Genusperspektiv på SAOB:s källor

  • Anki Mattisson


The purpose of SAOB is partly to offer a true picture of today’s Swedish language,
and partly to show in what ways the language has developed since the 16’th century.
In the preface of the first volume is written nothing about the choice of sources.
Could the dictionary have been different today if people at the end of the 19’th century
had planned not only for the entering of different genres into the dictionary, but
had also considered the relationships between male and female sources? The planning
of SAOB began in 1884, and at about the same time begun the debates that
would lead to the liberation of women in the 1920’s. The editors at the time made
sure they covered the language of all different fields of work, including the typical
female ones, such as house-keeping and child care. My purpose is to examine
whether SAOB describes the language of both men and women or only the language
of men. The results, however, are depressing. Female sources are all but invisible,
even in the description of words used exclusively in female professions. This can be
illustrated using diaries and letters written by women in the 18’th century, that constitutes
an excessively small part of the material as compared to typically male
sources. In comparison, the amount of written documents categorized as Warfare in
the library constitute 5% of the source materials, and consists of more than a thousand

Mattisson, A. (2006). Genusperspektiv på SAOB:s källor. LexicoNordica, (13). Hentet fra
Tematiske bidrag