The Info List - Old Norse

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OLD NORSE was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during about the 9th to 13th centuries.

The Proto-Norse language developed into Old Norse by the 8th century, and Old Norse began to develop into the modern North Germanic languages in the mid- to late 14th century, ending the language phase known as Old Norse. These dates, however, are not absolute, since written Old Norse is found well into the 15th century.

Old Norse was divided into three dialects : Old West Norse , Old East Norse and Old Gutnish . Old West and East Norse formed a dialect continuum , with no clear geographical boundary between them. For example, Old East Norse traits were found in eastern Norway , although Old Norwegian is classified as Old West Norse, and Old West Norse traits were found in western Sweden . Most speakers spoke Old East Norse in what is present day Denmark and Sweden. Old Gutnish, the more obscure dialectal branch, is sometimes included in the Old East Norse dialect due to geographical associations. It developed its own unique features and shared in changes to both other branches.

The 12th century Icelandic _ Gray Goose Laws _ state that Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders and Danes spoke the same language, _dǫnsk tunga_ ("Danish tongue"; speakers of Old East Norse would have said _dansk tunga_). Another term used, used especially commonly with reference to West Norse, was _norrǿnt mál_ ("Nordic speech"). Today Old Norse has developed into the modern North Germanic languages Icelandic , Faroese , Norwegian , Danish and Swedish , of which Norwegian, Danish and Swedish retain considerable mutual intelligibility .

In some instances the term _Old Norse_ refers specifically to Old West Norse.


* 1 Geographical distribution * 2 Modern descendants

* 3 Phonology

* 3.1 Vowels * 3.2 Consonants * 3.3 Orthography * 3.4 Accent

* 4 Phonological processes

* 4.1 Ablaut

* 4.2 Umlaut

* 4.2.1 U-umlaut

* 4.3 Breaking * 4.4 Assimilation or elision of inflectional ʀ

* 5 Phonotactics

* 5.1 Blocking of ii, uu * 5.2 Epenthesis

* 6 Grammar

* 6.1 Gender

* 6.1.1 Hierarchy

* 6.2 Morphology

* 7 Texts

* 8 Dialects

* 8.1 Old West Norse

* 8.1.1 Old Icelandic * 8.1.2 Old Norwegian * 8.1.3 Greenlandic Norse * 8.1.4 Text example

* 8.2 Old East Norse

* 8.2.1 Old Danish * 8.2.2 Old Swedish * 8.2.3 Text example

* 8.3 Old Gutnish

* 8.3.1 Text example

* 9 Relationship to other languages

* 9.1 Relationship to English * 9.2 Relationship to modern Scandinavian languages

* 10 See also

* 10.1 Dialectal information

* 11 Notes * 12 References

* 13 Literature

* 13.1 Introductions * 13.2 Dictionaries * 13.3 Grammars

* 14 External links


The approximate extent of Old Norse and related languages in the early 10th century: OLD WEST NORSE DIALECT OLD EAST NORSE DIALECT OLD GUTNISH OLD ENGLISH CRIMEAN GOTHIC Other Germanic languages with which Old Norse still retained some mutual intelligibility

Old Icelandic was very close to Old Norwegian , and together they formed the Old West Norse dialect, which was also spoken in settlements in Ireland , Scotland , the Isle of Man and northwest England, and in Norse settlements in Normandy . The Old East Norse dialect was spoken in Denmark, Sweden, settlements in Kievan Rus\' , eastern England, and Danish settlements in Normandy . The Old Gutnish dialect was spoken in Gotland and in various settlements in the East. In the 11th century, Old Norse was the most widely spoken European language, ranging from Vinland in the West to the Volga River in the East. In Kievan Rus\' , it survived the longest in Veliky Novgorod , probably lasting into the 13th century there. The age of the Swedish-speaking population of Finland is strongly contested, but at latest by the time of the Second Swedish Crusade in the 13th century, Swedish settlement had spread the language into the region.


