Chapter published in:Language Variation – European Perspectives VIII: Selected papers from the Tenth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 10), Leeuwarden, June 2019
Edited by Hans Van de Velde, Nanna Haug Hilton and Remco Knooihuizen
[Studies in Language Variation 25] 2021
► pp. 182–207
A new pronoun in Swedish
A new first-person pronoun has emerged in the vernacular of Stockholm Swedish. A loan from Turkish, benim is indexically self-aggrandizing and a feature of the male genderlect of Stockholm’s racialized proletariat. It is also typologically unusual by virtue of being a loanword in an abstract functional role, namely, a pronoun. I detail several factors that, in concert, allowed benim to enter into Swedish first as a naked prototype, then as a reanalysis of dissociative third-person constructions, and finally, as a productive first-person personal pronoun. I conclude further that the actuation of these factors was the unique social ecology of class and racial exclusion, which are generally known to drive symbolic status-moves among the subordinated.
Keywords: contact linguistics, constructionalization, grammaticalization, multiethnolects, pronouns, Rinkeby Swedish, Stockholm Swedish
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