Regional varieties in Norway revisited
Book chapter by Unn Røyneland in Intermediate Language Varieties: Koinai and regional standards in Europe by Massimo Cerruti and Stavroula Tsiplakou (eds.), 2020.
This chapter examines diverging tendencies towards vertical convergence in different parts of Norway and patterns of emergence and enregisterment of intermediate regional varieties – at the level of language use, but particularly at the level of perception. Over the last decades the Norwegian language space has undergone substantial restructuring, partly due to increasing mobility, urbanisation and globalisation. More dialect and language contact has led to increased dialect levelling, dialect shift, bi-dialectism, emergence of koinai, multiethnolectal speech styles and possibly also intermediate regional varieties. While previous studies suggest that regional lects may be emerging, this paper presents arguments on the basis of results from a recent large-scale study, as well as other recent work, to the effect that these still seem to remain structurally relatively incoherent, unfocussed and unstable and have little indexical value or symbolic significance.