The Norwegian Academy for Language and Literature (Det Norske Akademi for Sprog og Litteratur) was founded in 1953 by several notable Norwegian authors and poets, among them Arnulf Øverland, Sigurd Hoel, A. H. Winsnes, Cora Sandel and Francis Bull, who disagreed with the official language policy aiming to merge the traditional Norwegian standard language with Nynorsk (Neo-Norwegian, invented by Ivar Aasen in the 19th century), and who protested against the state discrimination against the traditional Norwegian standard language Riksmål, which was the de facto standard language of Norway, used by all important newspapers and by the majority of the population.
They regulate what is now the unofficial form Riksmål (Traditional Standard Norwegian), a more conservative and Danish-near form of Norwegian than the official Bokmål, and among other things publish dictionaries and support the publishing of literature in Riksmål.
The Academy has 44 members, who are specialists in areas like Nordic, German, English and French language and literature, history, philosophy, law, political science, poetry etc. The President of the Academy is the conservative politician Lars Roar Langslet, who is former Norwegian Minister of Culture, and the Presidium also consists of John Ole Askedal, Professor of German, Tor Guttu, Associate Professor of Nordic languages and deputy chairman of the Riksmål Society, as well as Nils Heyerdahl, theatre director.
The Norwegian Academy for Language and Literature is represented in the Norwegian Language Council (Språkrådet), which regulates the official Bokmål and Nynorsk languages.
In 1981, the Academy merged with Riksmålsvernet, founded 1919.