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Exploring the Borderlands. On the Division of Labour between Latin and the Vernacular(s) in the Church in Scania under Danish and Swedish Rule in the Seventeenth Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the language situation in terms of diglossia and introduces the idea of Danish, Latin and Swedish as a polysystem. It focuses on the written non-literary language of clerical speech community, and other speech communities will only be touched in passing. The chapter makes use of a recently discovered collection of letters written by clergymen in Scania. It points to some interesting features which may give some indication of the division of labour between the languages at that particular time and in that particular context. Developments within the Church in Scania after 1658 followed the same lines as developments in the rest of Scanian society. A Scanian clergyman in the late seventeenth century could hardly be said to lead a very peaceful existence. The chapter concludes that the entire Latin-Danish and Latin-Swedish diglossic polysystems were by the end of the seventeenth century apparently healthy, but in fact endangered.

Keywords: clerical speech community; Danish; Latin; polysystem; Scanian society



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