The Info List - Landsmål

(Translates to New Norwegian[1] or New Norse[2]) is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language, the other being Bokmål. From 1885, when the parliament declared them official and equal, until new voting in 1929, their names were Landsmål and Riksmål. The Landsmål language standard was constructed by the Norwegian linguist Ivar Aasen
Ivar Aasen
during the mid-19th century, to provide a Norwegian-based alternative to Danish, which was commonly written, and to some extent spoken, in Norway
at the time. The official standard of Nynorsk
has since been significantly altered. A minor purist fraction of the Nynorsk
population has stayed firm with the Aasen norm, which is known as Høgnorsk (English: High Norwegian, analogous to High German). In local communities, one-quarter of Norwegian municipalities have declared Nynorsk
as their official language form, and these municipalities account for about 12% of the Norwegian population. Of the remaining municipalities, half are neutral and half have adopted Bokmål
as their official language form.[3] Four of Norway's nineteen counties, Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane
Sogn og Fjordane
and Møre og Romsdal, have Nynorsk
as their official language form. These four together comprise the region of Western Norway.[4]


1 Historical Nynorsk 2 Writing and speech 3 Ivar Aasen's work 4 Conflict 5 Grammar

5.1 Three grammatical genders 5.2 Inflection 5.3 T as final sound

6 Word forms compared with Bokmål
Norwegian 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Historical Nynorsk[edit] The word Nynorsk
also has another meaning. In addition to being the name of the present, official written language standard, Nynorsk
can also refer to the Norwegian language
Norwegian language
in use after Old Norwegian, 11th to 14th centuries, and Middle Norwegian, 1350 to about 1550.[5] The written Norwegian that was used until the period of Danish rule (1536-1814), closely resembles Nynorsk
(New Norwegian). A major source of old written material is Diplomatarium Norvegicum in 22 printed volumes. Writing and speech[edit]

Map of the official language forms of Norwegian municipalities as of 2007 with Nynorsk
in cyan and Bokmål
in orange

Written Nynorsk
is found in all the same types of places and for the same uses (newspapers, commercial products, computer programs, etc.) as other written languages. Bokmål
has, however, a much larger basis in the cities and generally outside of the western part of the country.[6] Most Norwegians do not speak either Nynorsk
or Bokmål
as written, but a Norwegian dialect that identifies their origins. Nynorsk
shares many of the problems that minority languages face. In Norway, each municipality and county can choose to declare either of the two language standards as its official language or remain "standard-neutral". As of 2015, 26% (113) of the 428 municipalities have declared Nynorsk
as their official standard, while 36% (158) have chosen Bokmål
and another 36% (157) are neutral, numbers that have been stable since the 1970s.[3] At least 128 of the "neutral" municipalities are in areas where Bokmål
is the prevailing form and pupils are taught in Bokmål. As for counties, three have declared Nynorsk: Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane
Sogn og Fjordane
and Møre og Romsdal. Two have declared Bokmål: Østfold and Vestfold. The remaining fourteen are de jure standard-neutral. Few municipalities in "standard-neutral" counties use Nynorsk. The main standard used in primary schools is decided by referendum within the local school district. The number of school districts and pupils using primarily Nynorsk
has decreased from its height in the 1940s, even in Nynorsk
municipalities. As of 2016[update], 12.2% of pupils in primary school are taught Nynorsk
as their primary language.[4] The prevailing regions for Nynorsk
are the rural areas of the western counties of Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane
Sogn og Fjordane
and Møre og Romsdal, where an estimated 90% of the population writes nynorsk. Some of the rural parts of Oppland, Buskerud, Telemark, Aust- and Vest-Agder
also write primarily in nynorsk. Usage of Nynorsk
in the rest of the country is scarce. In Sogn og Fjordane
Sogn og Fjordane
county and the Sunnmøre
region of Møre og Romsdal, all municipalities have stated Nynorsk
as the official standard, the only exception being the city of Ålesund, which remains neutral. In Hordaland, almost all municipalities have declared Nynorsk
as the official standard – the city of Bergen
being one of only three exceptions. Ivar Aasen's work[edit]

Ivar Aasen
Ivar Aasen
(drawing by Olav Rusti).

