HOME

TheInfoList




The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the
Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian su ...

Germanic languages
—a sub-family of the
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
—along with the
West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples ...
and the extinct
East Germanic languages The East Germanic languages, also called the Oder–Vistula Germanic languages, are a group of extinct Germanic languages spoken by Germanic peoples, East Germanic peoples. East Germanic is one of the primary branches of Germanic languages, alon ...
. The language group is also referred to as the "Nordic languages", a direct translation of the most common term used among
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
,
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
,
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
,
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the ...
, and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
scholars and people. The term "North Germanic languages" is used in
comparative linguistics Comparative linguistics, or comparative-historical linguistics (formerly comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change ...
, whereas the term "Scandinavian languages" appears in studies of the modern standard languages and the
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of langua ...
of Scandinavia. Approximately 20 million people in the
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impac ...

Nordic countries
speak a Scandinavian language as their native language,Holmberg, Anders and Christer Platzack (2005). "The Scandinavian languages". In ''The Comparative Syntax Handbook,'' eds
Guglielmo Cinque Guglielmo Cinque (born 1948 in La Spezia La Spezia (, or , ; in the local Spezzino dialect) is the capital city of the province of La Spezia and is located at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the southern part of the Liguria region of Ita ...
and Richard S. Kayne. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press
Excerpt at Durham University
.
including an approximately 5% minority in
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
. Languages belonging to the North Germanic language tree are also commonly spoken in
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
.


Modern languages and dialects

The modern languages and their dialects in this group are: *
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
**
Jutlandic dialect Jutlandic, or Jutish (Danish: ''jysk''; ), is the western variety of Danish language, Danish, spoken on the peninsula of Jutland in Denmark. Generally, the eastern dialects are the closest to Standard Danish, while the South Jutlandic, southern ...
*** North Jutlandic *** East Jutlandic *** West Jutlandic ***
South Jutlandic South Jutlandic or South Jutish (South Jutish: ; da, Sønderjysk; german: Südjütisch or Plattdänisch) is a dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to ...
**
Insular Danish Insular Danish (Danish: ''Ømål'') are the traditional Danish dialects spoken on the Danish Islands, islands of Zealand, Langeland, Funen, Falster, Lolland, and Møn. They are recorded in the Dictionary of Danish Insular Danish (''Ømålsordbogen' ...
**
Bornholmsk dialect Bornholmsk is an East Danish East Danish refers to dialects of the Danish language spoken in Bornholm (Bornholmsk dialect) in Denmark and in Blekinge, Halland, Skåne (Scanian dialect) and the southern parts of Småland in Sweden. The dialects s ...
*
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
**
South Swedish dialects South Swedish dialects (Swedish: ') is one of the main dialect groups of Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden ...
*** Scanian ** Göta dialects ** Gotland dialects ** Svea dialects **
Norrland dialects Norrland dialects ( sv, norrländska mål, links=no) is one of the six major dialect groupings of the Swedish language Swedish ( ) is a North Germanic language The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic l ...
*** Jämtland dialects ** East Swedish dialects ***
Finland Swedish Finland Swedish or Fenno-Swedish ( sv, finlandssvenska, fi, suomenruotsi) is a general term for the variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equation ...
***
Estonian Swedish Estonian Swedish ( sv, estlandssvenska; et, rannarootsi keel, lit=Coastal Swedish) are the eastern varieties of Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North G ...
*
Dalecarlian language Dalecarlian (''dalmål'' in Swedish language, Swedish) is a group of West Scandinavian languages, and their respective dialects spoken in Dalarna County, Sweden. In the northernmost part of the county (''i.e.'', the originally Norwegian parishes o ...
**
Elfdalian Elfdalian or Övdalian ( or , pronounced in Elfdalian, or in Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and F ...
*
Gutnish Gutnish ( ), or rarely Gutnic ( or ), refers to the original language spoken on parts of the islands of Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island ...
*
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the ...
**
Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian ( no, norsk, links=no) is a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages ...
(written) **
Nynorsk Nynorsk (translates to “Modern Norwegian”, literally “New Norwegian”) is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language Norwegian ( no, norsk, links=no) is a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of ...
(written) ** Trønder dialects ** East Norwegian dialects ** West Norwegian dialects ** North Norwegian dialects *
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
*
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...


