Catrin Norrby

Catrin Norrby

Professor i nordiska språk

Visa sidan på svenska
Works at The Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism
Telephone 08-16 35 97
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 D
Room D 651
Postal address Inst. för svenska och flerspråkighet 106 91 Stockholm

About me

My research interests are in sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, intercultural and cross-cultural communication, langauge policy and Swedish as a second language. I am director of the research programme  Interaction and Variation in Pluricentric Languages. Communicative patterns in Sweden Swedish and Finland Swedish (IVIP), a collaboration between four institutions: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Helsinki and Turku, which started in 2013 and will continue until 2020. I also work on a project concerning attitudes to language constructions among senior high-school students and their teachers with an interest in perceptions of language, norms and language ideology. Furthermore, I am engaged in collaborative work with colleagues at the University of Melbourne where we focus on address and introductions in initial encounters with speakers of English as L1 and L2. 


I supervise PhD stundents and teach in sociolingusitics, interaction analysis and intercultural pragmatics, in particular at postgraduate levels and in the doctoral programme. 


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Catrin Norrby, Jenny Nilsson. Svenskans beskrivning 35, 229-242

    Alla samtal måste börja på något sätt, och det vanligaste sättet att inleda är att

    utbyta hälsningsfraser. I den här artikeln undersöker vi bruket av hälsningsfraser

    i finlandssvenska och sverigesvenska servicesamtal.* Inom forskningsprogrammet

    Interaktion och variation i pluricentriska språk (IVIP) har vi samlat

    in ett omfattande videomaterial i servicesituationer i Sverige och Finland (se

    t.ex. Norrby m.fl. 2015). Syftet här är att kartlägga bruket av hälsningsfraser i

    finlandssvenska och sverigesvenska utifrån 260 av dessa samtal vid teaterkassor

    och bokningscentraler. Mer specifikt vill vi undersöka:

    1. Hur ser hälsandets lexikon ut i sverigesvenska och finlandssvenska?

    2. Hur varierar hälsningsfras med talarens ålder, kön och interaktionella


    3. Vilka eventuella anpassningar gör deltagarna i sitt hälsningsbeteende?

    Artikelns titel anspelar på en studie av Lars-Gunnar Andersson från 1996, nämligen

    Hej, hej, hemskt mycket hej, där han undersökte hälsningsmönster i olika

    servicesituationer. Genom att låta 60 studenter vid Göteborgs universitet göra

    etnografiska observationer i sammanlagt över 150 timmar kunde Andersson

    beskriva svenskans hälsningsmönster. Hans studenter noterade också att vissa

    individer tog efter andras hälsningsbeteende. I den här studien jämför vi våra

    resultat med Anderssons (1996) och därigenom kan vi också jämföra etnografiska

    observationer med videoinspelningar.

  • 2017. Jan Lindström (et al.). Imperative Turns at Talk, 299-324

    This chapter investigates the use of imperative-formatted directives in Swedish medical consultations. The specific focus of the chapter is the division of labor between straight, non-modulated imperative turns and imperative turns which are modulated with a discourse particle or some other verbal mitigating device. The results show that non-modulated imperative turns are embedded in diagnostic work, nominating subsequent actions in a series. Orientations to projected trajectories of action and the other participant’s expectations are clearly present when modulated imperative turns are produced; they are also frequent in the opening and closing routines of the consultations. Thus, there is a link between routinized and projectable actions and the use of imperatives with a pragmatic modulating element.

  • 2017. Jan K. Lindström (et al.). Journal of Pragmatics 108, 81-97

    The present study investigates the interplay between language, material and embodied resources in one specific type of service encounters: interactions at theatre box offices. The data consist of video recorded interactions in Swedish at three box offices, two in Sweden and one in Finland. Cases representative of the interactions are selected for a multimodal micro-analysis of the customer--seller interactions involving artefacts from the institutional and personal domain. The study specifically aims at advancing our understanding of the role of artefacts for structuring and facilitating communicative events in (institutional) interaction. In this way, it contributes to the growing research interest in the interactional importance of the material world. Our results show that mutual interactional focus is reached through mutual gaze in strategic moments, such as formulation of the reason for the visit. Artefacts are central in enhancing intersubjectivity and mutual focus in that they effectively invite the participants for negotiation, for example, about a seating plan which can be made visually accessible in different ways. Verbal language can be sparse and deictic in these moments while gaze and pointing to an artefact does more specific referential work. Artefacts are also a resource for signalling interactional inaccessibility, the seller orienting to the computer in order to progress a request and the customer orienting to a personal belonging (like a bag) to mirror and accept such a temporary non-accessibility. We also observe that speech can be paced to match the deployment of an artefact so that a focal verbal item is produced without competing, simultaneous physical activity.

