Focusing foreign-sounding Swedish – a study on sociolinguistic awareness and language attitudes in Sweden, in collaboration with the Language Council of Sweden
A key task for the Language Council of Sweden is to raise awareness of ideas and attitudes linked to languages in society. In order to sustain credibility, it is crucial that this is done on a solid scientific basis. Therefore, the Language Council aims to invest in the knowledge development of this field. The Language Council also has a great need for scientific guidance in new methods in language attitude research, which is an important reason for the proposed collaboration. The present study addresses attitudes to migration-related linguistic variation. The focus is on how people in Sweden perceive and judge foreign-accented Swedish, as well as Swedish with a “multilingual suburban touch”. It is based on a solid research overview and designed to fill in knowledge gaps in two respects. One is attitude change over time, which is measured by reusing survey questions from previous research studies. The second is the focus on groups of language users who are under-represented in previous research: second-language speakers, gatekeepers and people outside the metropolitan areas of southern and central Sweden. Qualitative as well as quantitative data are collected through surveys, listener experiments and group discussions. The project aims to shed light on the social implications of speaking "foreign-sounding Swedish". This is important since previous research shows that language attitudes may interact with social phenomena such as discrimination, marginalization and segregation.