Nynorsk
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Nynorsk () () is one of the two written standards of the
Norwegian language Norwegian ( no, norsk, links=no ) is a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is an official language. Along with Swedish language, Swedish and Danish language, Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect cont ...
, the other being Bokmål. From 12 May 1885, it became the state-sanctioned version of Ivar Aasen's standard Norwegian language ( no, Landsmål) parallel to the Dano-Norwegian written language ('' Riksmål''). Nynorsk became the name in 1929, and it is after a series of reforms still a variation which is closer to , whereas Bokmål is closer to ''Riksmål'' and Danish. Between 10 and 15 percent of Norwegians (Primarily in the west around the city of
Bergen Bergen (), historically Bjørgvin, is a city and municipalities of Norway, municipality in Vestland county on the Western Norway, west coast of Norway. , its population is roughly 285,900. Bergen is the list of towns and cities in Norway, secon ...
,) have Nynorsk as their official language form, estimated by the number of students attending ''videregående skole'' (secondary education). Nynorsk is also taught as a mandatory subject in both high school and elementary school for all Norwegians who do not have it as their own language form.


History

Danish was the written language of Norway until 1814, and Danish with Norwegian intonation and pronunciation was on occasion spoken in the cities (see Dano-Norwegian). With the independence of Norway from Denmark, Danish became a foreign language and thus lost much of its prestige, and a conservative, written form of Norwegian, ''Landsmål'', had been developed by 1850. By this time, however, the Danish language had been gradually reformed into the written language Riksmål, and no agreement was reached on which of the two forms to use. In 1885, the parliament declared the two forms official and equal. Efforts were made to fuse the two written forms into one language. A result was that Landsmål and Riksmål lost their official status in 1929, and were replaced by the written forms Nynorsk and Bokmål, which were intended to be temporary intermediary stages before their final fusion into one hypothesised official Norwegian language known at the time as Samnorsk. This project was later abandoned and Nynorsk and Bokmål remain the two officially sanctioned standards of what is today called the Norwegian language. Both written languages are in reality fusions between the Norwegian and Danish languages as they were spoken and written around 1850, with Nynorsk closer to Norwegian and Bokmål closer to Danish. The official standard of Nynorsk has been significantly altered during the process to create the common language form Samnorsk. A minor purist fraction of the Nynorsk population has stayed firm with the historical Aasen norm where these alterations of Nynorsk were rejected, which is known as Høgnorsk ( en, High Norwegian, analogous to High German). 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. The Landsmål (Landsmaal) language standard was constructed by the Norwegian
linguist Linguistics is the science, scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure ...
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 Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...
at the time. 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 in use after
Old Norwegian Old Norwegian ( no, gammelnorsk and ), also called Norwegian Norse, is an early form of the Norwegian language that was spoken between the 11th and 14th century; it is a transitional stage between Old West Norse and Middle Norwegian, and also Norn ...
, 11th to 14th centuries, and Middle Norwegian, 1350 to about 1550. 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.


Early Nynorsk studies and dictionaries

After the transition from Middle Norwegian to New Norwegian/Nynorsk (c. 1525), several studies of the language were assembled. The oldest of these is a language overview and collection of proverbs from the early 1600s Vest-Agder. Later in the century, a dictionary from Robyggjelaget was written. Neither of these works were printed until more recently. In 1646, however, Christen Jensøn (1610-1653), born in Askvoll, Norway, released a dictionary which documented the Nynorsk language in Sunnfjord. In 1749, Erik Pontoppidan released a 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''. Pontoppidan's dictionary was criticised by Torleiv Hannaas for being a somewhat haphazard collection of rarities, and for being written by someone who was not proficient in Nynorsk, in contrast with Jensøn's dictionary. It is agreed, and also admitted by Pontoppidan himself, that the scope of Pontoppidan's work was not to provide a complete or rigid study of Nynorsk, but to make an attempt to further the understanding of the language.


