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Swedish in Finland: Pushed Back in the Cyberspace?

Keywords: Swedish-speaking Finns , bilingualism , English , browsing , blogging

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Abstract:

This article provides an insight into the dynamics of language use among Swedish-speaking Finns regarding two specific aspects of internet use: browsing and blogging. The data was collected from persons with Swedish as their registered mother tongue in 2009. The results indicate a preference for using either Finnish or English when browsing and a preference for Swedish when blogging. Examining the background of these results, we found that people's linguistic environment played an important role in shaping their language competence and language identity, which, in turn, guided their language choice when using the internet. While browsing in Swedish and Finnish was directly affected by language competence, language identity and the composition of linguistic environment, blogging in Swedish and Finnish was only directly affected by language identity.

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