  • 2016. Jan Lindström, Catrin Norrby. Språktidningen (8), 26-31
  • 2015. Catrin Norrby (et al.). Address Practice as Social Action, 75-96

    The chapter investigates address practices in 318 audio and video recorded service encounters at theatre box offices and other booking venues equally distributed across the two national varieties of Swedish, Sweden Swedish and Finland Swedish. The results demonstrate compelling variation in address choices, which can be linked to participant roles (customer–staff), generation (below and above 50 years) and national variety. Overall informal address with T (du) is the most common address form in both varieties, and is particularly salient among older customers in Sweden. There are few occurrences of V address in the data, and most are found among younger Finland-Swedish staff.

  • 2015. Marie Nelson (et al.). Folkmålsstudier 53, 141-166

    Sharing language but not communicative patterns: Feedback in Sweden-Swedish and Finland-Swedish academic counselling interaction

    In this article, we present a study of oral feedback (back-channels and responsive turns) given in academic counselling meetings between an essay supervisor and one or two students. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss and improve an academic text written by the students. Our data consist of naturally occurring Sweden-Swedish and Finland-Swedish institutional interactions at the university level. The overall aim of the study is to compare feedback patterns in the Sweden-Swedish and the Finland- Swedish data and to contribute to the field of variational pragmatics. A detailed analysis of the recorded interactions reveals overt differences in the frequency, intensity and distribution of feedback in the two varieties of Swedish. In the Sweden-Swedish data, there is a preference for relational work, evidenced, for instance, by students praising the advice given by the supervisor. In the Finland-Swedish data, an orientation towards clarity is prominent and corrective advice, for instance, is usually uttered in a straightforward way. Our results support previous findings on communicative patterns in Sweden and Finland. These findings highlight the dialogic nature of institutional communication in Sweden, on the one hand, and the orientation to the task and its result in comparable situations in Finland, on the other. The outcome of this study adds to the understanding of the communicative patterns of Sweden- Swedish and Finland-Swedish with a detailed analysis of the oral feedback occurring in counselling meetings.

  • 2015. Catrin Norrby. Challenging the Monolingual Mindset, 17-32
  • Chapter Enkät
    2015. Catrin Norrby, Jenny Nilsson. Sociolingvistiken i praktiken, 37-56
  • 2015. Catrin Norrby (et al.). Journal of Pragmatics 84, 121-138

    This article investigates how interpersonal relationships are expressed in medical consultations. In particular, we focus on how modes of address are used in the two national varieties of Swedish: Sweden Swedish and Finland Swedish, with the aim to compare the pragmatic routines in the two varieties. Thus the study contributes to the field of variational pragmatics, where national varieties of pluricentric languages are recognised as important research objects.  Address practices are analysed in two comparable corpora of video recordings from Sweden and Finland using both a quantitative and a qualitative CA-inspired method. There are several differences between the data sets: the Sweden Swedish data are characterised by exclusive use of the informal T pronoun (du ‘you’) and an overall higher frequency of direct address compared to the Finland Swedish data. In some medical consultations in the latter Swedish data the formal V pronoun (ni) is used. The qualitative analysis confirms these differences and the tendency is that the Sweden-Swedish medical consultations are more informal than the Finland-Swedish ones, which are characterised by more formality and maintenance of social distance between the interlocutors. The different pragmatic orientations at the micro level of communication can also be related to socio-cultural preferences at the macro level in society – the development towards greater informality and intimate language is more pronounced in Sweden than in Finland. 