Ivar Aasen's work

A systematic study of the Norwegian language was made by Ivar Aasen in the mid 19th century. After the dissolution of
Denmark–Norway Denmark–Norway (Danish language, Danish and Norwegian language, Norwegian: ) was an early modern multi-national and multi-lingual real unionFeldbæk 1998:11 consisting of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway (including the then Norweg ...
and the establishment of the
union between Sweden and Norway Sweden and Norway or Sweden–Norway ( sv, Svensk-norska unionen; no, Den svensk-norske union(en)), officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, and known as the United Kingdoms, was a personal union of the separate Monarchy, kingdoms ...
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 and culture. 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. During the same period, Venceslaus Ulricus Hammershaimb standardised the orthography of the
Faroese language Faroese ( ; ''føroyskt mál'' ) is a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language spoken as a first language by about 72,000 Faroe Islanders, around 53,000 of whom reside on the Faroe Islands and 23,000 in other areas, mainly Denmark. It is ...
. Spoken Faroese is closely related to Landsmål and dialects in Norway proper, and Lucas Debes and Peder Hansen Resen classified the Faroese tongue as Norwegian in the late 17th century. Ultimately, however, Faroese was established as a separate language. Aasen's work is based on the idea that 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 Old Norwegian ( no, gammelnorsk and ), also called Norwegian Norse, is an early form of the Norwegian language that was spoken between the 11th and 14th century; it is a transitional stage between Old West Norse and Middle Norwegian, and also Norn ...
. 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 Old Norwegian ( no, gammelnorsk and ), also called Norwegian Norse, is an early form of the Norwegian language that was spoken between the 11th and 14th century; it is a transitional stage between Old West Norse and Middle Norwegian, and also Norn ...
or
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian, is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and t ...
. 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.


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 language A minority language is a language spoken by a minority group, minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities. With a total number of 196 sovereign states recognized internationally ( ...
s. This is especially prominent among students, who are required to learn both of the official written languages. There are however many individual reasons for both positive and negative attitudes towards Nynorsk. Many claim that obligatory learning of both language forms is unnecessary, and that students would be better off spending their time on learning a foreign language, or simply focusing on one of the language forms. Some critics of obligatory Nynorsk and Bokmål as school subjects have been very outspoken about their opposition. For instance, during the 2005 election, the 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 Book burning is the deliberate destruction by fire of books or other written materials, usually carried out in a public context. The burning of books represents an element of censorship and usually proceeds from a cultural, religious, or politi ...
, they apologized and chose not to use the video.


Geographical distribution

Bokmål has a much larger basis in the cities and generally outside of the western part of the country. 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 A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
and
county A county is a geographic region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
can choose to declare either of the two language standards as its official language or remain "standard-neutral". As of 2020, 90 municipalities have declared Nynorsk as their official standard, while 118 have chosen Bokmål and another 148 are neutral, numbers that have been stable since the 1970s. As for counties, three have declared Nynorsk as their official standard:
Vestfold og Telemark Vestfold og Telemark (; ) is a county A county is a geographic region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. T ...
, Møre og Romsdal and
Vestland Vestland is a Counties of Norway, county in Norway established on 1 January 2020. The county is located in Western Norway and it is centred around the city of Bergen, Norway's second largest city. The administrative centre of the county is the cit ...
. Most municipalities in
Rogaland Rogaland () is a Counties of Norway, county in Western Norway, bordering the North Sea to the west and the counties of Vestland to the north, Vestfold og Telemark to the east and Agder to the east and southeast. In 2020, it had a population of 47 ...
and few in the "standard-neutral" counties have declared Nynorsk as their official standard. Ålesund is the largest municipality with Nynorsk as its official language form. 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. Nynorsk is also part of the school curriculum in high school and elementary school for all students in Norway, where students are taught to write it. The prevailing regions for Nynorsk are the rural areas of the western counties of
Rogaland Rogaland () is a Counties of Norway, county in Western Norway, bordering the North Sea to the west and the counties of Vestland to the north, Vestfold og Telemark to the east and Agder to the east and southeast. In 2020, it had a population of 47 ...
,
Vestland Vestland is a Counties of Norway, county in Norway established on 1 January 2020. The county is located in Western Norway and it is centred around the city of Bergen, Norway's second largest city. The administrative centre of the county is the cit ...
and Møre og Romsdal, where an estimated 90% of the
population Population typically refers to the number of people in a single area, whether it be a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, ...
writes Nynorsk. Some of the rural parts of
Oppland Oppland is a Counties of Norway, former county in Norway which existed from 1781 until its dissolution on 1 January 2020. The old Oppland county bordered the counties of Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal, Sogn og Fjordane, Buskerud, Akershus, Oslo a ...
,
Buskerud Buskerud () is a former Counties of Norway, county and a current electoral district in Norway, bordering Akershus, Oslo, Oppland, Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland, Telemark and Vestfold. The region extends from the Oslofjord and Drammensfjorden in the ...
,
Telemark Telemark is a traditional region, a former Counties of Norway, county, and a current electoral district in southern Norway. In 2020, Telemark merged with the former county of Vestfold to form the county of Vestfold og Telemark. Telemark bord ...
, Aust- and
Vest-Agder Vest-Agder (; "West Agder") was one of 18 counties (''fylker'') in Norway up until 1 January 2020, when it was merged with Aust-Agder to form Agder county. In 2016, there were 182,701 inhabitants, around 3.5% of the total population of Norway ...
also write primarily in Nynorsk. In the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal, all municipalities have stated Nynorsk as the official standard. In Vestland, almost all municipalities have declared Nynorsk as the official standard – the city of
Bergen Bergen (), historically Bjørgvin, is a city and municipalities of Norway, municipality in Vestland county on the Western Norway, west coast of Norway. , its population is roughly 285,900. Bergen is the list of towns and cities in Norway, secon ...
being one of only three exceptions.