The Norwegian romantic nationalism
Norwegian romantic nationalism
movement sought to identify and celebrate the genuinely Norwegian.

In 1749, Erik Pontoppidan
Erik Pontoppidan
released a comprehensive dictionary of Norwegian words that were incomprehensible to Danish people, Glossarium Norvagicum Eller Forsøg paa en Samling Af saadanne rare Norske Ord Som gemeenlig ikke forstaaes af Danske Folk, Tilligemed en Fortegnelse paa Norske Mænds og Qvinders Navne.[7] Nevertheless, it is generally acknowledged that the first systematic study of the Norwegian language
Norwegian language
was made by Ivar Aasen
Ivar Aasen
in the mid 19th century. After the dissolution of Denmark– Norway
and the establishment of the union between Sweden and Norway
in 1814, Norwegians considered that neither Danish, by now a foreign language, nor by any means Swedish, were suitable written norms for Norwegian affairs. The linguist Knud Knudsen proposed a gradual Norwegianisation of Danish. Ivar Aasen, however, favoured a more radical approach, based on the principle that the spoken language of people living in the Norwegian countryside, who made up the vast majority of the population, should be regarded as more Norwegian than that of upper-middle class city-dwellers, who for centuries had been substantially influenced by the Danish language
Danish language
and culture.[1][8] This idea was not unique to Aasen, and can be seen in the wider context of Norwegian romantic nationalism. In the 1840s Aasen traveled across rural Norway
and studied its dialects. In 1848 and 1850 he published the first Norwegian grammar and dictionary, respectively, which described a standard that Aasen called Landsmål. New versions detailing the written standard were published in 1864 and 1873, and in the 20th century by Olav Beito in 1970.[9] During the same period, Venceslaus Ulricus Hammershaimb
Venceslaus Ulricus Hammershaimb
standardised the orthography of the Faroese language. Spoken Faroese is closely related to Landsmål and dialects in Norway
proper, and Lucas Debes and Peder Hansen Resen
Peder Hansen Resen
classified the Faroese tongue as Norwegian in the late 17th century.[10] Ultimately, however, Faroese was established as a separate language. Aasen's work is based on the idea that Norwegian dialects
Norwegian dialects
had a common structure that made them a separate language alongside Danish and Swedish. The central point for Aasen therefore became to find and show the structural dependencies between the dialects. In order to abstract this structure from the variety of dialects, he developed some basic criteria, which he called the most perfect form. He defined this form as the one that best showed the connection to related words, with similar words, and with the forms in Old Norwegian. No single dialect had all the perfect forms, each dialect had preserved different aspects and parts of the language. Through such a systematic approach, one could arrive at a uniting expression for all Norwegian dialects, what Aasen called the fundamental dialect, and Einar Haugen has called Proto-Norwegian. The idea that the study should end up in a new written language marked his work from the beginning. A fundamental idea for Aasen was that the fundamental dialect should be Modern Norwegian, not Old Norwegian or Old Norse. Therefore, he did not include grammatical categories which were extinct in all dialects. At the same time, the categories that were inherited from the old language and were still present in some dialects should be represented in the written standard. Haugen has used the word reconstruction rather than construction about this work. Nynorsk
