Foreign loans in Danish and Swedish hip hop

Cite:

LINK | 'Copycats, ja dom shouf' - Using hip hop to compare lexical replications in Danish and Swedish multiethnolects. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 24(2), 174-184.

Abstract

In the contact scenarios of today's multiethnic Europe, complex factors interact with the 'feature pool' (Mufwene, 2001), rendering unique adoption‐rejection patterns in each community (Cheshire, Kerswill, Fox & Torgersen, 2011). These factors include social conditions, substrate languages, diachrony and stylistic domain. They challenge any researcher who, firstly, attempts to inventory linguistic features, and secondly, asks why certain features spread while others do not.


A comparison of Danish and Swedish multiethnolects might offer an opportunity to control some of these factors. Denmark and Sweden share a number of linguistic, political, and sociocultural commonalities. Moreso, many of their migrants hail from the same countries.


To control for stylistic domain, this analysis compares 'matter and pattern' replications in Danish and Swedish hip hop (aka MAT/PAT; Matras & Sakel, 2007) because hip hop is the broadest media platform for urban multiethnolect in Scandinavia today. This study examines 40 'hit' songs from 2012 to 2017 (23 Swedish; 17 Danish). All artists are of migrant heritage, and 'hits' are defined as >100,000 YouTube views per year.


A MAT example is amus (Somali, shut up), and a PAT example is låt hatarna hata (English, let the haters hate). Results show that Swedish songs have nearly twice the number of MAT replications than Danish (Swedish: 371 types, 782 tokens, corpus size 9207; Danish: 199/461/9742). The Swedish data also has 33% more PAT replications than Danish (Swedish: 40/64/9207; Danish: 29/60/9742). 

Plots of Unique Matter Lemmas per Swedish Artist followed by Danish Artists | CLICK FOR SLIDES

References

Media clips are provided in accordance with fair use for research purposes. They are not to be redistributed.

AMRO (2013). Ren Hygge [Pure ’Hygge’]. AMRO. Copenhaniacs Studios. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4iLuXqWL70 

Cheshire, J., Kerswill, P., Fox, S., & Torgersen, E. (2011). Contact, the feature pool and the speech community: The emergence of Multicultural London English. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 15(2), 151‐196.

Jireel (2017). Tagga [Leave]. NIVY, division of Universal Music Sweden AB. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYtO6afhgdY

Izzyy (2016). Ram den Mil [Hit that Milly]. MTMG. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYRuGs0foP0

J-Mix (2016). Holy Moly. Cannibal Records Denmark. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UKTLKOFW4M 

Linda Pira (2014). Låt dom hata [Let them hate]. Redline Recordings, Universal Music Sweden AB. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGcdJ6wk65U


Matras, Y. & Sakel, J. (2007). Investigating the mechanisms of pattern replication in language convergence. Studies in Language. International Journal sponsored by the Foundation 'Foundations of Language', 31(4), 829‐865.

Mufwene, S. S. (2001). The ecology of language evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

© 2017 by Nathan Young.
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