Anna Gunnarsdotter Grönberg

Senior Lecturer

Department of Swedish, multilingualism, language
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Anna Gunnarsdotter Grönberg

Where is the "bamba"?

In the 1990’s we studied the usage and distribution of old Göteborg vernacular words among youths in West Sweden. High school pupils from Stenungsund in the Norh to Varberg in the South, and from Biskopsgården in the West to Borås in the East, answered a questionnaire. Two different trends emerged: many words were replaced by standard Swedish (göra > mula ’rub snow on someone’s face’) while a word like bamba (‘school dining hall’) was spreading out in a pattern reminding of ripples on water (from almost 100% users in Göteborg and the closest small towns to 0% in Vårgårda and Borås at a distance of approx. 65 km). The results illustrate common dialect levelling (i.e. change toward standard Swedish) as well as the specific situation in West Sweden where Göteborg has great impact.

Ongoing follow-up: Where, how and why are bamba and other Göteborg words in use today?