Gammalt folk, hederligt folk eller bara folk – blir ordet folk ett pronomen?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The Swedish word folk (‘people’) is normally considered an ordinary noun. Some sources, however, state that folk is turning into a generic pronoun. This article investigates this assumption. Occurrences of folk in a corpus made up of 45 plays from the period 1730–1997 are analyzed with respect to both syntactic and semantic characteristics, and it is shown that folk is indeed more and more often used in a way corresponding to that of a pronoun. The findings are related to those of an earlier study (presented in Skärlund 2014), where occurrences of folk in texts and corpora from the period 1300–2013 were analyzed with similar results, as well as to theories of grammaticalization. It is also noted that the main changes regarding how folk is being used seem to have taken place during the 19th Century.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Specific Languages


  • grammaticalization, folk, pronoun, noun
Original languageSwedish
Title of host publicationStudier i svensk språkhistoria 13
Subtitle of host publicationHistoria och språkhistoria
EditorsDaniel Andersson, Lars-Erik Edlund, Susanne Haugen, Asbjørg Westum
Place of PublicationUmeå
PublisherInstitutionen för språkstudier, Umeå universitet
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

PublisherUmeå universitet. Institutionen för litteraturvetenskap och nordiska språk
ISSN (Print)0282-7182
NameKungl. Skytteanska Samfundets Handlingar
PublisherKungl. Skytteanska Samfundet
ISSN (Print)0560-2416

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