Linguistic Scholars Look For Those Who Speak Swedish

Is your family from Sweden? Do you speak Swedish? Or do you know anyone who does? Those are a few of the questions a team of Swedish researchers will ask when they visit Augustana’s Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center on June 13-14.

The researchers are Swedish scholars in linguistics from the universities of Gothenburg and Stockholm and from Sweden’s Institute for Language and Folklore. They want to meet immigrants who arrived in the United States before 1970 and their descendants.

According to Dag Blanck, director of the Swenson Center, “The researchers are interested in whether Swedish is still spoken in the United States and how the Swedish language spoken by immigrants and their descendants was preserved and changed.”

The project, known as Swedish in America, began in 2011. The researchers will travel throughout Illinois from June 7-14, including stops in both Rock Island and Bishop Hill.

Blanck explained the role of the Swenson Center in supporting this project, saying, “Our aim is to promote research in Swedish-American studies and this falls into that category. We are glad to assist these researchers.”

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