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Encyclopedia > Scandinavian languages
Language classification
Indo-European languages
Germanic languages
North Germanic languages

The North Germanic languages (also Scandinavian languages or Nordic languages) is a branch of the Germanic languages spoken in Scandinavia, parts of Finland and on the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families (families hereforth). ... The Indo-European languages include some 443 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects spoken by about three billion people, including most of the major language families of Europe and western Asia, which belong to a single superfamily. ... The Germanic languages form one of the branches of the Indo-European (IE) language family. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Germanic languages form one of the branches of the Indo-European (IE) language family, spoken by the Germanic peoples who settled in northern Europe along the borders of the Roman Empire. ... Scandinavia, Fennoscandia, and the Kola Peninsula. ...


There are two main branches, West Scandinavian and East Scandinavian. The eastern branch is heavily influenced by especially Low German and consists of Danish and Swedish along with their various dialects and varieties. The western branch includes Norwegian, Faroese and Icelandic. There is another way of classifying the languages that focuses more on mutual intelligibility than historical development that classifies Norwegian with Danish and Swedish as Continental Scandinavian and Faroese and Icelandic as Insular Scandinavian. Low German (in Low German, Platt(düütsch) or Nedderdüütsch) is any of a variety of West Germanic languages spoken in northern Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. ... A pair of languages is said to be mutually intelligible if speakers of one language can readily understand the other language. ...


As a result, Danish and Norwegian may in reality be somewhat more similar to each other than either is to Swedish. Due to the long political union between Norway and Denmark, the Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål shares much of the Danish vocabulary. In addition, due to Danish pronunciation, Swedes usually find it easier to understand Norwegian than Danish. One witticism about Norwegian that expresses the basic similarities and differences between the languages is that "Norwegian is Danish spoken in Swedish." The relationships between the three languages might be summarized by the following diagram: Wit is a form of intellectual humour, based on manipulation of concepts; a wit is someone who excels in witty remarks, typically in conversation and spontaneously, since wit carries the connotation of speed of thought. ...

 + phonology Norwegian ----------------- Swedish | - vocabulary | - phonology + vocabulary | | Danish 

The North Germanic languages are often cited as proof of Hubert Lyautey's aphorism "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy." The differences in dialects within the countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are often greater than the differences across the borders, but the political independence of these countries leads continental Scandinavian to be classified into Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish in the popular mind as well as among most linguists. The creation of Nynorsk out of western Norwegian dialects after Norway became independent of Denmark in 1814 was an attempt to make the linguistic divisions match the political ones. Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey (1854 - 1934), made Marshal of France in 1921, was the first French Resident-General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925. ... Connotatively: an aphorism is a wise saying that bears repetition. ... 1814 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


Family tree

All North Germanic languages are thought to be descended from Proto-Norse. Note that divisions between subfamilies of North Germanic are rarely precisely defined; most form continuous clines, with adjacent dialects being mutually intelligible and the most separated ones not. Proto-Norse, Proto-Nordic, Ancient Nordic or Proto-North Germanic was an Indo-European language spoken in Scandinavia that is thought to have evolved from Proto-Germanic between the 1st century BC and the 2nd century, and was spoken until ca 800, when it evolved into the Old Norse language. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ...

  1. Beside the two official written norms of Norwegian, there exists two established unofficial norms: Riksmål, similar to, but more conservative (closer to Danish) than, Bokmål, which is used in different extent by a large number of people, especially in the cities; High-Norwegian (Høgnorsk), rather similar to Nynorsk, used by a very small minority.

Faroese is a West Nordic or West Scandinavian language spoken by about 80,000 people in two main groups, about 48,000 in the Faroe Islands and about 25,000 in Denmark. ... The Faroe Islands (Faroese: Føroyar, meaning Sheep Islands) are a group of islands in the north Atlantic Ocean between Scotland and Iceland. ... Norn is an extinct North Germanic language that was spoken on the Shetland Islands and Orkney Islands northwest off the coast of Scotland. ... See Shetland (disambiguation) for other meanings. ... The Orkney Islands form one of 32 unitary council regions in Scotland, and are a Lieutenancy Area. ... Royal motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin: No one provokes me with impunity) Scotlands location within the UK Main languages English Scots Scottish Gaelic Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. ... Zealand (Danish: Sjælland) is the largest island of Denmark. ... Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland (on the map of Denmark to the right, it is not shown in its true location; see the map at the bottom of the article). ... Jutlandic, or jysk, is a term for the dialects of Danish spoken on the peninsula of Jutland. ... Jutland Peninsula Jutland (Danish: Jylland, German: Jütland) is a peninsula in northern Europe that forms the mainland part of Denmark and a northern part of Germany, dividing the North Sea from the Baltic Sea. ... Svealand is a historical region of Sweden. ... The Mining district of Central Sweden, often referred to under its Swedish name Bergslagen, is a historically, culturally, and linguistically distinct region of Svealand in central Sweden. ... Norrland is a historical land of Sweden. ...   Västergötland?, (Westrogothia in English), one of the historical provinces of Sweden (landskap), lies in the southwest of Sweden. ... Östergötland is the name of a geographical region in Sweden which can refer to: Ostrogothia, or Östergötland - a historical Province of Sweden Östergötland County, or Östergötlands län - a current County of Sweden The Eastern part of Götaland - an ancient Land of Sweden This is...   Dalsland? is a historical province or landskap in the south west of Sweden. ...   SmÃ¥land? is a historical province (landskap) in southern Sweden. ... ... The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula located at the northwest corner of Europe and encloses the Baltic Sea. ... Scanian (Swedish: Skånska ) is a dialect of Sweden spoken in Scania, the southernmost province of Sweden. ...

External link

  • Ethnologue Report for North Germanic

  Results from FactBites:
 
SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGES - LoveToKnow Article on SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGES (10207 words)
Their language is perhaps somewhat later in character than that of the oldest words borrowed by the Lapps and Finns, voiced s, for example, is changed into a kind of r (cf.
For, having regard to the Scandinavian dialects generally, we must adopt quite a different classification from that indicated by the dialects which are represented in the literature.
The language of the 19th century, or at any rate of the middle of it, is best represented in the works of Wallin and Tegnhr, which, on account of their enormous circulation, have had a greater influence than those of any other authors.
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