Researchers: In 50 years, all Swedes will speak “blattesvenska”


Published 2 April 2024 at 18.14

Cultural news. Swedes are increasingly adapting their way of speaking to the so-called suburban Swede, says linguist Nathan Young to Kulturnyheterna in SVT.

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Nathan Young.

Nathan Young has noted a trend whereby the “staccato rhythm” of suburban Swedish affects standard Swedish so that the difference between stressed and unstressed syllables is reduced.

The singing language melody in standard Swedish, which is created by large rhythmic contrasts, is affected and becomes more like the “bumpy” so-called blattevenska.

– Suburban Swedish, especially the most contemporary variant, has markedly little rhythmic contrast and stands out because the expected melodic dynamics are missing, says Nathan Young to SVT.

He has a forecast for the development of the Swedish language.

– In 50 years, standard Swedish will have much, much less melodic and rhythmic contrast and will be much more similar to today's suburban Swedish, says Nathan Young.

However, the left-wing academic in question has no understanding that anyone would see this as a problem.

– Is a gold chain a threat to a tie or is Stone Island a threat to Acne? Educated people do not like proletarian practices. It's ancient, he tells SVT.

Nathan Young, who is currently studying Blatte Swedish with people from the 80s and 90s on YouTube, notes, however, that those who speak so-called low-status sociolects have a harder time getting high-status professions. Therefore, there should be pronunciation teaching in elementary school so that those who speak Blatte Swedish can become bi-dialectal and also master standard Swedish.

– If you have a low-status sociolect like the suburban Swedish, it would be extremely beneficial to master the standard language on the side. It is to give students more opportunities, he says.