Vissenbjerg – University of Copenhagen

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Among LANCHART’s areas of investigation that are more clearly marked by dialect is Vissenbjerg. Inge Lise Pedersen carried out an analysis of variation in the spoken language in Vissenbjerg, referred to in the context of LANCHART as ‘Vissenbjerg old’.

Originally material was collected from three age-groups, but it is only the youngest age-group that it is intended to contact again.

Vissenbjerg old

The investigation formed part of a Pan-Scandinavian project ‘Urbanisation and language change in Scandinavia’ under the direction of Bengt Nordberg, Uppsala .

The collection of data for Vissenbjerg old took place in 1982 and 1983. The main aim with the investigation was to find out how far the linguistic variation (particularly phonological and morphological variation) could be explained as an expression for the mental urbanisation of the speakers, understood as an urban behavioural pattern that goes further than purely physical urbanisation. As a measure of the degree of urbanisation of the informants was employed in part their integration into a network and in part their life mode.

The material for the investigation consisted of 54 interviews of approximately one hour’s length, in most cases double interviews with the informants’ spouses. The interviews also included an investigation of the attitude of the informants to language. The finding of the informants took place in the way later described by Lesley Milroy with the term a friend of a friend-method. Inge Lise Pedersen is from Vissenbjerg. She could thus easily find a way into an extensive network and she was well known by several of the informants because of family links with the place.

Vissenbjerg old has been described in:
Inge Lise Pedersen (1994) ”Linguistic Variation and Composite Life Modes”, in Bengt Nordberg (ed.) The Sociolinguistics of urbanization. The Case of the Nordic Countries. Berlin/ New York : de Gruyter 87-115.

Vissenbjerg new

12 of the informants in the youngest age-group, 6 women and 6 men, have been recorded again in 1999-2000 by Henriette Simonsen. The tape-recordings follow closely the original design of the project and Henriette Simonsen is also known in Vissenbjerg. LANCHART wishes to employ the two rounds of recordings as a possibility for controlling the levelling of the dialect in a part of Fyn which is very close to Odense , while at the same time the material can be used to control the spread of Copenhagen features to the province. Finally, a language attitude analysis has been carried out at Vissenbjerg school in the spring of 2007 so that we also here will have the possibility of comparing linguistic usage and attitudes to language, particularly the assessment of local Odense language and Copenhagen language.