  • Chapter Introduction
    2015. Catrin Norrby, Camilla Wide. Address Practice as Social Action, 1-12

    The introduction provides a brief overview of address research, particularly focusing on address practices in Europe. It also serves to contextualize the six chapters of the volume, all of which present up-to-date empirical research of address and social relations in a variety of contexts and languages including Dutch, French, Finnish, German, Italian and Swedish.

  • 2015. Jan Lindström (et al.). Singularités, pluralités, 47-62

    Swedish is a pluricentric language in the sense that it has official status in more than one nation. Swedish is the main language of Sweden but spoken by a minority of 5.4% in Finland. Because of national differentiation, the varieties of Swedish differ from each other in certain respects. Variation in pronunciation, lexis and syntax are well documented. However, differences in pragmatic aspects of language use, such as expressions of politeness, intimacy and formality, have not been researched systematically to date. This paper has its background in a project which aims to fill this research gap. It presents the general societal background for Swedish in Finland and some of its characteristic differences from the Swedish standard. In addition, two studies which explore the pragmatic differences are presented: a study of speaker attitudes to forms of address and a conversation analytic study of expressions of criticism in teacher-student encounters.

  • Chapter Meet and Greet
    2015. Heinz Kretzenbacher (et al.). Challenging the Monolingual Mindset, 78-94
  • 2015. Sofie Henricson (et al.). Pluricentric languages, 127-139

    This paper presents a study of pronouns used in Sweden-Swedish and Finland-Swedish supervision meetings. In both countries, supervisors use similar sets of pronouns when commenting on an academic essay written by a student. Often, the supervisor addresses the student directly, e.g. but you could write x, or uses an indefinite pronoun, e.g. perhaps one could simply write x. Sometimes, the supervisor makes suggestions while referring to herself as a writer, e.g. I would write x. The supervisor may also use an inclusive we-authorship, e.g. well we cannot write x. This use of we is predominantly found in the Sweden-Swedish data. In relation to politeness strategies, our analysis indicates that pronouns appear in a more direct and clear-cut way (cf. respect strategies) in Finland-Swedish, and with a stronger focus on creating common ground and fostering group membership (cf. solidarity strategies) in Sweden-Swedish. Throughout, we point to differences and similarities between the dominant and the non-dominant variety of Swedish.

  • 2014. Catrin Norrby (et al.). Svenskans beskrivning, 343-352

    Många av världens språk är s.k. pluricentriska språk, dvs. språk som talas i fler länder än ett. Bara i Europa finns en rad exempel på sådana språk, till exempel engelska, franska, tyska och svenska. Men samtalar man på samma sätt i olika länder bara för att man talar samma språk? Eller ser de kommunikativa mönstren olika ut? Programmet ”Interaktion och variation i pluricentriska språk” (finansierat av Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 2013-2020) undersöker och jämför kommunikationen i samma typer av samtal i liknande miljöer i Sverige och Finland, med fokus på domänerna service, lärande och vård. Syftet är att identifiera skillnader och likheter i hur man utformar sociala handlingar som tilltal, signalerar samtycke och oenighet eller formulerar kritik och beröm i finlandssvenska och sverigesvenska.


    I vår presentation tar vi fasta på interpersonella orienteringar i läkare-patientsamtal inspelade i Sverige och Finland. Dels studerar vi förekomsten av tilltalsformer, dels studerar vi hur råd och direktiv formuleras i dessa interaktioner. Våra resultat visar att det finns klara tendenser till ett mindre formellt tilltal i de sverigesvenska samtalen. Samtidigt kan inte tilltalsstrategierna beskrivas enbart som mer formella i Finland, utan man utnyttjar speciellt i de finlandssvenska samtalen olika slags tekniker för undvikande av direkt tilltal. Tilltalsstrategierna hänger vidare ihop med hur råd och direktiv formuleras, dvs. hur pass direkt eller indirekt de riktar sig till den andra parten.


    Forskningsprogrammet syftar till att bidra till den internationella teoriutvecklingen inom forskningen om pluricentriska språk. Genom att använda teorier och metoder som samtalsanalys och kommunikationsetnografi kan programmet belysa och förklara pluricentriska språkfenomen som tidigare forskning inte riktigt kunnat komma åt. På så vis bidrar programmet till att utveckla den s.k. variationspragmatiken samtidigt som vi får ny kunskap om vad som är unikt för finlandssvenska respektive sverigesvenska samtal.

