Flerspråkighet i Kjell Westös romaner. Om en analysmodell och dess tillämpning

Saara Haapamäki, Harriet Eriksson

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The purpose of this article is, firstly, to present a revised version of a model that we introduced in

2011 in order to analyze multilingual literature with regard to the interplay between context, form

and function. Secondly, we aim to give a systematic analysis of multilingualism in the novels of

the Finland-Swedish author Kjell Westö, an author whose work is commonly seen as multilingual.

Our analysis shows that the code switching, especially to Finnish, varies remarkably across his

novels. Whereas his first novel contains a considerable amount of code switching that occurs unmarked

and grammatically integrated, the Finnish sequences are much less frequent, more marked

and structurally less integrated in the later novels. With regard to Mark Sebba’s distinction between

parallel and complementary multilingual texts, Westö’s first novel could be viewed as a complementary

multilingual text, while the later novels are either parallel multilingual or not very multilingual

at all. With regard to Umberto Eco’s concept of the model reader, only the first of Westö’s

novels constructs a bilingual model reader, while the later novels construct a monolingual reader.

Our picture of Westö’s oeuvre thus differs from the ones in previous research. The article also discusses

the formal and functional aspects of code switching in relation to questions about production,

distribution, reception and processing in literary communication (cf. Hauptmeier & Schmidt


Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)159–188
JournalSprak Och Stil: Tidskrift for Svensk Sprakforskning
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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