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Academic Paper

Title: “High” and “low” in urban Danish speech styles
Author: Lian Malai Madsen
Institution: University of Copenhagen
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This article approaches on-going sociolinguistic processes in Copenhagen by focusing on the overt metalinguistic activities of a group of adolescents. The article sheds light on how social power differences are refracted in the metalinsguistic activities of these adolescents in spite of the relatively homogenous (or hegemonic) sociolinguistic conditions of Danish society. In the article, I investigate how social status relations understood as cultural interpretations of societal “high” and “low” are relevant to on-going social value ascriptions to the contrasting ways of speaking labelled “integrated” and “street language.” The metalinguistic data I present points to a sociolinguistic transformation. Linguistic signs that used to be seen as related to migration, on an insider/outsider dimension of comparison, are now related to status on a high/low dimension as well. (Sociolinguistic transformation, ethnicity, social class, enregisterment, metalinguistic reflections)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 42, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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