History


Distinction from East and West Germanic

The Germanic languages are traditionally divided into three groups:
West West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are an evenly spaced set of horizontal directions (or azimuth An azimuth (; from Arabic اَلسُّمُوت ''as-sumūt'', 'the di ...
,
East East or Orient is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions , , , and , commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are (at s) to north and south, with east ...
and North Germanic. Their exact relation is difficult to determine from the sparse evidence of runic inscriptions, and they remained mutually intelligible to some degree during the
Migration Period The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
, so that some individual varieties are difficult to classify. Dialects with the features assigned to the northern group formed from the
Proto-Germanic language Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language of the Germanic languages, Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Proto-Germanic eventually developed from ...
in the late
Pre-Roman Iron Age in Northern Europe The archaeology of Northern Europe Northern Europe is the northern region of Europe. Narrower definitions may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54th parallel north, 54°N ...
. Eventually, around the year 200 AD, speakers of the North Germanic branch became distinguishable from the other Germanic language speakers. The early development of this language branch is attested through
runic Runes are the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing ...

runic
inscriptions.


Features shared with West Germanic

The North Germanic group is characterized by a number of
phonological Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the I ...

phonological
and morphological innovations shared with
West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples ...
: * The retraction of Proto-Germanic ''ē'' (, also written ''ǣ'') to ''ā''. ** Proto-Germanic *''jērą'' 'year' > Northwest Germanic *''jārą,'' whence *** North Germanic *''āra'' > Old Norse ''ár'', *** West Germanic *''jāra'' > Old High German ''jār'', Old English ''ġēar'' vs. Gothic ''jēr''. * The raising of to (and word-finally to ). The original vowel remained when nasalised *''ǭ'' and when before , and was then later lowered to . ** Proto-Germanic *''gebō'' 'gift' > Northwest Germanic *''geƀu,'' whence *** North Germanic *''gjavu'' > with ''u''-umlaut *''gjǫvu'' > ON ''gjǫf'', *** West Germanic *''gebu'' > OE ''giefu'' vs. Gothic ''giba'' (vowel lowering). ** Proto-Germanic *''tungǭ'' 'tongue' > late Northwest Germanic *''tungā'' > *''tunga'' > ON ''tunga'', OHG ''zunga'', OE ''tunge'' (unstressed ''a'' > ''e'') vs. Gothic ''tuggō''. ** Proto-Germanic gen. sg. *''gebōz'' 'of a gift' > late Northwest Germanic *''gebāz,'' whence *** North Germanic *''gjavaz'' > ON ''gjafar'', *** West Germanic *''geba'' > OHG ''geba'', OE ''giefe'' (unstressed ''a'' > ''e'') vs. Gothic ''gibōs''. * The development of
i-umlaut The Germanic umlaut (sometimes called i-umlaut or i-mutation) is a type of linguistic umlaut (linguistics), umlaut in which a back vowel changes to the associated front vowel (fronting (phonology), fronting) or a front vowel becomes closer to ...
. * The
rhotacism Rhotacism () or rhotacization is a sound change A sound change, in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time i ...
of to , with presumably a rhotic fricative of some kind as an earlier stage. ** This change probably affected West Germanic much earlier and then spread from there to North Germanic, but failed to reach East Germanic which had already split off by that time. This is confirmed by an intermediate stage ''ʀ'', clearly attested in late runic East Norse at a time when West Germanic had long merged the sound with . * The development of the
demonstrative Demonstratives (abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; fo ...
pronoun ancestral to English ''this''. ** Germanic *''sa'', ''sō'', ''þat'' 'this, that' (cf. ON ''sá'' m., ''sú'' f., ''þat'' n.; OE ''se'', ''sēo'', ''þæt''; Gothic ''sa'' m., ''so'' f., ''þata'' n.) + proximal *''si'' 'here' (cf. ON ''si'', OHG ''sē'', Gothic ''sai'' 'lo!, behold!’); *** Runic Norse: nom. sg. ''sa-si'', gen. ''þes-si'', dat. ''þeim-si'' etc., with declension of the first part; ** fixed form with declension on the second part: ON ''sjá'', ''þessi'' m., OHG ''these'' m., OE ''þes'' m., ''þēos'' f., ''þis'' n. Some have argued that after East Germanic broke off from the group, the remaining Germanic languages, the
Northwest Germanic Northwest Germanic is a proposed grouping of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages : ...
languages, divided into four main dialects: North Germanic, and the three groups conventionally called "West Germanic", namely # North Sea Germanic (
Ingvaeonic languages North Sea Germanic, also known as Ingvaeonic , is a postulated grouping of the northern West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic people ...
, ancestral to the
Anglo-Frisian languages The Anglo-Frisian languages are the West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use ...
and
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...
), # Weser-Rhine Germanic (
Low Franconian languages Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 1991, p. 321. (Calling it "Low Frankish (or Netherlandish)".)Scott Shay ...
) and # Elbe Germanic (
High German languages The High German languages or High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten) comprise the variety (linguistics), varieties of German language, German spoken south of the Benrath line, Benrath and Uerdingen line, Uerdingen isoglosses in ce ...
). Inability of the
tree model In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communicati ...
to explain the existence of some features in the West Germanic languages stimulated the development of an alternative, the so-called
wave model In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communicatio ...
. Under this view, the properties that the West Germanic languages have in common separate from the North Germanic languages are not inherited from a "Proto-West-Germanic" language, but rather spread by
language contact Language contact occurs when speakers of two or more languages A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A la ...
among the Germanic languages spoken in central Europe, not reaching those spoken in Scandinavia.