has been revised and reformed a number of times since Aasen's original publications. These reforms were intended to close the gap between Nynorsk
and Bokmål, as policymakers sought to create one unified Norwegian language, samnorsk. This goal has now been abandoned.[1][11] Høgnorsk is a present-day alternative for purists who prefer Aasen's original norm. Ivar Aasen-sambandet is an umbrella organization of associations and individuals promoting the use of Høgnorsk, whereas Noregs Mållag and Norsk Målungdom advocate the use of Nynorsk
in general. Conflict[edit] Main article: Norwegian language
Norwegian language
conflict From the outset, Nynorsk
was met with resistance among those who believed that the Dano-Norwegian then in use was sufficient. With the advent and growth of mass media, exposure to the standard languages increased, and Bokmål's position is dominant in many situations. This may explain why negative attitudes toward Nynorsk
persist, as is seen with many minority languages. This is especially prominent among students, who are required to learn both of the official written languages. Some critics of obligatory Nynorsk
and Bokmål
as school subjects have been extremely outspoken about their views. For instance, during the 2005 election, the Norwegian Young Conservatives
Norwegian Young Conservatives
made an advertisement where a candidate for parliament threw a copy of the Nynorsk dictionary into a barrel of flames. After strong reactions to this book burning, they apologized and chose not to use the video.[12] Grammar[edit] Nynorsk
is a North-Germanic language, close in form to both Icelandic and the other form of written Norwegian. Nynorsk
grammar is closer in grammar to Old West Norse
Old West Norse
than Bokmål
is, as the latter developed from Danish. Three grammatical genders[edit] Grammatical genders are inherent properties of nouns, and each gender has its own forms of inflection. Standard Nynorsk
and all Norwegian dialects, with the notable exception of the Bergen
dialect, have three grammatical genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. The situation is slightly more complicated in Bokmål, which has inherited the Danish two-gender system. Written Danish only retains the neuter and the common gender. Though the common gender took what used to be the feminine inflections in Danish, it matches the masculine inflections in Norwegian. The Norwegianization in the 20th century brought the three-gender system into Bokmål, but the process was never completed. In Nynorsk
these are important distinctions, in contrast to Bokmål, in which all feminine words may also become masculine (due to the incomplete transition to a three-gender system) and inflect using its forms, and indeed a feminine word may be seen in both forms, for example boka or boken (“the book”). The feminine forms of other words usually become inflected by the gender of the noun to which they belong, such as ei (“a(n)”), inga (“no”, “none”) and lita (“small”), are optional too (masculine is used when feminine is not). This means that en liten stjerne – stjernen (“a small star – the star”, only masculine forms) and ei lita stjerne – stjerna (only feminine forms) both are correct Bokmål, as well as every possible combination: en liten stjerne – stjerna, ei liten stjerne – stjerna or even ei lita stjerne – stjernen. Choosing either two or three genders throughout the whole text is not a requirement either, so one may choose to write tida (“the time” f) and boken (“the book” m) in the same work. In Nynorsk, unlike Bokmål, masculine and feminine nouns are differentiated not only in the singular definitive form (in which the noun takes a suffix to indicate "the" in both Nynorsk
and Bokmål), but also in the plural forms, for example:

