can be categorized into Traditional Dialects
(with no Standard Swedish
influence) and Modern Dialects
(with various degrees of Standard Swedish influence).
The linguistic definition of a Swedish traditional dialect
, in the literature merely called dialect
, is a local variant that has not been heavily influenced by the standard language and that can trace a separate development all the way back to Old Norse
. Many of the genuine rural dialects have very distinct phonetic and grammatical features, such as plural forms of verbs or archaic case
inflections. These dialects can be near-incomprehensible to a majority of Swedes, and most of their speakers are also fluent in Standard Swedish. The different dialects are often so localized that they are limited to individual parishes
and are referred to by Swedish linguists as sockenmål
(lit. "parish speech"). They are generally separated into six major groups, with common characteristics of prosody, grammar and vocabulary (the color represents the core area and the samples are from Svenska Dagbladet's
- Sydsvenska mål (dark blue); (Skåne, Perstorps socken, N. Åsbo härad).
- Götamål (red); (Västergötland, Korsberga socken, Vartofta härad, Skaraborgs län).
- Sveamål (dark green); (Uppland, Håtuna socken, Håbo härad).
- Norrländska mål (light blue); (Västerbotten, Skellefte socken, Löparnäs).
- Östsvenska mål (orange); (Finland, Österbotten, Sideby......