North Germanic features

Some innovations are not found in West and East Germanic, such as: * Sharpening of geminate and according to
Holtzmann's law Holtzmann's law is a Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or ...
** Occurred also in East Germanic, but with a different outcome. ** Proto-Germanic *''twajjǫ̂'' ("of two") > Old Norse ''tveggja'', Gothic ''twaddjē'', but > Old High German ''zweiio'' **Proto-Germanic ''*triwwiz'' ("faithful") > Old Norse ''tryggr'', Gothic ''triggws'', but > Old High German ''triuwi'', German ''treu'', Old English ''trīewe'', English ''true''. * Word-final devoicing of
stop consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of ev ...
s. ** Proto-Germanic *''band'' ("I/(s)he bound") > *''bant'' > Old West Norse ''batt'', Old East Norse ''bant'', but Old English ''band'' * Loss of medial with compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel and the following consonant, if present. ** Proto-Germanic *''nahtų'' ("night", accusative) > *''nāttu'' > (by u-umlaut) *''nǭttu'' > Old Norse ''nótt'' * > before (but not ) ** Proto-Germanic *''sairaz'' ("sore") > *''sāraz'' > *''sārz'' > Old Norse ''sárr'', but > *''seira'' > Old High German ''sēr''. ** With original Proto-Germanic *''gaizaz'' > *''geizz'' > Old Norse ''geirr''. * General loss of word-final , following the loss of word-final short vowels (which are still present in the earliest runic inscriptions). ** Proto-Germanic *''bindaną'' > *''bindan'' > Old Norse ''binda'', but > Old English ''bindan''. ** This also affected stressed syllables: Proto-Germanic *''in'' > Old Norse ''í'' *
Vowel breaking In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication ...
of to except after ''w'', ''r'' or ''l'' (see "gift" above). ** The diphthong was also affected (also ''l''), shifting to at an early stage. This diphthong is preserved in
Old Gutnish Old Gutnish or Old Gotlandic was a North Germanic language The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and th ...
and survives in modern
Gutnish Gutnish ( ), or rarely Gutnic ( or ), refers to the original language spoken on parts of the islands of Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island ...
. In other Norse dialects, the -onset and length remained, but the diphthong simplified resulting in variously or . ** This affected only stressed syllables. The word *''ek'' ("I"), which could occur both stressed and unstressed, appears varyingly as ''ek'' (unstressed, with no breaking) and ''jak'' (stressed, with breaking) throughout Old Norse. * Loss of initial (see "year" above), and also of before a round vowel. ** Proto-Germanic *''wulfaz'' > North Germanic ''ulfz'' > Old Norse '' ulfr'' * The development of , which rounded stressed vowels when or followed in the next syllable. This followed vowel breaking, with ''ja'' being u-umlauted to ''jǫ'' .


Middle Ages

After the
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
period, the North Germanic languages developed into an East Scandinavian branch, consisting of
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
; and, secondly, a West Scandinavian branch, consisting of
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the ...
,
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
and
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
and, thirdly, an Old Gutnish branch. Norwegian settlers brought Old West Norse to
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...

Iceland
and the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes or Faeroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of is ...

Faroe Islands
around 800. Of the modern Scandinavian languages, written Icelandic is closest to this ancient language.Lund, Jørn
Language
. Published online by Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Version 1 – November 2003. Retrieved 13 November 2007.
An additional language, known as Norn, developed on
Orkney Orkney (; sco, Orkney; on, Orkneyjar; nrn, Orknøjar), also known as the Orkney Islands, is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island A ...

Orkney
and
Shetland Shetland ( on, Hjaltland; sco, Shetland; nrn, Hjetland), also called the Shetland Islands and formerly Zetland, is a subarctic archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or co ...

Shetland
after
Vikings Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In ...

