographic accounts and the subsequent analysis, this thesis pointstowards how the change in attitudes regarding the language during the 20th century led to adecrease in the presence of the language is viewed as the main reason why the language is where itis today; with Swedish having replaced the language in most public settings. To change this, therevitalisation movement strives to increase the value of the language by “framing” it in variouscontexts, arguing for its existence, and enriching its usage through values that can be found indifferent contexts. Furthermore, this leads to an engagement with the place-making of Älvdalen bywhich the language is “imbued” into the place through signs and the content production of thosewho live village; increasing its presence by placing it firmly in the Älvdalen setting. Hence,Elfdalian is currently situated in the middle between the “private” to “public”.

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