Main article: North Germanic languages

The modern descendants of the Old West Norse dialect are the West Scandinavian languages of Icelandic , Faroese , Norwegian and the extinct Norn language of Orkney and Shetland ; the descendants of the Old East Norse dialect are the East Scandinavian languages of Danish and Swedish . Norwegian is descended from Old West Norse, but over the centuries it has been heavily influenced by East Norse, particularly during the Denmark– Norway union.

Among these, Icelandic and the closely related Faroese have changed the least from Old Norse in the last thousand years, although with Danish rule of the Faroe Islands, Faroese has also been influenced by Danish. Old Norse also had an influence on English dialects and Lowland Scots , which contain many Old Norse loanwords . It also influenced the development of the Norman language , and through it and to a smaller extent, that of modern French .

Various other languages, which are not closely related, have been heavily influenced by Norse, particularly the Norman dialects, Scottish Gaelic and Irish . Russian , Belarusian , Lithuanian , Finnish , Latvian and Estonian also have a number of Norse loanwords; the words _Rus_ and _Russia_, according to one theory, may be named after the Rus\' people , a Norse tribe; _see Rus (name) _, probably from present-day east-central Sweden. The current Finnish and Estonian words for Sweden are _Ruotsi_ and _Rootsi_, respectively. Vice versa many Germanic languages, apparently due the long journeys of the Goths, absorbed many Slavic words, which slightly changed developed to "land", "met", "beer", "mouse", "berg" (mountain), e.t.c.

Of the modern languages, Icelandic is the closest to Old Norse. Written modern Icelandic derives from the Old Norse phonemic writing system. Contemporary Icelandic-speakers can read Old Norse, which varies slightly in spelling as well as semantics and word order. However, pronunciation, particularly of the vowel phonemes, has changed at least as much as in the other North Germanic languages.

Faroese retains many similarities but is influenced by Danish, Norwegian, and Gaelic (Scottish and/or Irish ). Although Swedish, Danish and the Norwegian languages have diverged the most, they still retain asymmetric mutual intelligibility . Speakers of modern Swedish, Norwegian and Danish can mostly understand each other without studying their neighboring languages, particularly if speaking slowly. The languages are also sufficiently similar in writing that they can mostly be understood across borders. This could be because these languages have been mutually affected by each other, as well as having a similar development influenced by Middle Low German .


THIS SECTION CONTAINS IPA PHONETIC SYMBOLS. Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA .


The vowel phonemes mostly come in pairs of long and short. The standardized orthography marks the long vowels with an acute accent. In medieval manuscripts, it is often unmarked but sometimes marked with an accent or through gemination . All phonemes have, more or less, the expected phonetic realization.

Old Norse had nasalized versions of all nine vowel places. These occurred as allophones of the vowels before nasal consonants and in places where a nasal had followed it in an older form of the word, before it was absorbed into a neighboring sound. If the nasal was absorbed by a stressed vowel, it would also lengthen the vowel. These nasalizations also occurred in the other Germanic languages, but were not retained long. They were noted in the First Grammatical Treatise , and otherwise might have remained unknown. The First Grammarian marked these with a dot above the letter. This notation did not catch on, and would soon be obsolete. Nasal and oral vowels probably merged around the 11th century in most of Old East Norse. :3 However, the distinction still holds in Dalecarlian dialects . :4 The dots in the following vowel table separate the oral from nasal phonemes.

Generic vowel system c. 9th–12th centuries



CLOSE i • ĩ iː • ĩː y • ỹ yː • ỹː

u • ũ uː • ũː

MID e • ẽ eː • ẽː ø • ø̃ øː • ø̃ː

o • õ oː • õː

OPEN, OPEN-MID ɛ • ɛ̃ ɛː • ɛ̃ː œ • œ̃

a • ã aː • ãː ɔ • ɔ̃ ɔː • ɔ̃ː

Note: The open or open-mid vowels may be transcribed differently:

* /æ/ = /ɛ/ * /ɒ/ = /ɔ/ * /ɑ/ = /a/

Sometime around the 13th century, /ɔ/ (spelled ǫ) merged with /ø/ or /o/ in all dialects except Old Danish . In Icelandic, all /ɔ/ (ǫ) merged with /ø/. This can be determined by their distinction within the 12th-century First Grammatical Treatise but not within the early 13th-century Prose Edda . The nasal vowels, also noted in the First Grammatical Treatise, are assumed to have been lost by this time. See Old Icelandic for the mergers of /øː/ (spelled œ) with /ɛː/ (spelled æ) and /ɛ/ (spelled ę) with /e/ (e).