Status of the language form

Written Nynorsk is found in all the same types of places and for the same uses (
newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background. Newspapers can cover a wide variety of fields such as p ...
s, commercial products,
computer program A computer program is a sequence or set of instructions in a programming language for a computer to Execution (computing), execute. Computer programs are one component of software, which also includes software documentation, documentation and oth ...
s, etc.) as other written languages. Most of the biggest newspapers in Norway have certain articles written in Nynorsk, like ''VG'' and ''
Aftenposten ( in the masthead; ; Norwegian language, Norwegian for "The Evening Post") is Norway's largest printed newspaper by circulation. It is based in Oslo. It sold 211,769 copies in 2015 (172,029 printed copies according to University of Bergen) and e ...
'', but are mainly Bokmål. There are also nationwide newspapers where Nynorsk is the only Norwegian-language form of publication, among them are '' Dag & Tid'' and '' Framtida.no''. Many local newspapers have also chosen Nynorsk as the only language form of publication, like '' Firdaposten'', '' Hallingdølen'', ''
Hordaland Hordaland () was a county in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavi ...
'' and '' Bø blad''. Many newspapers are also officially neutral, conforming to either Nynorsk or Bokmål in an article as they see fit, like '' Klassekampen'' and '' Bergens Tidende''. Commercial products produced in the Nynorsk areas of Norway are also often distributed with Nynorsk text, like types of Gamalost. Many computer programs and apps that serve the whole country often present a choice between Bokmål and Nynorsk, especially those produced by the Norwegian government. There are also requirements by law that many Norwegian institutions have to follow. These laws are in order to keep Nynorsk and Bokmål as equals, which has been seen as an important case since the creation of the language forms. For instance the State-owned broadcaster NRK is required by law to have at least 25% of their content in Nynorsk. This means that at least one quarter of their content on broadcast and online media has to be in Nynorsk. There is also a requirement for state organs and universities to have content written in Nynorsk. Every student in the country should be presented the opportunity to take their exam in either Nynorsk or Bokmål.


