Arising plurals in Swedish: A study of Swedish s-plurals

University essay from Lunds universitet/Allmän språkvetenskap

Abstract: This thesis is a study of Swedish speakers’ use of s-plurals in the formation of both indefinite and definite plurals. The topic is investigated using a quantitive method in the form of an online questionnaire. In comparison to previous studies, a larger number of informants provides this study with the possibility of making generalizations that were not possible before. As such, it brings new important insight into the use and function of s-plurals in Swedish, including confirming the existence of two indefinite s-plurals. Furthermore, the study shows that phonology plays in important role in favoring and disfavoring the use of s-plurals, as well as identifying several sociolinguistic variables that effect the use of s-plurals, such as age, gender, and regional background. Differences seen between younger and older speakers suggest that s-plurals are becoming more productive in Swedish, and their current use suggests that they have become, or are becoming, default plural markers, which are applied to novel nouns, often with a foreign or original character, which do not yet have a marked lexical entry for plural.

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