Vikings
had settled there around 800, but this language became extinct around 1700. In medieval times, speakers of all the Scandinavian languages could understand one another to a significant degree, and it was often referred to as a single language, called the "Danish tongue" until the 13th century by some in Sweden and Iceland., p. 259 In the 16th century, many Danes and Swedes still referred to North Germanic as a single language, which is stated in the introduction to the first Danish translation of the Bible and in
Olaus Magnus Olaus Magnus (October 1490 – 1 August 1557) was a Swedish writer, cartographer Cartography (; from Greek χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of maki ...
' '' A Description of the Northern Peoples''. Dialectal variation between west and east in Old Norse however was certainly present during the Middle Ages and three dialects had emerged: Old West Norse, Old East Norse and Old Gutnish. Old Icelandic was essentially identical to
Old Norwegian nn, gamalnorsk , region = Kingdom of Norway (872–1397) The term Norwegian Realm (Old Norse: ''*Noregsveldi'', Norwegian Bokmål, Bokmål: ''Norgesveldet'', Norwegian Nynorsk, Nynorsk: ''Noregsveldet'') and Old Kingdom of Norway refer ...
, and together they formed the Old West Norse dialect of Old Norse and were also spoken in settlements in Faroe Islands,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
, the
Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth The "National Anthem of the Isle of Man" ( gv, Arrane Ashoonagh Vannin) was written and composed by William Henry Gill (1839–1923), with the Manx translation by John J. Kneen (1873–1939). It is often r ...

Isle of Man
, and Norwegian settlements in
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
. The Old East Norse dialect was spoken in Denmark, Sweden, settlements in Russia,Article ''Nordiska språk'', section ''Historia'', subsection ''Omkring 800–1100'', in ''
Nationalencyklopedin ''Nationalencyklopedin'' (; "The National Encyclopedia" in English), abbreviated NE, is a comprehensive contemporary Swedish-language Swedish (Swedish: ) is a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language spoken First language, natively b ...

Nationalencyklopedin
'' (1994).
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
, and Danish settlements in
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
. The
Old Gutnish Old Gutnish or Old Gotlandic was a North Germanic language The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and th ...
dialect was spoken in
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
and in various settlements in the East. Yet, by 1600, another classification of the North Germanic language branches had arisen from a
syntactic In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntactic
point of view, dividing them into an insular group (Icelandic and Faroese) and a continental group (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish). The division between Insular Nordic (''önordiska''/''ønordisk''/''øynordisk'') and Continental Scandinavian (''Skandinavisk'') is based on mutual intelligibility between the two groups and developed due to different influences, particularly the political union of Denmark and Norway (1536–1814) which led to significant Danish influence on central and eastern Norwegian dialects (
Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian ( no, norsk, links=no) is a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages ...
or
Dano-Norwegian Dano-Norwegian (Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral ...
).Torp, Arne (2004)
Nordiske sprog i fortid og nutid. Sproglighed og sprogforskelle, sprogfamilier og sprogslægtskab
. Moderne nordiske sprog. In ''Nordens sprog – med rødder og fødder''. Nord 2004:010, , Nordic Council of Ministers' Secretariat, Copenhagen 2004. (In Danish).


Demographics

The North Germanic languages are
national language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languag ...
s in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, whereas the non-Germanic
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
is spoken by the majority in Finland. In inter-Nordic contexts, texts are today often presented in three versions: Finnish, Icelandic, and one of the three languages Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. Another official language in the
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impac ...

Nordic countries
is Greenlandic (in the Eskimo–Aleut family), the sole official language of
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
. In
Southern Jutland Southern Jutland ( da, Sønderjylland; German: Südjütland) is the name for the region south of the Kongeå The Kongeå (in German ''Königs Au'') is a watercourse in Southern Jutland in Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ...
in southwestern Denmark,
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...

German
is also spoken by the
North Schleswig Germans Approximately 15,000 people in Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical ...
, and German is a recognized minority language in this region. German is the primary language among the
Danish minority of Southern Schleswig The Danish people, Danish ethnic minority in Southern Schleswig, Germany, has existed by this name since 1920, when the Schleswig Plebiscite split German-ruled Schleswig into two parts: Northern Schleswig, with a Danish majority and a German ...
, and likewise, Danish is the primary language of the North Schleswig Germans. Both minority groups are highly bilingual. Traditionally, Danish and German were the two official languages of
Denmark–Norway Denmark–Norway (Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestr ...
; laws and other official instruments for use in Denmark and Norway were written in Danish, and local administrators spoke Danish or Norwegian. German was the administrative language of
Holstein Holstein (; nds, label=Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; Latin and historical en, Holsatia, italic=yes) is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider (river), Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost S ...
and the
Duchy of Schleswig The Duchy of Schleswig ( da, Hertugdømmet Slesvig; german: Herzogtum Schleswig; nds, Hartogdom Sleswig; frr, Härtochduum Slaswik) was a duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a , territory, , or domain ruled by a or , a high-ranking n ...
.
Sami languages Places * Sápmi (, smj, Sábme / Sámeednam, sma, Saepmie, sju, Sábmie, , , : Соаме ''Soame'') is the traditionally inhabited by the . Sápmi is in and includes the northern parts of , also known as the "". The region stretches ...