  • 2014. Karin Helgesson (et al.).

    Festskrift till Lars-Gunnar Andersson med anledning av hans 65-årsdag. Boken innehåller 20 artiklar om språk av följande författare: Karin Aijmer, Sture Allén, Gunnar Bergh & Sölve Ohlander, Elisabet Engdahl, Catharina Grünbaum, Olle Josephson, Fred Karlsson, Lars Lindvall & Mårten Ramnäs, Per Linell & Kerstin Norén, Magnus Ljung, Sven-Göran Malmgren, Bengt Nordberg, Christer Platzack, Bo Ralph, Lena Rogström, Eva Sundgren, Ulf Teleman, Mats Thelander & Björn Melander, Peter Trudgill samt Jan-Ola Östman. 

  • 2014. Catrin Norrby. Klarspråk : bulletin från Språkrådet (4), 3-3
  • Chapter Meet and Greet
    2014. Heinz L. Kretzenbacher (et al.). Challenging the Monolingual Mindset, 78-96

    The way we address one another – nominal address such as first names, last names and titles, or pronominal address, the use of informal (T) vs. formal (V) second-person pronouns such as French tu and vous ‘you’ respectively – is fundamental in marking social relations and encodes human relationships. This chapter examines nominal address in intercultural communication among academics, focussing specifically on address and introduction practices at international conferences. Address here encompasses use of titles, first names, last names, and combinations of these in the introduction of self and others.

    The results highlight the potential - amongst non-native speakers of English - for English-language routines and patterns to be influenced by differing cultural norms operating in other languages and cultural areas. At the same time, our results also show sensitivity to English L1 norms - particularly the heightened use of first name only address, when academics from different cultural backgrounds meet at international conferences.  Finally, regardless of language, age is seen to be a useful marker of relative status between interlocutors as expressed through address patterns: oldest respondents, most likely to achieve higher academic standing over an extended career, are least likely to use FN only but most likely to use and expect formal titles.

  • 2014. Catrin Norrby.

    Den här boken är avsedd som en första introduktion till det tvärvetenskapliga forskningsområdet som brukar kallas samtalsanalys och diskursanalys. Inför den tredje upplagan har författaren tillfört resultaten från det senaste decenniets samtalsforskning. I synnerhet har kapitlet om samtalsforskning på svenskt språkområde utökats rejält för att bättre återspegla de forskningsinsatser som  gjorts där. Boken består av två huvudavdelningar. I den första delen presenterar och jämför författaren några skolbildningar som har haft betydelse för samtalsanalysens utveckling, förklarar centrala termer och begrepp samt ger en översikt av samtalsforskningen i Sverige och Finland (på svenska). Uppläggningen syftar till att öka läsarens insikter om att skilda teoretiska och metodiska utgångspunkter kan resultera i olika analysmodeller. Den andra delen är mer praktiskt inriktad på konkreta fenomen i samtal. Diskussionen belyses genomgånede med hjälp av en mängd autentiska exempel. I slutet av boken ges ett antal litteraturtips som kan tjäna som utgångspunkt för fördjupade studier. Boken vänder sig till högskolestuderande på grundnivå, i första hand inom språkvetenskap, kommunikation och socialt beteende, menär också av intresse för alla som i sin yrkesutövning ägnar sig åt samtal och kommunikation.

  • Conference Svenskan i världen
    2014. Catrin Norrby. Svenskans beskrivning, 1-15

    Man kan anlägga ett flertal perspektiv på svenskan i världen. En utgångspunkt kan vara att se på svenskans utbredning historiskt och geografiskt. Det knyter an till konferensens tema om svenskan som pluricentriskt språk och svenskans villkor i två nationer. Tar vi steget utanför svenskans kärnområde så är utvandringsvågen runt förra sekelskiftet och den emigrantsvenska som tog form i de nya invandrarmiljöerna ett tydligt exempel på svenskans spridning i världen. Ytterligare ett perspektiv är att mäta svenska språkets totala välbefinnande i förhållande till andra språk – utifrån faktorer som antal talare, språkets status och funktionsduglighet i diverse sammanhang. Man kan också ställa sig frågor om svenskans position gentemot andra språk i en kontaktssituation, i vilken omfattning man kan lära sig svenska i skolan och vilken sorts svenskspråkiga resurser utlandssvenskar har tillgång till på olika håll i världen.


