I have a question that is a bit nerdy :). I know that somewhat earlier the spellings "moder", "broder", "fader" were normal. Then the "-de-" fell out from speech (like in "staden" vs. "stan"). So, what are the recommendations of the official language regulator (I believe it is called Swedish Academy... sorry if I'm wrong) about this? I know that it persists in Finland (another known example is "arton" vs. "aderton" for eighteen). So: staden eller stan? Fader, moder, broder eller far, mor, bror (or both are acceptable)?
I had a look in SAOL.
For far it says "el. fader", which means that they are equal (el. is short for eller). I haven't checked mor and bror, but I guess that the same holds for them.
For stad it says "-en eller vard. stan", which means that both staden and stan are accepted, but stan is considered colloquial (vardagligt).
Good idea, but I don't think so. I see the en/ett distinction as quite a lot like the a/an distinction in English, but with different criteria. In English, you might still say, " I have an aunt and cousin in Leeds", even though you would need an and a respectively.
You may be right though.
I'm nowhere near a solid understanding of Swedish grammar, but I think the en and ett are different genders (en being common and ett being neuter). So objects and things have a specific gender. I'm not sure why, but I speak English, so I can't throw stones at linguistic quirks.
They do refer to different genders, yes. That's what I was referring to when I said "different criteria" apply to a/an than to en/ett. En/ett change depending on gender, a/an change depending on the presence of an initial vowel sound, even if not an initial vowel.
What I meant was that besides the criteria for deciding which indefinite article to use, Swedish indefinite articles function just as their English counterparts - at least as far as I can tell. If that's the case, I don't see a huge problem in ignoring the second indefinite article in a conjunction (see "an aunt and cousin"), even though we might use different articles for each noun involved. That being said, Lundgren8 said it sounded unusual to them, so while it may be grammatically permissible, like in English, it's probably still a good idea to use a second article, just to sound natural.