Sami languages
form an unrelated group that has coexisted with the North Germanic language group in Scandinavia since prehistory. Sami, like
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
, is part of the group of the
Uralic languages The Uralic languages (; sometimes called Uralian languages ) form a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning " ...

Uralic languages
. During centuries of interaction, Finnish and Sami have imported many more loanwords from North Germanic languages than vice versa. :
* The figure includes 450,000 members of the
Swedish-speaking population of Finland The Swedish-speaking population of Finland (whose members are called by many names; fi, suomenruotsalainen) can be used as an attribute., group=Note—see #Terminology, below; sv, finlandssvenskar; fi, suomenruotsalaiset) is a linguistic mi ...


Classification

In historical linguistics, the North Germanic family tree is divided into two main branches, ''West Scandinavian languages'' (
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the ...
,
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
and
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
) and ''East Scandinavian languages'' (
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
), along with various dialects and varieties. The two branches are derived from the western and eastern dialect groups of
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
respectively. There was also an
Old Gutnish Old Gutnish or Old Gotlandic was a North Germanic language The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and th ...
branch spoken on the island of
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
. The continental Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Norwegian and Danish) were heavily influenced by
Middle Low German Middle Low German or Middle Saxon (autonym: ''Sassisch'', i.e. "Saxon", Standard German, Standard High German: ', Dutch language, Modern Dutch: ') is a developmental stage of Low German. It developed from the Old Saxon language in the Middle ...
during the period of Hanseatic expansion. Another way of classifying the languages – focusing on mutual intelligibility rather than the tree of life, tree-of-life model – posits Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish as ''Continental Scandinavian'', and Faroese and Icelandic as ''Insular Scandinavian''. Because of the long political union between Norway and Denmark, moderate and conservative Norwegian
Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian ( no, norsk, links=no) is a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages ...
share most of the Danish vocabulary and grammar, and was nearly identical to written Danish until the spelling reform of 1907. (For this reason, Bokmål and its unofficial, more conservative variant ''Riksmål'' are sometimes considered East Scandinavian, and
Nynorsk Nynorsk (translates to “Modern Norwegian”, literally “New Norwegian”) is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language Norwegian ( no, norsk, links=no) is a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of ...
West Scandinavian via the west–east division shown above.) However, Danish has developed a greater distance between the spoken and written versions of the language, so the differences between spoken Norwegian and spoken Danish are somewhat more significant than the difference between their respective written forms. Written Danish is relatively close to the other Continental Scandinavian languages, but the sound developments of spoken Danish include reduction and assimilation of consonants and vowels, as well as the prosodic feature called ''stød'' in Danish, developments which have not occurred in the other languages (though the ''stød'' corresponds to the changes in pitch in Norwegian and Swedish, which are pitch-accent languages. Scandinavians are widely expected to understand some of the other spoken Scandinavian languages. There may be some difficulty particularly with elderly dialect speakers, however public radio and television presenters are often well understood by speakers of the other Scandinavian countries, although there are various regional differences of mutual intelligibility for understanding mainstream dialects of the languages between different parts of the three language areas. Sweden left the Kalmar Union in 1523 due to conflicts with Denmark, leaving two Scandinavian units: The union of Denmark–Norway (ruled from Copenhagen, Denmark) and Sweden (including present-day Finland). The two countries took different sides during several wars until 1814, when the Denmark-Norway unit was disestablished, and made different international contacts. This led to different borrowings from foreign languages (Sweden had a francophone period), for example the Old Swedish word ''vindöga'' 'window' was replaced by ''fönster'' (from Middle Low German), whereas native ''vindue'' was kept in Danish. Norwegians, who spoke (and still speak) the Norwegian dialects derived from Old Norse, would say ''vindauga'' or similar. The written language of Denmark-Norway however, was based on the dialect of Copenhagen and thus had ''vindue''. On the other hand, the word ''begynde'' 'begin' (now written ''begynne'' in Norwegian Bokmål) was borrowed into Danish and Norwegian, whereas native ''börja'' was kept in Swedish. Even though standard Swedish and Danish were moving apart, the dialects were not influenced that much. Thus Norwegian and Swedish remained similar in pronunciation, and words like ''børja'' were able to survive in some of the Norwegian dialects whereas ''vindöga'' survived in some of the Swedish dialects. Nynorsk incorporates much of these words, like ''byrja'' (cf. Swedish ''börja'', Danish ''begynde''), ''veke'' (cf. Sw ''vecka'', Dan ''uge'') and ''vatn'' (Sw ''vatten'', Dan ''vand'') whereas Bokmål has retained the Danish forms (''begynne'', ''uke'', ''vann''). As a result, Nynorsk does not conform to the above east–west split model, since it shares a lot of features with Swedish. According to the Norwegian linguist Arne Torp, the Nynorsk project (which had as a goal to re-establish a written Norwegian language) would have been much harder to carry out if Norway had been in a union with Sweden instead of with Denmark, simply because the differences would have been smaller. Currently, English language, English loanwords are influencing the languages. A 2005 survey of words used by speakers of the Scandinavian languages showed that the number of English loanwords used in the languages has doubled during the last 30 years and is now 1.2%. Icelandic has imported fewer English words than the other North Germanic languages, despite the fact that it is the country that uses English most."Urban misunderstandings". I
Norden this week – Monday 01.17.2005
The Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Retrieved 13 November 2007.


