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"I chuckled. Rolig pun där" - A grammatical investigation of Swedish-English code-switching in two web discussion forums


  • Johanna Rosenberg

Summary, in English

This study examined grammatical features of written Swedish-English code-swtching found in two Swedish web discussion forums. More specifically, this study sought to show that the so-called insertion patter, as defined by Muysken (2000), is the the predominant patter of code-switching found in these two forums. In order to determine the dominant pattern of code-switching found in the two forums, I examined whether the members of these forums tended to switch several constituents in a row or just single words. I also examined the word class of the switched items, as well as whether the switched common nouns and lexical verbs displayed morphological integration in the Matrix Language, i.e. Swedish.

For the purpose of my essay, I decided to examine two different forums with different target audiences dealing with different topics. The first forum chosen for data collection is Gamereactor. In this forum, the members mainly talk about different computer games and computers in general. The second forum I chose for data collection is the Guitar Forum. In this forum, the members mainly discuss guitars, guitar equipment and music. The data were collected between the 19th October and the 6th of November, 2013. I collected approximately 16,400 words from each forum. In order to analyze the data, I used the Swedish Academy’s Dictionary as a basis for determining whether a given item could be considered as an established borrowing or as a code-switch. Every code-switch was, then, classified either as a single item, as a non-clausal string of words or as a clause. In addition, all switched items were classified according to word class. Finally, I also examined whether the switched common nouns and lexical verbs displayed morphological integration in the Matrix Language.

In my data, I found a total of 1093 code-switches. The majority of these were in the form of a single word as opposed to several words in a string (1059 instances compared to 34 instances). When examining the word class of the switched items, I found that the most commonly switched word class was nouns, followed by lexical verbs and adjectives. Finally, when investigating the extent of integration of the switched common nouns and lexical verbs, I found that the switched lexical verbs were more prone to receive Swedish inflections than the common nouns (61.3 % versus 22.7%). All these findings point to the insertion pattern being the dominant type of code-switching found in the two forums. However, when comparing the two forums, I found that the members of Gamereactor more frequently switched non-clausal strings of words or clauses than the users of the Guitar forum did (27 instances compared to 7 instances). Therefore, I have argued that the alternation pattern also is present to some extent in my data, especially in the Gamereactor corpus.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • code-switching
  • web discussion forums
  • the use of English in Sweden
  • grammatical outcomes of code-switching
  • the Internet


  • Satu Manninen (Professor)