This picture was taken in 2015 on the front porch of Tre Björnar, a lovely hostel in Älvdalen, Sweden, where the endangered language Övdalian (Swedish: älvdalska) is spoken. The picture shows pages from the precious original manuscript of the diary of Frost Anders, an Övdalian speaker who wrote about his daily life during the 1940s. This text is an extremely rare and valuable window into the language as it was spoken in older generations. It was recently digitized and published by Bengt Åkerberg, Mats Elfquist och Mats Westerling, making research using this corpus possible. Olof Kastrup’s undergraduate thesis (in Swedish) investigates the use of quantity words in Frost Anders’s writings.

Interviews with native speakers carried out by Elizabeth Coppock in 2015 showed that Övdalian has a rather different system of quantity expressions from both Swedish and English. The interviews are summarized in this video (Swedish only):

The results are also discussed in Coppock’s article for the Journal of Germanic Linguistics, which is due to be published next year.


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