Mutual intelligibility

The mutual intelligibility between the Continental Scandinavian languages is asymmetrical. Various studies have shown Norwegian speakers to be the best in Scandinavia at understanding other languages within the language group. According to a study undertaken during 2002–2005 and funded by the Nordic Cultural Fund, Swedish speakers in Stockholm and Danish speakers in Copenhagen have the greatest difficulty in understanding other Nordic languages. The study, which focused mainly on native speakers under the age of 25, showed that the lowest ability to comprehend another language is demonstrated by youth in Stockholm in regard to Danish, producing the lowest ability score in the survey. The greatest variation in results between participants within the same country was also demonstrated by the Swedish speakers in the study. Participants from Malmö, located in the southernmost Swedish province of Scania (Skåne), demonstrated a better understanding of Danish than Swedish speakers to the north. Access to Danish television and radio, direct trains to Copenhagen over the Øresund Bridge and a larger number of cross-border commuters in the Øresund Region contribute to a better knowledge of spoken Danish and a better knowledge of the unique Danish words among the region's inhabitants. According to the study, youth in this region were able to understand the Danish language (slightly) better than the Norwegian language. But they still could not understand Danish as well as the Norwegians could, demonstrating once again the relative distance of Swedish from Danish. Youth in Copenhagen had a very poor command of Swedish, showing that the Øresund connection was mostly one-way. The results from the study of how well native youth in different Scandinavian cities did when tested on their knowledge of the other Continental Scandinavian languages are summarized in table format,Delsing, Lars-Olof and Katarina Lundin Åkesson (2005). ''Håller språket ihop Norden? En forskningsrapport om ungdomars förståelse av danska, svenska och norska''. Available i
pdf format
. Numbers are from Figure 4:11. "Grannspråksförståelse bland infödda skandinaver fördelade på ort", p. 65 and Figure 4:6. "Sammanlagt resultat på grannspråksundersökningen fördelat på område", p. 58.
reproduced below. The maximum score was 10.0: Faroese speakers (of the Insular Scandinavian languages group) are even better than the Norwegians at comprehending two or more languages within the Continental Scandinavian languages group, scoring high in both Danish (which they study at school) and Norwegian and having the highest score on a Scandinavian language other than their native language, as well as the highest average score. Icelandic speakers, in contrast, have a poor command of Norwegian and Swedish. They do somewhat better with Danish, as they are taught Danish in school. When speakers of Faroese and Icelandic were tested on how well they understood the three Continental Scandinavian languages, the test results were as follows (maximum score 10.0):


Vocabulary

The North Germanic languages share many lexical, grammatical, phonological, and morphological similarities, to a more significant extent than the
West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples ...
do. These lexical, grammatical, and morphological similarities can be outlined in the table below.


