Swedish is a North Germanic language (also called Scandinavian languages) spoken predominantly in Sweden and in parts of Finland, especially along the coast and on the Åland islands, by more than nine million people. It is mutually intelligible with two of the other Scandinavian languages, Danish and Norwegian. Swedish is distinguished by its prosody, which differs considerably between varieties. It includes both lexical stress and tonal qualities. The language has a comparatively large vowel inventory, with nine separate vowels that are distinguished by quantity and to some degree quality, making up a total of 17 vowel phonemes. Swedish is also notable for the voiceless dorso-palatal velar fricative, a sound found in many dialects, including the more prestigious forms of the standard language. Though similar to other sounds with distinct labial qualities, it has so far not been found in any other language.

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