    Beskrivningarna ovan utgår från ett övergripande perspektiv, men säger inte så mycket om hur svenskan används i praktiken på olika håll i världen, i sinsemellan heterogena verksamheter och av språkbrukare som kan ha mycket olika motivation och attityder till att använda svenska. Ett sådant mikroperspektiv fokuserar på hur svenskan används och uppfattas av grupper och individer i lokalt formade gemenskaper. Konkret kan det röra sig om hur en svenskspråkig identitet förhandlas och skapas i samtal och i olika kommunikativa verksamheter – alltifrån nybörjarklassrummen på universitet runtom i världen till svenska pensionärers vardag på Solkusten eller hur svenska används på företag med svensk anknytning.


    Ett språk kan ha en relativt obetydlig position utanför sitt kärnområde, men samtidigt stå starkt i mycket lokalt förankrade praktikgemenskaper på vitt skilda håll i världen. Ny och billigare teknik, tillgång på en global arbets- och studiemarknad samt sociala mediers allt större betydelse i vår vardag gör det möjligt för språkanvändare att agera globalt och lokalt på samma gång. Det är en utveckling som kan tänkas främja minoritetsspråk i allmänhet och därmed också svenskan i världen.


    I föredraget uppmärksammar jag både makro- och mikroperspektiv och ger exempel från olika studier av svenskan i världen och kopplar diskussionen till begreppen globalisering och glokalisering. I det sammanhanget berör jag även en särskild aspekt av ämnet – nämligen hur svenska pragmatiska rutiner går på export genom multinationella företag som IKEA. Det kan tyckas vara en marginell företeelse, men är principiellt att jämställa med hur angloamerikanska samtalsmönster sprids över världen, till exempel genom direktiv om hur kunden ska bemötas inom den globala serviceindustrin. De processer som utmärker svenskan i världen är alltså inte unika utan kan ses som exempel på mer generella globaliserings- och glokaliseringsprocesser.

  • 2014. Catrin Norrby, Gisela Håkansson. Svenskans beskrivning, 151-161


    Inom projektet God svenska. Språkliga attityder hos gymnasieelever och gymnasielärare i ett mångspråkigt Sverige undersöker vi hur ungdomar bedömer och diskuterar språk utifrån en lista med autentiska exempel. Exemplen illustrerar olika sorters svenska: vardagligt talspråk, ungdomsspråk, formellt skriftspråk och andraspråkssvenska. I föredraget presenterar vi material från fokusgruppssamtal med elever som läser svenska på gymnasieprogram i Sverige, Belgien och Spanien.

    Vi analyserar hur ungdomarna resonerar kring och försöker förklara språkbruket i exemplen. Resultaten pekar på att ungdomarna är mycket engagerade i språkliga frågor. Förklaringarna som de ger kan delas in i tre huvudtyper där ungdomarna:

    1)                  skapar egna språkbruksregler (t.ex. att valet av sina eller deras skulle vara beroende av objektets numerus)

    2)                  tar till andra språk för att förklara exemplen (t.ex. genom att relatera ”äldre än mig” till ”older than me”)

    3)                  skapar egna termer för att benämna det de ser (t.ex. genom att förklara avvikande ordföljd som ”uppbyggnadsfel”)


    Studien anknyter till det område inom lingvistiken som kallas folklingvistik (Preston & Niedzielski 2000) där man studerar hur ”vanligt folk” resonerar om språk. Genom denna metod kan språkvetare få en mer fullständig bild av språk och språkbruk hos olika grupper. I vår studie belyser vi hur en grupp, nämligen ungdomar i gymnasieåldern, går tillväga när de vill beskriva språkliga regelbundenheter och avvikelser. 