Singular Definitive singular Plural Definitive plural


rev reven revar revane

fox the fox foxes the foxes


løve løva løver løvene

lion the Lion lions the lions


hus huset hus husa

house the house houses the houses

This differentiation is expressed in distinctive ways in the dialects, for example reva/revan(e) and løve/løven(e), revær/revane and løver/løvene or rever/reva and løver/løvene. Inflection[edit] However, a grammatical gender is not characterised by noun inflection alone; each gender can have further inflectional forms. That is, gender can determine the inflection of other parts of speech which agree grammatically with a noun. This concerns determiners and adjectives. For example:

example: ein liten rev min eigen rev a small fox my own fox

example: ei lita løve mi eiga løve a small lion my own lion

Neuter example: eit lite tre mitt eige tre a small tree my own tree

Usage changes too from dialect to dialect, for example en liten rev, min egen rev but e lita løve, mi ega løve or ein liten rev, min eigen rev men ei liti løve, mi eigi løve. T as final sound[edit] One of the past participle and the preterite verb ending in Bokmål
is -et. Aasen originally included these t's in his Landsmål norms, but since these are silent in the dialects, it was struck out in the first officially issued specification of Nynorsk
of 1901. Examples may compare the Bokmål
forms skrevet ('written', past participle) and hoppet ('jumped', both past tense and past participle), which in written Nynorsk
are skrive or skrivi (Landsmål skrivet) and hoppa (Landsmål hoppat). The form hoppa is also permitted in Bokmål. Other examples from other classes of words include the neuter singular form anna of annan ('different', with more meanings) which was spelled annat in Landsmål, and the neuter singular form ope of open ('open') which originally was spelled opet. Bokmål, in comparison, still retains these t's through the equivalent forms annet and åpent. Word forms compared with Bokmål
Norwegian[edit] Many words in Nynorsk
are similar to their equivalents in Bokmål, with differing form, for example:

Nynorsk Bokmål other dialect forms English

eg jeg eg, æg, e, æ, ei, i, je, jæ I

ikkje ikke ikkje, inte, ente, itte, itj, ikkji not

The distinction between Bokmål
and Nynorsk
is that while Bokmål
has for the most part derived its forms from the written Danish language or the common Danish-Norwegian speech, Nynorsk
has its orthographical standards from Aasen's reconstructed "base dialect", which are intended to represent the distinctive dialectical forms. See also[edit]

portal Language portal

Norwegian dialects Modern Norwegian Spynorsk mordliste, a term used by opponents to mock Nynorsk


^ a b c Vikør, Lars S. (2015). "Norwegian: Bokmål
vs. Nynorsk". Språkrådet. Språkrådet. Retrieved 7 January 2017. ... two distinct written varieties: Bokmål
(‘Book Language’) and Nynorsk
(‘New Norwegian’).  ^ Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1 ed.). Random House, Inc. ; ^ a b "Ivar Aasen-tunet" (in Norwegian Nynorsk). Nynorsk kultursentrum. 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.  ^ a b "Språkstatistikk – nokre nøkkeltal for norsk". Retrieved 2007-09-12.  ^ " Nynorsk
som talemål". Språkrådet. Retrieved 8 January 2017. [Nynorsk] kan i tillegg bety ‘norsk språk i nyere tid (etter 1500)’, altså etter gammelnorsk og mellomnorsk.  ^ Kristoffersen, Gjert (2000). The Phonology of Norwegian. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-823765-5.  ^ "Glossarium Norvagicum eller Forsøg paa en Samling af saadanne rare Norske Ord". runeberg.org. Retrieved 2015-10-05.  ^ Jahr, E.H., The fate of Samnorsk: a social dialect experiment in language planning. In: Clyne, M.G., 1997, Undoing and redoing corpus planning. De Gruyter, Berlin. ^ Venås, Kjell. 2009. Beito, Olav T. In: Stammerjohann, Harro (ed.), Lexicon Grammaticorum: A Bio-Bibliographical Companion to the History of Linguistics
p. 126. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer. ^ Sandøy, H., Frå tre dialektar til tre språk. In: Gunnstein Akselberg og Edit Bugge (red.), Vestnordisk språkkontakt gjennom 1200 år. Tórshavn, Fróðskapur, 2011, pp. 19-38. [1] ^ Jahr, 1997. ^ "Brenner nynorsk-bok i tønne". Retrieved 2008-02-02. 

Further reading[edit]

Haugen, Einar. Norwegian, online at Språkrådet

External links[edit]

Norwegian Nynorsk
edition of, the free encyclopedia

Noregs Mållag Noregs Mållag is the major organization promoting Nynorsk. Norsk Målungdom Norsk Målungdom is Noregs Mållag's youth organization. Ivar Aasen-tunet The Ivar Aasen
Ivar Aasen
Centre is a national centre for documenting and experiencing the Nynorsk
written culture, and the only museum in the country devoted to Ivar Aasen's life and work. Sidemålsrapport – 2005 report (in Bokmål) on the state of Nynorsk and Bokmål
in Norwegian secondary schools.

v t e

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Alphabet Orthography

Æ Ø Å Scandinavian Braille

Phonology Norwegian language
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East (no)

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