Spoken Nynorsk

Nynorsk is first and foremost a written language form but it does appear as a spoken language. Spoken Nynorsk is often referred to as normed Nynorsk speech. Bokmål speech in
Eastern Norway Eastern Norway ( nb, Østlandet, nn, Austlandet) is the geographical Regions of Norway, region of the south-eastern part of Norway. It consists of the counties Vestfold og Telemark, Viken (county), Viken, Oslo and Innlandet. Eastern Norway i ...
often conforms to Urban East Norwegian, whereas Bokmål speech in
Bergen Bergen (), historically Bjørgvin, is a city and municipalities of Norway, municipality in Vestland county on the Western Norway, west coast of Norway. , its population is roughly 285,900. Bergen is the list of towns and cities in Norway, secon ...
and
Trondheim Trondheim ( , , ; sma, Tråante), historically Kaupangen, Nidaros and Trondhjem (), is a city and List of municipalities of Norway, municipality in Trøndelag county, Norway. As of 2020, it had a population of 205,332, was the third most pop ...
is called ''pen-bergensk'' (lit. fine Bergenish) and ''pen-trøndersk'' (lit. fine Trondheimish), respectively. Normed Nynorsk speech is mostly used in scripted contexts, like news broadcasts from television stations, such as NRK and TV2. It's also widely used in theaters, like Det Norske Teatret and by teachers. Since the 1970s, the motto of the Nynorsk movement has largely been "speak dialect, write Nynorsk", which has marginalized the use of normed Nynorsk speech to mainly scripted contexts. This is in contrast to the normed Bokmål speech which many speakers use in all social settings. Outside of scripts, it is quite common to rather speak a Norwegian dialect. Compared to many other countries, dialects have a higher social status in Norway and are often used even in official contexts. At the same time, it is not uncommon for dialect speakers to use a register closer to the Nynorsk writing standard when deemed suitable, especially in formal contexts.


Grammar

Nynorsk is a North-Germanic language, close in form to both Icelandic and the other form of written Norwegian ( Bokmål). Nynorsk grammar is closer in grammar to Old West Norse than Bokmål is, as the latter was influenced by Danish.


Nouns

Grammatical genders are inherent properties of
noun A noun () is a word that generally functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.Example nouns for: * Organism, Living creatures (including people ...
s, 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 gender In linguistics, grammatical gender system is a specific form of noun class system, where nouns are assigned with gender categories that are often not related to their real-world qualities. In languages with grammatical gender, most or all nouns ...
s: masculine,
feminine Femininity (also called womanliness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Femininity can be understood as socially constructed, and there is also some evidence that some behaviors considere ...
and neuter. The situation is slightly more complicated in Bokmål, which has inherited the Danish two-gender system. Written Danish retains only 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 nouns 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") in Bokmål. 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" ) and ''boken'' ("the book" ) in the same work in Bokmål. This is not allowed in Nynorsk, where the feminine forms have to be used wherever they exist. In Nynorsk, unlike Bokmål, masculine and feminine nouns are differentiated not only in the singular form but also in the plural forms. For example: That is, nouns generally follow these patterns, where all definite articles/plural indefinite articles are suffixes: The gender of each noun normally follows certain patterns. For instance will all nouns ending in ''-nad'' be masculine, like the word ''jobbsøknad'' (job application). Almost all nouns ending in ''-ing'' will be feminine, like the word ''forventning'' (expectation). The ''-ing'' nouns also get an irregular inflection pattern, with ''-ar'' and ''-ane'' in the plural indefinite and plural definite (just like the masculine) but inflected like a feminine noun in every other way. There are a few other common nouns that have an irregular inflection too, like ''mann'' which means man and is a masculine word, but for plural it gets an umlaut (just like English): ''menn'' (men) and it gets a plural definite that follows the inflection pattern of a feminine word: ''mennene'' (the men). The word ''son'' which means son is another word that is inflected just like a masculine word except for the plural, where it is inflected like a feminine noun with an umlaut: ''søner'' (sons), ''sønene'' (the sons). Here is a short list of irregular nouns, many of which are irregular in Bokmål too and some of which even follow the same irregular inflection as in Bokmål (like the word in the first row: ''ting''):


Genitive of nouns

Expressing ownership of a noun (like "the girl's car") is very similar to how it is in Bokmål, but the use of the reflexive possessive pronouns ''sin'', ''si'', ''sitt'', ''sine'' are more extensive than in Bokmål due to the preservation of historical grammatical case expressions.


Compound words

Compound words are constructed in exactly the same way as Bokmål.


