International Journal of Applied Linguistics

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Volume 20 Issue 3 (November 2010), Pages 291-433

Coming to terms with English in Denmark: discursive constructions of a language contact situation (pages 291-326)

This paper presents an investigation of Danes' attitudes towards English through qualitative interviews. Denmark, like most other countries in the so‐called Western world, is under significant linguistic and cultural influence from (American) English. In this paper, I analyse how Danes come to terms with that. Most striking is the great uniformity in the discourses through which English is constructed on the one hand as the default language of the world, on the other as a sign of modernity. An important by‐product of the investigation is that it reveals how attitudes are constructed in situ during the conversation between interviewer and interviewee. The paper thus takes a stance in the ongoing debate concerning the validity of ‘standardized’ vs. ‘conversational’ interviewing.

I denne artikel præsenteres en undersøgelse der søgte at afdække danskeres holdninger til engelsk gennem kvalitative interview. Danmark, som de fleste andre lande i den såkaldte vestlige verden, er under en betydelig sproglig og kulturel indflydelse fra (amerikansk) engelsk. I denne artikel analyserer jeg hvordan danskere opfatter dette. Det mest slående er den store ensartethed i de diskurser som bruges til at konstruere engelsk som dels ‘verdens defaultsprog’, dels ‘et tegn på modernitet’. En vigtig sidegevinst ved undersøgelsen er at den viser hvordan ‘holdninger’ konstrueres i den interaktionelle situation mellem en interviewer og en informant. Artiklen indskriver sig således i den verserende debat angående validiteten af ‘standardiseret’ over for ‘konversationel’ interviewpraksis.

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