English in Norwegian academia: a step towards diglossia?

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This paper examines the role of English in relation to Norwegian in the higher education and research sector in Norway. English has gained influence in this sector at the expense of Norwegian, something which is described as a ¿domain loss¿. Two main questions are asked: (1) Can domain loss be explained as a consequence of the linguistic actions of individual speakers? That is, the paper attempts to bridge the gap between individual actions and domain loss on a societal level. And (2) Is English perceived to have higher prestige than Norwegian, and is this a reason to use it in academia? Further, are the roles of English and Norwegian so clearly defined that the distribution can be said to be diglossic? The paper presents interview material; and a theoretical model is presented in order to link individual linguistic acts to domain loss on a societal level. The paper concludes by discussing the concept of diglossia, and whether this can be used to characterize the Norwegian situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-410
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Domain loss
  • Diglossia
  • World Englishes, Sociolinguistics


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