Inflection

A grammatical gender is not characterized by
noun A noun () is a word that generally functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.Example nouns for: * Organism, Living creatures (including people ...
inflection In linguistic morphology, inflection (or inflexion) is a process of word formation in which a word is modified to express different grammatical categories such as tense, case, voice, aspect, person, number A number is a mathemat ...
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,
adjective An adjective (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a word that describes a noun or noun phrase. Its semantic role is to change information given by the noun. Traditionally, adjectives were considered one of the main part of speech, par ...
s and past participles. The inflection patterns and words are quite similar to those of Bokmål, but unlike Bokmål the feminine forms are not optional, they have to be used. As for adjectives and determiners, the list of words with a feminine inflection form are quite few compared to those for the masculine and neuter after the 2012 language revision. All the past participles for strong verbs are for instance no longer inflected for the feminine (with an inflection ending ''-i'') and there is just a handful of adjectives left with a feminine form, one of which is the adjective ''liten'' as is shown in the inflection table below.


Adjectives

Adjective An adjective (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a word that describes a noun or noun phrase. Its semantic role is to change information given by the noun. Traditionally, adjectives were considered one of the main part of speech, par ...
s have to agree with the noun in both gender and number just like Bokmål. Unlike Bokmål, Nynorsk has a more completed system of adjective agreement comparable to that of the
Swedish language Swedish ( ) is a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language spoken predominantly in Sweden and in parts of Finland. It has at least 10 million First language, native speakers, the fourth List of languages by total number of speakers, most ...
(see Nynorsk past participles). Just like in Bokmål, adjectives have to agree after certain copula verbs, like in this case the verb for "to be": ''vere'' (''er'' is its present tense). Other important copula verbs where predicative agreement happens are ''verte'' and ''bli'' (both mean "become"). Other copula verbs are also ''ser ut'' (looks like) and the reflexive verbs in Nynorsk. When verbs are used other than these copula verbs, the adjectives like in the example above will no longer be adjectives but an adverb. The adverb form of an adjective is the same as the neuter form of the adjective, just like in Bokmål. For instance ''Han gjør lite'' (he does little). Adverbs are not inflected, like most European languages. The system of agreement after copula verbs in the Scandinavian languages is a remnant of the grammatical case system. The verbs where the subject and predicate of the verb had the same case are known as copula verbs. The system of grammatical case disappeared but there was still specific gender forms that was left. Most adjectives will follow this pattern of inflection for adjectives, which is the same as in Bokmål: Examples of adjectives that follow this pattern are adjectives like fin (nice), klar (ready/clear), rar (weird). Adjectives/perfect participles that end in a
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel sounds within the same syllable. Technically, a diphthong is a vowel with two different targets: that is, the tongue (and/or other parts of the speech o ...
(like the word ''grei'', which means straightforward/fine) will follow this inflection pattern:


= Comparison

= All adjective comparison follow this pattern:


Participles

Past participles of verbs, which are when the verb functions as an adjective, are inflected just like an adjective. This is very similar to the system of agreement in the Swedish language, where all participles have an inflection for gender, number and definiteness. In contrast, participles in Bokmål are only in general inflected for number and definiteness and shares many of the inflections it got from the Danish language. The inflections of these participles are inferred from the verb conjugation class they pertain to, described in the verb section. In Nynorsk, the verb ''skrive'' (to write, strong verb) has the following forms: In fact, all strong verbs are conjugated in this pattern: Strong verbs had an optional feminine form ''-i'' prior to the 2012 language revision that still are used among some users. Some of the weak verbs have to agree in only number (just like in Bokmål), while many have to agree in both gender and number (like in Swedish). The weak verbs are inflected according to their conjugation class (see Nynorsk verb conjugation). All ''a''-verbs get the following inflections: All ''e''-verbs (with ''-de'' in preterite) and ''j''-verbs get the following inflections: All other ''e''-verbs (those with ''-te'' in preterite) get the following inflections: All short verbs get the following inflections:
Present participle In linguistics, a participle () (from Latin ' a "sharing, partaking") is a nonfinite verb, nonfinite verb form that has some of the characteristics and functions of both verbs and adjectives. More narrowly, ''participle'' has been defined as "a wo ...
s are like all other living Scandinavian languages not inflected in Nynorsk. In general, they are formed with the suffix ''-ande'' on the verb stem; ''Ein skrivande student'' (a writing student).


