Sanna Skärlund

Sanna Skärlund

Senior Lecturer

  • Senior lecturer, Researcher, Swedish
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Research

My thesis project investigated the Swedish impersonal/generic pronouns "man" and "en" as well as the personal pronoun "du", which in modern Swedish as well as in earlier times can be used as an impersonal pronoun in certain contexts in the same fashion as the English impersonal pronoun "you". I was interested in how these pronouns are used today and how they have been used in the history of Swedish.

The Swedish pronoun "man" has developed out of the noun "man" ('(a) man') in the same way as for example the French indefinite pronoun "on" (from latin "homo", 'human'). This change could probably be described as a process of grammaticalization, even though language contact (mainly with German) might also have been involved in the process. The thesis project investigated this change as well as the changes undergone by "en" and "du" to develop an understanding of how grammaticalization-processes come about.

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