Åland Swedish

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Commemorative stone of Åland's autonomy. The small text reads: Högt skall det klinga vårt svenska språk - Loudly shall it sound, our Swedish language.

Åland Swedish (åländska) is a dialect of Swedish spoken in the Åland Islands, an autonomous province of Finland. Åland Swedish has similarities to both Finland Swedish and the historical dialects of Uppland, but it is generally considered to be a variant of Eastern Swedish (östsvenskamål, varieties of Swedish spoken in Finland and Estonia).

Swedish is the sole official language of Åland,[1] and its status is protected in the självstyrelselag, a law that guarantees the islands' autonomy within Finland.

Phonology[edit]

As in Finland Swedish, the tonal word accent that distinguishes certain minimal pairs is not present in Åland Swedish. Of the two accents—the acute accent (accent 1) and the grave accent (accent 2) — only the acute exists in Åland Swedish.[2] Thus [ˈandɛn] (the duck) and [ˈanˈdɛn] (the spirit) are both pronounced [ˈandɛn].

Characteristics[edit]

Certain expressions are typical of Åland Swedish. For example, the double genitive in Vemses flicka/pojke är du då? ("Whose's girl/boy are you?" (Vems flicka/pojke är du då in Standard Swedish)) carries the implication that the asker might know the parents of the person asked, likely in a small society such as Åland. Another characteristic is the substitution of inte (not) with inga (no, nobody, none; in Standard Swedish a plural form): Jag har inga varit där ("I have not been there").

A feature that Åland Swedish shares with Finland Swedish is the reduction of the words inte (not), skulle (should) and måste (must) to int, sku and måst respectively.[2]

Vocabulary[edit]

The dialectal vocabulary of Åland Swedish is composed of words that are either characteristic of Eastern Swedish or have passed out of use (but are still understood) in the Swedish spoken in Sweden. Traces of Finnish, Russian and English can also be found in the dialect because of historical contact.[2]

Below is a selection of dialectal words and expressions used in Åland Swedish:[2]

Åland Swedish Standard Swedish Translation Notes
batting n. (trä)regel batten batting in standard Swedish means baby. Probably from English batten.
batteri n. (värme)element radiator batteri in standard Swedish means battery.
butka n. fängelse jail From Russian будка (cf. Finnish putka)
byka v. tvätta (kläder) wash clothes From byk, laundry. Byk is archaic in Sweden ("cf." Finnish "pyykki").
bykmaskin n. tvättmaskin washing machine See above
egnahemshus n. villa (detached) house Archaic in Sweden.
jo interj. ja yeah Variant form in Sweden, a positive answer to a negative question, cf. French si
julgubbe n. jultomte Santa Claus
jåla v. tramsa, prata strunt fool around, talk rubbish
nojsa v. bråka, tjata, föra oväsen kick up a fuss, nag, make a noise Archaic in Sweden. From English noise
Nåssådå! exp. Consoling expression used when something does not go as expected
si v. se see Åland Swedish pronunciation of se (see Swedish phonology)
Siddu barra! exp. lit. Ser du bara, i.e. Ser man på Just watch
småkusin n. syssling second cousin Possibly a semantic loan from Finnish pikkuserkku, ‘small cousin’
stöpsel n. stickpropp electric plug From Russian штепсель (shtepsel'), ultimately from German Stöpsel ('cork')
tövla v. vara klumpig, fumlig be clumsy, fumbling
vilig adj. riktigt bra very good, awesome
ämbar n. hink bucket Archaic in Sweden. Word borrowed from Low German, derived from Latin amphora.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Självstyrelselag för Åland 16.8.1991/1144 - 36 §. Retrieved 10 Apr. 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Åländska ord och uttryck. Bibliotek.ax. Retrieved 10 Apr. 2009.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Andersson, Sven. Notlage, notlösare och notgår: ordens betydelse i åländska folkmål. Part of Skrifter utgivna av Historiska samfundet i Åbo. 1954. pp. 18–30.
  • Ramsdahl, Carl. Ryska lånord i åländskan. 1976.
  • Sundberg, Eva. Dialekten i Ålands nordöstra skärgård. Mariehamn 1993.
  • Svenblad, Ralf. Med åländska ord. Mariehamn 1996.
  • Willandt, August. Åländskt bygdemål. 1919.

External links[edit]