Definiteness inflection

As can be seen from the inflection tables for
adjective An adjective (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a word that describes a noun or noun phrase. Its semantic role is to change information given by the noun. Traditionally, adjectives were considered one of the main part of speech, par ...
s and past participles, they all have their own inflection for definiteness. Just like Bokmål, when adjectives and past participles are accompanied by the articles in the following table below, the adjective/past participle gets the definite inflection and the following noun also gets the definite inflection - a form of double definiteness. Nynorsk requires the use of double definiteness, where as in Bokmål this is not required due to its Danish origins, but the usage in Bokmål depends on the formality of the text. That is, in Bokmål it is perfectly fine to write ''I første avsnitt'' (which means; "in the first paragraph"), while the same sentence in Nynorsk would be ''I det første avsnittet'' which is also the most common way to construct the sentence in the Norwegian dialects and is also legal Bokmål. Like most Scandinavian languages, when the noun is definite and is described by an adjective like the phrase "the beautiful mountains", there is a separate definite article dependent on the gender/number of the noun. In Nynorsk these articles are: ''den''/''det''/''dei''. The following noun and adjective both gets a definite inflection. When there is no adjective and the articles ''den''/''det''/''dei'' are used in front of the noun (like ''dei fjella'', English; "those mountains"), the articles are inferred as the demonstrative "that"/"those" depending on if the noun is plural or not. The difference between the demonstrative "that" and the article "the" is in general inferred from context when there is an adjective involved.


Determiners

The
determinative A determinative, also known as a taxogram or semagram, is an ideogram used to mark semantics, semantic categories of words in logographic scripts which helps to disambiguate interpretation. They have no direct counterpart in spoken language, thoug ...
s have inflection patterns quite similar to Bokmål, the only difference being that the masculine form is often used for the feminine in Bokmål. Examples: * ''Min eigen bil'' (My own car) * ''Mi eiga hytte'' (My own cabin) * ''Mitt eige hus'' (My own house) * ''Mine eigne bilar'' (My own cars) ''Bil'' (car) is a masculine noun, ''hytte'' (cabin) is a feminine noun and ''hus'' (house) is a neuter noun. They all have to agree with the determinatives ''min'' and ''eigen'' in gender and number. Examples: * ''Eg har ingen bil'' (I have no car) * ''Eg har inga hytte'' (I have no cabin) * ''Eg har inkje hus'' (I have no house) * ''Eg har ingen hytter'' (I have no cabins) ''Bil'' (car) is a masculine noun, ''hytte'' (cabin) is a feminine noun and ''hus'' (house) is a neuter noun. They all have to agree with the determinative ''ingen'' in gender and number. These words are used in a variety of contexts, as in Bokmål. ''Nokon/noka'' means someone/any, while ''noko'' means something and ''nokre/nokon'' means some (plural). Examples: * ''Eg har ikkje sett nokon bil'' (I have not seen any car) * ''Eg har ikkje sett noka hytte'' (I have not seen any cabin) * ''Eg har ikkje sett noko hus'' (I have not seen any house) * ''Eg har ikkje sett nokre/nokon bilar'' (I have not seen any cars) ''Bil'' (car) is a masculine noun, ''hytte'' (cabin) is a feminine noun and ''hus'' (house) is a neuter noun. They all have to agree with the determinative ''nokon'' in gender and number.