  • 2013. Heinz L. Kretzenbacher, John Hajek, Catrin Norrby. Exploring Linguistic Standards in Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages, 259-274

    This study explores how speakers introduce themselves and others in a particular intercultural setting – international conferences. Such first encounters involve several important choices where speakers need to decide how to address one another and how to refer to themselves – e.g. by first name or by title and last name. In a previous study, we found marked differences in reported address and introduction patterns depending on the language background of the speaker. In this study we focus specifically on such variation across two pluricentric languages, drawing on different national varieties of English and German. Our results, based on questionnaire data collected at eight international conferences, indicate that address and introduction practices vary not only due to the first language of the speaker, but also depend on which national variety he or she is a speaker of.

  • 2013. Catrin Norrby, Gisela Håkansson. Svenskans beskrivning: 32, Förhandlingar vid trettioandra sammankomsten för svenskans beskrivning, 234-243

    I projektet God svenska! Språkliga attityder hos gymnasieungdomar och gymnasielärare i ett mångspråkigt Sverige intresserar vi oss för språkliga attityder som kommer till uttryck inom ett specifikt verksamhetsområde: skolan. Vi vill ta reda på hur å ena sidan olika elevgrupper, å andra sidan lärare överensstämmer eller skiljer sig åt i sin uppfattning om vad som är god svenska. I det sammanhanget vill vi också undersöka om det finns någon skillnad mellan normuppfattning och rapporterat språkbruk. Genom att studera eventuella skillnader i normuppfattning mellan de två grupperna, men även inom grupperna, hoppas vi kunna bidra till en diskussion om språkförändring och om svenskan i ett utvecklingsperspektiv.Material har samlats in genom enkäter och fokusgruppssamtal. I enkäten ska man ta ställning till 14 autentiska språkexempel som representerar ett brett spektrum från ungdomsspråk och ”invandrarsvenska” till språkvårdsörhängen och ”byråkratsvenska”. Fokusgruppssamtalen utgår från samma exempel, men ger möjlighet till en djupare diskussion.I föredraget presenterar vi resultat från enkätundersökningen. Den har besvarats av 1000 gymnasister och ett 60-tal lärare runtom i Sverige. Vårt mål har varit att få god geografisk spridning och materialet kommer från 15 skolor på 12 olika orter – från Kiruna och Jokkmokk i norr till Lund och Landskrona i söder.Resultaten pekar på att det finns tydliga skillnader i normuppfattning mellan elever och lärare. Klassiska språkvårdsexempel som ”Han är längre än mig” rankas högt bland eleverna, både i fråga om positiv attityd och rapporterat bruk. Lärarna ställer sig dock mer tveksamma till denna struktur. Liknande tendenser kan beläggas för flera av exempelmeningarna.

  • 2013. Anna Flyman Mattsson, Catrin Norrby.

    This volume brings together current linguistic research in a range of predominantly multilingual contexts. The authors draw on data from different languages and speech communities around the world, and together the chapters offer a broad picture of language acquisition, development and use – among both children and adults. While this is a valuable undertaking in its own right, the main reason for this collection is to pay tribute to Gisela Håkansson on her 65th birthday. Throughout her career Gisela Håkansson has made, and continues to make, a very significant contribution to the field of linguistics, in particular through her research in first and second language acquisition, multilingualism and language impairment. 

  • 2013. Catrin Norrby, Heinz L. Kretzenbacher. Pluricentricity, 243-270

    This study contributes to the pragmatic dimension of pluricentric languages, an aspect that to date has been studied to a lesser extent than their lexis, morphosyntax and phonology. It compares patterns of address and perceptions of what constitutes “appropriate” address in Swedish and German, two pluricentric languages each with a clearly dominant variety. German and Swedish data were collected at five urban locations (Gothenburg in Sweden, Vasa/Vaasa in Finland, Mannheim and Leipzig in Germany and Vienna in Austria) with focus group meetings and questionnaire-based network interviews. Also, a modified questionnaire was posted in Internet forums in Swedish and German that had discussion threads on address form usage.

    The data for German show that native speakers perceive distinct differences between Austrian and German standards of address and related phenomena such as greeting formulas. In Germany, variation in address practices also raises the question of what effect the division of the country from 1949 to 1989 had on the pragmatics of address.

