‘You Might All Be Speaking Swedish Today’: language change in 19th-century Finland and Ireland

  title={‘You Might All Be Speaking Swedish Today’: language change in 19th-century Finland and Ireland},
  author={Michael C. Coleman},
  journal={Scandinavian Journal of History},
  pages={44 - 64}
  • M. C. Coleman
  • Published 19 February 2010
  • Linguistics
  • Scandinavian Journal of History
In 1800, almost four times as many people spoke Irish as Finnish. That year the Act of Union joined Ireland to Great Britain; half of the population, over three million, were monoglot Irish speakers. Finland was then a part of the Kingdom of Sweden. An increasing number, perhaps 15%, spoke Swedish; the remainder, less than one million, spoke Finnish. A century later in 1900, however, as national agitation for independence grew in both countries, Ireland and Finland had become almost reverse… 

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