Language boundaries

Given the aforementioned homogeneity, there exists some discussion on whether the continental group should be considered one or several languages. The Continental Scandinavian languages are often cited as proof of the aphorism "A language is a dialect with an army and navy". The differences in dialects within the countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark can often be greater than the differences across the borders, but the political independence of these countries leads continental Scandinavian to be classified into
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the ...
,
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
, and
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
in the popular mind as well as among most linguists. The generally agreed upon language border is, in other words, politically shaped. This is also because of the strong influence of the standard languages, particularly in Denmark and Sweden. Even if the language policy of Norway has been more tolerant of rural dialectal variation in formal language, the prestige dialect often referred to as "Eastern Urban Norwegian", spoken mainly in and around the Oslo region, is sometimes considered normative. The influence of a standard Norwegian is nevertheless less so than in Denmark and Sweden, since the prestige dialect in Norway has moved geographically several times over the past 200 years. The organised formation of
Nynorsk Nynorsk (translates to “Modern Norwegian”, literally “New Norwegian”) is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language Norwegian ( no, norsk, links=no) is a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of ...
out of western Norwegian dialects after Norway became independent from Denmark in 1814 intensified the politico-linguistic divisions. The Nordic Council has on several occasions referred to the (Germanic) languages spoken in Scandinavia as the "Scandinavian language" (singular); for instance, the official newsletter of the Nordic Council is written in the "Scandinavian language". The creation of one unified written language has been considered as highly unlikely, given the Norwegian language conflict, failure to agree upon a common standardized language in Norway. However, there is a slight chance of "some uniformization of spelling" between Norway, Sweden and Denmark.


Family tree

All North Germanic languages are descended from
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
. 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. *
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
** Old West Norse, West Scandinavian *** Dalecarlian dialects, Dalecarlian (Dalarna), including
Elfdalian Elfdalian or Övdalian ( or , pronounced in Elfdalian, or in Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and F ...
(which is considered a separate language from Swedish, Älvdalen, Älvdalen locality) ***
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
*** Greenlandic Norse (extinct) ***
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
*** Norn (extinct) ***
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the ...
**** (Northern Norway) ***** (Bodø) ***** Brønnøy dialect (Brønnøy) ***** (Helgeland) ***** ''other dialects'' **** Trøndersk (Trøndelag) ***** (Fosen) ***** (Härjedalen) ***** Jämtland dialects (Jämtland, Jämtland province) (Wide linguistic similarity with the Trøndersk dialects in Norway) ***** Meldal dialect (Meldal) ***** (Tydal) ***** ''other dialects'' **** Vestlandsk (Western Norway, Western and Southern Norway) ***** West ''(Vestlandet)'' ****** Bergensk, Bergen dialect (Bergen) ****** (Haugesund) ****** (Jæren, Jæren district) ****** (Karmøy) ****** (Nordmøre) ******* (Sunndalsøra) ****** (Romsdal) ****** Sandnes-mål, Sandnes dialect (Sandnes) ****** Sognamål, Sogn dialect (Sogn, Sogn district) ****** (Sunnmøre) ****** Stavangersk, Stavanger dialect (Stavanger) ****** (Midhordland, Midhordland district) ***** South ''(Sørlandet)'' ****** Arendalsk, Arendal dialect (Arendal, Arendal region) ****** (Upper Setesdal, Valle, Norway, Valle) ***** ''other dialects'' **** (Eastern Norway) ***** (Lowland districts) ****** Vikværsk, Vikværsk dialects (Viken, Norway, Viken district) ******* (Andebu) ******* (Bohuslän, Bohuslän province) (Influenced by
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
in retrospective) ******* (Grenland, Grenland district) ******* Oslo dialect (Oslo) ****** (Mid-east districts) ******* (Ringerike (traditional district), Ringerike district) ******** (Hønefoss) ******** (Ådal) ****** (Opplandene, Opplandene district) ******* Hedmark dialects (Hedmark) ******** (Solør) ****** (Hadeland, Hadeland district) ****** (Viken, Norway, Viken district) ******* Särna-Idremål, Särna-Idre dialect (Särna and Idre) ***** (Midland districts) ****** Gudbrandsdalsmål, Gudbrandsdal dialect (Gudbrandsdalen, Oppland and Upper Folldal, Hedmark) ****** Hallingmål-Valdris, Hallingdal-Valdres dialects (Hallingdal, Valdres) ******* ******* Valdris, Valdris dialect (Valdres, Valdres district) ****** Telemark-Numedal dialects (Telemark and Numedal) ******* ***** ''other dialects'' ** Old East Norse, East Scandinavian ***
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
****
Insular Danish Insular Danish (Danish: ''Ømål'') are the traditional Danish dialects spoken on the Danish Islands, islands of Zealand, Langeland, Funen, Falster, Lolland, and Møn. They are recorded in the Dictionary of Danish Insular Danish (''Ømålsordbogen' ...
(Ømål) **** East Danish (Bornholmsk dialect, Bornholmsk along with former East Danish dialects in Blekinge, Halland and Scania, Skåne (Scanian dialect) as well as the southern parts of Småland, now generally considered
South Swedish dialects South Swedish dialects (Swedish: ') is one of the main dialect groups of Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden ...
) **** Jutlandic (or Jutish, in Jutland) ***** Northern Jutlandic ****** East Jutlandic ****** West Jutlandic ***** Southern Jutlandic (in
Southern Jutland Southern Jutland ( da, Sønderjylland; German: Südjütland) is the name for the region south of the Kongeå The Kongeå (in German ''Königs Au'') is a watercourse in Southern Jutland in Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ...
and Southern Schleswig) **** Urban East Norwegian (generally considered a Norwegian dialect) ***
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
**** ''Sveamål'' (Svealand) **** ''
Norrland dialects Norrland dialects ( sv, norrländska mål, links=no) is one of the six major dialect groupings of the Swedish language Swedish ( ) is a North Germanic language The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic l ...
'' (Norrland, including Westrobothnian and Kalix dialect, Kalix) **** ''Götamål'' (Götaland) **** ''Swedish dialects in Ostrobothnia'' (
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
and Estonia) ***
Gutnish Gutnish ( ), or rarely Gutnic ( or ), refers to the original language spoken on parts of the islands of Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island ...
(
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
) **** ''other dialects''