    In Sweden Swedish, the V form was virtually abandoned in the 1960s. With very few exceptions, such as addressing elderly people in service encounters, universal T is now the default address. However, in Finland Swedish, V is still employed to express status and formality, reflecting conservatism and the influence of the Finnish language. This means that controversy as to whether V is exclusionary in Sweden is not relevant in Finnish Swedish.

    Address in pluricentric languages underlines the importance of societal and sociocultural developments. Our study of German and Swedish not only shows different address practices between national centres, but also emphasizes that knowledge of address in the others’ varieties is largely stereotypical. 

  • 2012. Catrin Norrby, Jane Warren. Language and Linguistics Compass 6 (4), 225-235

    Address practices – the way people use second-person pronouns, first names, last names and titles, and other terms to address one another – are fundamental to expressing social relationships. They reflect cultural values and can tell us a great deal about social structures and change. This article gives an overview of recent research on address practices, focusing on three European languages – French, German and Swedish. It follows theoretical developments in the study of address from the 1960s onwards, and examines how address practices have evolved in French, German and Swedish since the socio-political upheavals of that decade. It is argued that the notions of social distance and common ground are central to an understanding of address choice in these languages.

  • 2012. Catrin Norrby (et al.). Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages. Getting the Picture, 49-60

    This chapter gives an overview of Finland Swedish as a non-dominant variety of Swedish. The first part outlines the status and position of Swedish in Finland and documents research on Finland Swedish. We present this body of work with reference to work on Finland-Swedish status- and corpus planning. While there is an impressive body of work on the phonological, lexical, morphological and syntactic characteristics of Finland Swedish, much less attention has been paid to the pragmatic and interactional aspects of Finland Swedish vis-à-vis Sweden Swedish. With the exception of a few studies on politeness strategies, address and greeting practices, no systematic investigation of communicative patterns in the two Swedish varieties has been undertaken. The second part presents our methodological framework for such an investigation, and present preliminary results from a pilot study on openings in institutional telephone conversations in the respective national variety. These results suggest that there are systematic differences which warrant further investigation.

  • 2011. Michael Clyne, Catrin Norrby. Línguas Pluricêntricas Pluricentric Languages, 147-160

    This article focuses on address practices in German and Swedish, which bring out contrasts in address in the national varieties. It draws mainly on a large-scale project on address in a number of languages in Europe (Clyne, Norrby, Warren 2009). Data were collected in key localities of the national varieties in focus groups, interviews, chat groups and through participant observation. The results demonstrate that the dominant variation between address in the German and Austrian national varieties of German is the much greater use of titles in Austria and the much more widespread use of T in the workplace, both to superiors and at the same level of seniority. There is also variation within Germany, which highlights the issue of whether East and West German were separate national varieties during the division of Germany. In Sweden-Swedish, the V form was virtually abandoned in the 1960s and is now restricted to addressing especially very old and frail people in service encounters. In Finland Swedish, V is still employed in a way that has been abandoned in Sweden – expressing status and formality, reflecting conservatism and the influence of the Finnish language. This means that controversy as to whether V is exclusionary in Sweden is not relevant in Finland-Swedish. Our study of German and Swedish also demonstrates that knowledge of address in others’ varieties is largely stereotypical.

  • 2011. Catrin Norrby, Jane Warren, John Hajek. The Linguist 50 (5), 14-15

    Regulating language use is not the sole domain of countries or states. Large private companies can also be involved in making language policy. One way they do this is through formal or informal guidelines on how staff use language with one another and with customers. This article focuses on one such multinational company, IKEA, and how its promotion of informal address practices on its local websites, can be viewed as a means of building a global company identity while at the same time negotiating diversity at the local level.

  • 2011. Catrin Norrby, John Hajek. University and Diversity in Language Policy, 242-257

    This article examines the impact of language policies and their implementation in the corporate world in an increasingly globalised economy. More specifically, the article draws on examples from two large multinationals of Swedish origin: the furniture retailer  IKEA and the clothing company H&M. Both companies dictate linguistic behaviour, albeit to different extents, by promoting Swedish-style informal 'you' and related address practices, both internally among employees and externally in customer-related interactions, even in countries where such informality is not the traditional norm. The chapter documents how such practices are implemented and public reactions to them in a range of linguistic contexts and in different countries. It underlines the importance of who has the position of power in a particular situation and discusses the tension between global and local concerns in building a corporate identity.