Verb conjugation

As in other continental
Scandinavian languages 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 the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is al ...
, verb conjugation is quite simple as they are not conjugated in person, unlike English and other European languages. Verbs are divided into two conjugation classes: strong and weak verbs. The weak verbs are further divided into different categories: ''a''-verbs, ''j''-verbs, short verbs and ''e''-verbs (some ''e''-verbs with ''-de'' in the preterite tense and some with ''-te'' in the preterite tense). The conjugation class decides what inflection the verb will get for the different tenses and what kind of past participle inflection it gets. ''E''-verbs with ''-de'' in the preterite will for instance be inflected in both gender and number for the past participles; while those with ''-te'' will be inflected only in number, as described in the past participle section. Unlike Bokmål, Nynorsk has a more marked difference between strong and weak verbs—a common pattern in dialects across Norway. The system resembles the Swedish verb conjugation system. To identify what conjugation class a verb pertains to; ''j''-verbs will have ''-je'' or ''-ja'' in the infinitive, ''e''-verbs have ''-er'' in the present tense, ''a''-verbs have ''-ar'' in the present tense and ''-a'' in the preterite. Strong verbs have no ending in their present and preterite forms. The only difference between these forms is
ablaut In linguistics, the Indo-European ablaut (, from Standard High German, German '':wikt:Ablaut#German, Ablaut'' ) is a system of apophony (regular vowel variations) in the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). An example of ablaut in English is the ...
. Just like in Bokmål and in most other Germanic languages, there is no difference between the simple tenses and the continuous tenses in Nynorsk. This means for instance that ''drikk'' will cover both of the English present forms "drink" and "drinking". All users can choose to follow a system of either an ''-e'' or an ''-a'' ending on the infinitives of verbs. That is, one can for instance choose to write either ''å skrive'' or ''å skriva'' (the latter is common in west Norwegian dialects). There is also a system where one can use both ''-a'' endings and ''-e'' endings at certain verbs, this system is known as kløyvd infinitiv. As can be shown from the conjugation tables, the removal of the vocal ending of the infinitive creates the imperative form of the verb ''kjøp deg ei ny datamaskin!'' (buy yourself a new computer!). This is true for all weak and strong verbs.


Ergative verbs

There are ergative verbs in both Bokmål and Nynorsk. A verb in Norwegian that is ergative has two different conjugations, either weak or strong. The two different conjugation patterns, though similar, have two different meanings. A verb with a weak conjugation as in the section above, will have an object, that is, the weak conjugated verb is transitive. The verb with strong conjugation will not have an object. The strongly conjugated verbs are
intransitive In grammar, an intransitive verb is a verb whose context does not entail a direct object (linguistics), object. That lack of Transitivity (grammar), transitivity distinguishes intransitive verbs from transitive verbs, which entail one or more o ...
. The system of ergative verbs is more pronounced in Nynorsk than in Bokmål. An ergative verb in Bokmål will have two different conjugations only for the
preterite The preterite or preterit (; list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated or ) is a grammatical tense or verb form serving to denote events that took place or were completed in the past; in some languages, such as Spanish, French, and English, it ...
tense for strong verbs due to the influence of Danish that did not have strong ergative verbs, while all ergative verbs in Nynorsk have two different conjugations for all tenses like Swedish. Ergative verbs are also very common in Norwegian dialects, like in the following example. Other verbs that are ergative are often j-verbs; ''liggje'' (to lie down), ''leggje'' (to lay down). These are differentiated for all tenses, just like Bokmål.


Passive construction

Just like the other Scandinavian languages and Bokmål, there is passive construction of verbs. In general, the passive is created by taking the verb stem and adding the suffix ''-ast''. For instance the verb ''hente'' (English: fetch) has the passive form ''hentast''. This suffix was inherited from
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian, is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and t ...
and is the same suffix that exists in modern-day Icelandic. In fact, all the verb forms ''berast'', ''reddast'', ''opnast'', ''seljast'' in the table below are Icelandic verb forms too. In contrast to Bokmål, the passive forms of verbs are only used after
auxiliary verb An auxiliary verb (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a verb that adds functional or grammatical meaning to the clause (linguistics), clause in which it occurs, so as to express grammatical tense, tense, Grammatical aspect, aspect, L ...
s in Nynorsk, and never without them. Without an auxiliary verb there would rather be a passive construction by the use of the verbs ''vere''/''bli''/''verte'' (to be/to become) and then the past participle verb form. For instance, the following sentence is not a valid sentence in Nynorsk: ''Pakka hentast i dag'' (the package will be fetched today), there would rather be a construction like ''Pakka vert henta i dag''. This is due to the reduction of sentences that are ambiguous in meaning and due to the historic legacy of
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian, is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and t ...
. Bokmål and certain languages like Swedish and Danish have evolved another passive construction where the passive isn't reflexive. In the general case, this can lead to confusion as to ''han slåast'' means that "he is fighting"» or that "he is being hit", a reflexive or a non reflexive meaning. Nynorsk has two different forms that separate this meaning for the verb ''slå'' (''slåast'' and ''slåst''), but in the general case it does not. Nynorsk solves this general ambiguity by mainly allowing a reflexive meaning, which is also the construction that has the most historical legacy behind it. This was also the only allowed construction in Old Norse. There are reflexive verbs in Nynorsk just like the other Scandinavian languages, and these are not the same as passives. Examples are ''synast'' (think, looks like), ''kjennast'' (feels), etc. The reflexive verbs have their own conjugation for all tenses, which passives do not. A
dictionary A dictionary is a listing of lexemes from the lexicon of one or more specific languages, often arranged Alphabetical order, alphabetically (or by radical-and-stroke sorting, radical and stroke for ideographic languages), which may include inf ...
will usually show an inflection table if the verb is reflexive, and if it is passive the only allowed form is the word alone with an ''-ast'' suffix.


