Research topic: Oslo Norwegian
The Norwegian capital Oslo and the version of the Norwegian language spoken there are of key significance for the whole of Norway.
The version of Norwegian spoken in the capital is often viewed as a standard form of the language and in many areas functions as a norm. Very many people have some knowledge of this language and young people all over Norway speak Oslo Norwegian during role play.
Traditionally a distinction has been drawn between the "Eastside" and "Westside" versions of Oslo Norwegian, but today this distinction is no longer clear. The Norwegian spoken in Oslo is evolving, and the "Eastside" and "Westside" versions are converging.
Today almost all young people pronounce "Oslo" using the "Eastside" form Osjlo instead of the previously standard "Westside" pronunciation Osslo. However young people in different parts of the city continue to speak differently. While a hip young man in West Oslo might be described as keege, his equivalent in a multicultural area of the city might be described as sjpa. Young people in multicultural areas have their own version of the Oslo language, and Oslo residents of different ages also differ in their speech.
We use language to show who we are – or who we would like to be. Oslo is a city with many voices.
At the University of Oslo research is ongoing into the city of Oslo, the languages spoken in Oslo and Oslo Norwegian. Oslo Norwegian is not a separate field of research, but a topic that can be studied in many different ways.
At the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies (ILN) we conduct research into the vocabulary, phonetics, inflections and sentence structures used in Oslo Norwegian, as well as how the language is used by people in different parts of the city. The department has many hours of old and new recordings of the versions of Norwegian spoken in Oslo. These have been made in all parts of the city.