  • 2011. Catrin Norrby, John Hajek.

    This book brings together current research by leading international scholars on the often contentious nature of language policies and their practical outcomes in North America, Australia and Europe. It presents a range of perspectives from which to engage with a variety of pressing issues raised by multilingualism, multiculturalism, immigration, exclusion, and identity.

    A recurrent theme is that of tension and conflict: between uniformity and diversity, between official policies and real day-to-day life experiences, but also between policies in schools and the corporate world and their implementation.

    Several chapters present research about language policy issues that has previously not been fully or easily available to an English-language audience. Many of the chapters also provide up-to-date analyses of language policy issues in particular regions or countries, focusing on recent developments.

  • 2010. Gisela Håkansson, Catrin Norrby. Language learning 60 (3), 628-650

    This article explores the influence of the learning environment on the second language acquisition of Swedish. Data were collected longitudinally over 1 year from 35 university students studying Swedish in Malmö, Sweden, and in Melbourne, Australia. Three areas were investigated: grammar, pragmatics, and lexicon. The development of grammar was analyzed within the framework of Processability Theory (Pienemann, 1998, 2005). For the pragmatic analysis, the learners’ production in a gap-filling task was measured against answers from 100 native speakers. A scoring system was devised to enable comparisons between learners and native speakers. The lexical analysis was based on a word association test. The results show that the grammar developed similarly in the two groups, whereas differences between the groups were found in pragmatics and lexicon. This variation is explained by differences in target language exposure.

  • 2010. Catrin Norrby, Gisela Håkansson.

    Introduktion till sociolingvistik är en introduktionsbok till ämnet sociolingvistik, även kallat språksociologi på svenska. Boken vänder sig i första hand till högskolestudenter och syftar till att ge en lättfattlig och övergripande introduktion till den sociolingvistiska forskningens huvudområden. Boken består av åtta huvudkapitel och ett kort avslutningskapitel. I kapitel 1 ges en historik över ämnets framväxt och utveckling. Kapitlet beskriver även sociolingvistikens metoder och presenterar grundläggande termer och begrepp. I de påföljande kapitlen behandlas regional och social variation, språk och kön, ungdomsspråk, språk och etnicitet, flerspråkiga samhällen samt tvärkulturell kommunikation. I slutet av boken finns ett register med centrala termer.

  • 2010. Catrin Norrby, Gisela Håkansson. Bo65, 269-278

    Syftet är att undersöka gymnasieelevers språkliga attityder och uppfattning om språknormer i svenska utifrån ett antal autentiska meningar. Fyra grupper med gymnasister ingår: elever som har svenska som förstaspråk och bor i Sverige, elever som har svenska som förstaspråk och bor utomlands samt elever som har svenska som andraspråk och bor i Sverige. Resultaten pekar på tydliga skillnader mellan grupperna där de elever som bott länge utomlands är mest normativa, eleverna i Sverige mer accepterande och elever med andraspråksbakgrund är mest fokuserade på innehållet i exemplen och inte språket.

  • 2009. Michael Clyne, Catrin Norrby, Jane Warren.

    The way in which people address one another is crucial to expressing social relationships and is closely linked with cultural values. In English we call some people by their first names, and others 'Mr' or 'Ms', followed by their surname. In some other languages there are different ways of saying 'you' depending on the degree of social distance. Exploring practices in the family, school, university, the workplace and in letters, this book reveals patterns in the varied ways people choose to address one another, from pronouns to first names, from honorifics to titles and last names. Examples are taken from contemporary English, French, German and Swedish, using rich data from focus group research, interviews, chat groups, and participant observation.

    • A revealing investigation into the different ways people choose to address each other • Data is derived from multiple sources, such as focus groups, interviews and participant observation • Explores address practices in a variety of situations including the family, school and the workplace

Show all publications by Catrin Norrby at Stockholm University

Last updated: May 28, 2019

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