So we're checking in from Gotland off the Swedish coast, where they like to think they are not quite part of Sweden and that the language is not quite Swedish. I was chatting with a long-timer (lifer?) and I asked: When you do to Stockholm, do they know where you are from the moment you open your mouth. His response
Well, you know, language changes in the center a lot faster than it does at the periphery. What we speak here is closer to Old Norse, more or less what they still speak in Iceland. When I go to Stockholm, I speak English.Apparently there is a recognized local language, though whether that was what my host had in mind is perhaps a moot point. But that stuff about center and periphery--is it true, I wonder? Perhaps it is a corollary to the proposition that fringe populations are more severe in the politics than those at the center because they find themselves by a beleaguered frontier spirit.