Reflexive verbs

Reflexive verbs like ''å kjennast'' (to feel) are conjugated this way In general, all reflexive verbs are conjugated by this pattern. These have a reflexive meaning, see the examples below. Every reflexive verb is also a copula verb, so they have adjective agreement with adjectives like ''kald'' (cold), just like in Bokmål and the other Scandinavian languages.


''T'' as final sound

One of the
past participle In linguistics, a participle () (from Latin ' a "sharing, partaking") is a nonfinite verb, nonfinite verb form that has some of the characteristics and functions of both verbs and adjectives. More narrowly, ''participle'' has been defined as "a wo ...
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'' (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''.


Pronouns

The
personal pronoun Personal pronouns are pronouns that are associated primarily with a particular grammatical person – first person (as ''I''), second person (as ''you''), or third person (as ''he'', ''she'', ''it'', ''they''). Personal pronouns may also take dif ...
s in Nynorsk are the only case inflected class in Nynorsk, just like English. As can be seen from the inflection table, the words for "mine", "yours" etc. have to agree in gender with the object as described in the determiners section. Like in Icelandic and
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian, is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and t ...
(and unlike Bokmål, Danish and Swedish), nouns are referred to by ''han'', ''ho'', ''det'' (he, she, it) based on the
gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to femininity and masculinity and differentiating between them. Depending on the context, this may include sex-based social structures (i.e. gender roles) and gender identity. Most cultures us ...
of the
noun A noun () is a word that generally functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.Example nouns for: * Organism, Living creatures (including people ...
, like the following:


Ordering of possessive pronouns

The main ordering of possessive pronouns is where the possessive pronoun is placed after the noun, while the noun has the definite article, just like in the example from the table above; ''boka mi'' (my book). If one wishes to emphasize ownership, the possessive pronoun may come first; ''mi bok'' (my' book). If there is an adjective involved, the possessive pronoun also may come first, especially if the pronoun or adjective is emphasized; ''mi eiga hytte'' (my own cabin), ''mi første bok'' or ''den første boka mi'' (my first book). In all other cases the main ordering will be used. This is in contrast to other continental Scandinavian languages, like Danish and Swedish, where the possessive comes first regardless, just like English. This system of ordering possessive pronouns in Nynorsk is more similar to how it is in the Icelandic language today.


Adverbs

Adverbs are in general formed the same way as in Bokmål and other Scandinavian languages.


Syntax

The
syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the study of how words and morphemes combine to form larger units such as phrases and sentence (linguistics), sentences. Central concerns of syntax include word order, grammatical relations, hierarchical sentence st ...
of Nynorsk is mainly the same as in Bokmål. They are for instance both SVO.


Word forms compared with Bokmål Norwegian

Many words in Nynorsk are similar to their equivalents in Bokmål, with differing form, for example: 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

*
Norwegian dialects Norwegian dialects (''dialekter'') are commonly divided into four main groups, 'Northern Norwegian' (), 'Central Norwegian' ('' trøndersk''), 'Western Norwegian' ('' vestlandsk''), and 'Eastern Norwegian' (). Sometimes 'Midland Norwegian' () an ...
* Modern Norwegian * Spynorsk mordliste, a term used by opponents to mock Nynorsk


References


Further reading

* Haugen, Einar. ''Norwegian''
online at Språkrådet


External links


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 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. {{Authority control North Germanic languages * Norwegian (Nynorsk)