Classification difficulties

The Jamtlandic dialects share many characteristics with both Trøndersk and with Norrländska mål. Due to this ambiguous position, it is contested whether Jamtlandic belongs to the West Scandinavian or the East Scandinavian group.
Elfdalian Elfdalian or Övdalian ( or , pronounced in Elfdalian, or in Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and F ...
(Älvdalen speech), generally considered a ''Sveamål'' dialect, today has an official orthography and is, because of a lack of mutual intelligibility with
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
, considered as a separate language by many linguists. Traditionally regarded as a Swedish dialect, but by several criteria closer to West Scandinavian dialects, Elfdalian is a separate language by the standard of mutual intelligibility. Traveller Danish, Rodi, and Swedish Romani are varieties of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish with Romani language, Romani vocabulary or Para-Romani known collectively as the Scandoromani language.LLOW
Traveller Danish
/ref> They are spoken by Norwegian and Swedish Travellers. The Scando-Romani varieties in Sweden and Norway combine elements from the dialects of Western Sweden, Eastern Norway (Østlandet) and Trøndersk.


Written norms of Norwegian

Norwegian has two official written norms, Bokmål and Nynorsk. In addition, there are some unofficial norms. ''Riksmål'' is more conservative than Bokmål (that is, closer to Danish) and is used to various extents by numerous people, especially in the cities and by the largest newspaper in Norway, ''Aftenposten''. On the other hand, ''Høgnorsk'' (High Norwegian) is similar to Nynorsk and is used by a very small minority.


See also

* Comparison of Norwegian Bokmål and Standard Danish *
Ingvaeonic languages North Sea Germanic, also known as Ingvaeonic , is a postulated grouping of the northern West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic people ...
*
Low Franconian languages Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 1991, p. 321. (Calling it "Low Frankish (or Netherlandish)".)Scott Shay ...
* Gender in Danish and Swedish *
High German languages The High German languages or High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten) comprise the variety (linguistics), varieties of German language, German spoken south of the Benrath line, Benrath and Uerdingen line, Uerdingen isoglosses in ce ...
* Scanian dialect * Svorsk *
East Germanic languages The East Germanic languages, also called the Oder–Vistula Germanic languages, are a group of extinct Germanic languages spoken by Germanic peoples, East Germanic peoples. East Germanic is one of the primary branches of Germanic languages, alon ...
*
West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples ...
* South Germanic languages


References


Sources

* * . * . * Outlined Scanian orthography including morphology and word index. First revision. * Friedrich Maurer (linguist), Maurer, Friedrich (1942), ''Nordgermanen und Alemannen: Studien zur germanischen und frühdeutschen Sprachgeschichte, Stammes- und Volkskunde'', Strasbourg: Hünenburg. * Rowe, Charley. The problematic Holtzmann's Law in Germanic. (Indogermanische Forschungen Bd. 108, 2003). * Iben Stampe Sletten red., ''Nordens sprog – med rødder og fødder'', 2005,
available online
also available in the other Scandinavian languages.


External links







* [http://www.ezglot.com/most-similar-languages.php?l=dan#most-similar-languages Most similar languages to Danish] {{DEFAULTSORT:North Germanic Languages North Germanic languages,