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Talk by Piotr Garbacz on Features of LX-Norwegian spoken by native speakers of Polish

The Faculty of English cordially invite you to a talk by dr Piotr Garbacz from the University of Oslo on "Features of LX-Norwegian spoken by native speakers of Polish", which will be held on 31 January 2023 at 11:30-13:00 in 002 (WA Labs). The talk is organised as part of the collaboration between Polish-Norwegian grant projects, including the ADIM and CLIMAD projects which are run at WA.

Features of LX-Norwegian spoken by native speakers of Polish
Piotr Garbacz
University of Oslo

Abstract: downloadable PDF file

By 2023, the official number of Poles living in Norway is about 105 500 (Statistics Norway), making Poles the by far largest immigrant group in the country. Most Poles work in blue-collar workplaces such as construction sites and service professions, but Poles are also part of the specialist workforce, for instance within the healthcare sector. Knowledge of Norwegian is often required for entering the Norwegian labour market, but Poles, as citizens of EEA, are not entitled to free Norwegian courses, and many of them learn Norwegian on their own.

In my presentation, I will focus on the linguistic features that can be said to be common for Norwegian spoken by Poles, who learned the language as adults, and who speak Norwegian as their (most often) third foreign language (English as their second language). The presentation is based on corpus data from two corpora: (1) NORINT Tale (https://tekstlab.uio.no/glossa2/norint_tale) and (2) the NorPol Corpus (under construction within the frame of the NorPol Project (https://www.hf.uio.no/multiling/english/projects/flagship-projects/norpol/).

The result shows that the Norwegian spoken by Poles is characterized by several features that are common for the examined speakers. Within phonology, there is (among other things) final devoicing, regressive assimilations, no length distinctions (or length distinctions realised on consonants instead of on vowels), delabializations, and no pitch accent distinction. Regarding morphology, one finds numerous examples of a usage of definiteness which is different from the one in the target language, sometimes no tempus marking and many deviations from the target language tempus use. Within syntax, there are frequent V2-violations in main clauses and no distinction between the main clause and embedded clause word order (especially regarding the placement of sentential adverbs), occurrences of non-referential null subjects and placement of predicate adverbs in front of the direct object.

The form of Norwegian spoken by Poles is easily recognisable among Norwegians and often associated with a low socio-economic class, which is confirmed by the fact that this stereotypical form of “Polish-based-Norwegian” is sometimes used in TV sketches performed by Norwegian mainstream artists.