Jan Svanlund (foto: Johan Asplund)

Jan Svanlund


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at The Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 D
Room D568
Postal address Inst. för svenska och flerspråkighet 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Jan Svanlund. Pragmatics & Cognition 25 (1), 122-141

    Many neologies receive a large amount of metalinguistic focus during their conventionalization. This includes explicit metalinguistic comments, as well as several ways of emphasizing a new word qua word in running texts, so-called metasignals (e.g., quotation marks). This article reports from a large quantitative study of 360 Swedish neologies. It investigates the nature and the amount of metafocus during conventionalization. More than 96% of the neologies received metafocus at least once, but the mean proportion of metafocused citations was low, just under 3.5%. Metafocusing is likely to be more intense in early phases and is likely to decline over time. No long-term effects of metafocusing on the conventionalization process itself were found in corpus data.

  • 2009. Jan Svanlund.

    This corpus-based study deals with the process whereby new compounds become established as conventionalized lexical items in the Swedish language. Special attention is given to how their meanings develop during the early phases of usage. Strictly compositional accounts of their semantics are rejected. Nine recently conventionalized compounds have been investigated in detail. The main corpus consists of all citations of these compounds from two full-text databases consisting of newspapers and magazines. Together they cover almost all of the major newspapers and several other ones as well. In addition to these corpus data, a questionnaire was used where informants were asked to describe (what they thought was) the meaning of these compounds and also to indicate how sure they were about the conventional usage of these words. Furthermore, the Swedish Language Bank has been used, mainly to get frequency data which show what kinds of word formation patterns the component parts of the compounds usually take part in, and how strong these patterns are. These data are used as reference points when analyzing the actual uses of the compounds and the semantic associations that the informants had.

    The compounds do not show a great deal of semantic variation. All but one has one clearly dominating sense, but most of the compounds are occasionally also used with strikingly deviant meanings. Metacomments and metasignalling seem to have an impact on conventionalization, at least they affect the familiarity of these items. While some of the compounds are extensively metacommented, explained and problematized, others are treated as natural and self-explanatory. The latter are generally found to instantiate strong word formation preferences, which make them seem transparent. 

  • 2009. Jan Svanlund. Studies in Language and Cognition, 97-110

    This chapter concerns how we individuate entities more abstract than material objects and how we judge different instances as being instances of the same entity. Linguistic construals of sports teams in Swedish are examined as an example of how collective human institutions can be treated as permanent entities. Just like prototype categories, such entities must be conceived as rather flexible, and it is argued that they have a dual nature concerning the type vs. instance distinction.

  • 2007. Jan Svanlund. Språkets roll och räckvidd, 242-253
  • 2007. Jan Svanlund. Cognitive Linguistics 18 (1), 47-89

    This article argues that lexical metaphors should be seen as graded: they differ in their conventionalized ability to activate concepts from the source domain. Such differences in metaphorical strength are analyzed, along with other (graded) dimensions of conventionality. Co-occurrence patterns for conventionalized metaphors from the WEIGHT domain in Swedish are investigated in some detail, making use of extensive corpus data. The results indicate large differences in metaphorical strength. This provides implications for the relation between conceptual and lexical levels of metaphor, which are found to be more dialectic than usually assumed, especially within Conceptual Metaphor Theory.

  • 2006. Jan Svanlund. Svenskans beskrivning 28
  • 2001. Jan Svanlund, Kerstin Norén.

    This dissertation examines the nature of conventional lexicalized metaphors, especially their degree of figurativeness, which is defined as their ability to activate conceptions from the source domain of the metaphor. The corpus in question consists of central words from the source domain WEIGHT. The analysis concentrates on collocations, the basic approach being to compare the metaphorical uses of a word with the non-metaphorical ones.

    The study demonstrates that the WEIGHT domain consists of two subdomains, partly distinct, partly overlapping: 1) the vikt subdomain primarily connected to weighing procedures with metaphorical meanings like 'importance' and 'consider'; 2) the tyngd subdomain primarily connected to gravitational effects on objects and bodies with metaphorical meanings like 'heaviness' and 'weigh upon'. Metaphors from the vikt subdomain were in general found to be less figurative, basically due to its conceptual nature. But there were also differences within the same subdomain. Some words seem metaphorically projected one by one, rather than as parts of a conceptual unity. The degree of figurativeness can therefore be said to depend on both (sub)domain properties and on lexical properties specific to the lexicalized metaphorical item. 

Show all publications by Jan Svanlund at Stockholm University

Last updated: August 24, 2020

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