Generic vowel system c. 13th–14th centuries



HIGH i iː y yː

u uː

MID e eː ø øː

o oː


a aː


a a a ⟨a⟩ a a _land_ "land" < _*landą_

a a (+i-mut) ɛ ⟨ę⟩ e ⟨e⟩ e _menn_ "men" < _*manniz_

a a (+u/w-mut) ɔ ⟨ǫ⟩ ɔ ø ⟨ö⟩ _lǫnd_ "lands" < _*landu_ < _*landō_; _söngr_ "song" < _sǫngr_ < _*sangwaz_

a a (+i-mut +w-mut) œ ⟨ø₂⟩ ø ø ⟨ö⟩ _gøra_ "to make" < _*garwijaną_

æː aː aː ⟨á⟩ aː aː _láta_ "to let" < _*lētaną_

æː aː (+i-mut) ɛː ⟨æ⟩ ɛː ɛː _mæla_ "to speak" < _*mālijan_ < _*mēlijaną_

æː aː (+u-mut) ɔː ⟨ǫ́⟩ ɔː aː ⟨á⟩ _mǫ́l_ "meals" < _*mālu_ < _*mēlō_

e e e ⟨e⟩ e e _sex_ "six" < _*seks_; _bresta_ "to burst" < _*brestaną_

e e (+u/w-mut) ø ⟨ø₁⟩ ø ø ⟨ö⟩ _tøgr_ "ten" < _*teguz_

e e (broken) ea ⟨ea⟩ ja ⟨ja⟩ ja _gjalda_ "to repay" < _*geldaną_

e e (broken +u/w-mut) eo/io ⟨eo⟩/⟨io⟩ jo > jɔ ⟨jǫ⟩ jø ⟨jö⟩ _skjǫldr_ "shield" < _*skelduz_

eː eː eː ⟨é⟩ eː eː _lét_ "let (past tense)" < _*lēt_

i i i ⟨i⟩ i i _mikill_ "great" < _*mikilaz_

i i (+w-mut) y ⟨y⟩ y y(ː) _slyngva_ "to sling" < _*slingwaną_

iː iː iː ⟨í⟩ iː iː _líta_ "to look" < _*lītaną_

oː oː oː ⟨ó⟩ oː oː _fór_ "went" < _*fōr_; _mót_ "meeting" < _mōtą_

oː oː (+i-mut) øː ⟨œ⟩ øː ɛː ⟨æ⟩ _mœðr_ "mothers" < _*mōdriz_

u u u ⟨u⟩ u u _una_ "to be content" < _*unaną_

u u (+i-mut) y ⟨y⟩ y y _kyn_ "race" < _*kunją_

u u (+a-mut) o ⟨o⟩ o o _fogl_/fugl _"bird" _sjǫ́m_ > _sjám_. The _jj_ and _ww_ of Proto-Germanic became _ggj_ and _ggv_ respectively in Old Norse, a change known as Holtzmann\'s law .


An epenthetic vowel became popular by 1200 in Old Danish, 1250 in Old Swedish and Norwegian, and 1300 in Old Icelandic. An unstressed vowel was used which varied by dialect. Old Norwegian exhibited all three: /u/ was used in West Norwegian south of Bergen , as in _aftur_, _aftor_ (older aptr); North of Bergen, /i/ appeared in _aftir_, _after_; and East Norwegian used /a/, _after_, _aftær_.


Old Norse was a moderately inflected language with high levels of nominal and verbal inflection. Most of the fused morphemes are retained in modern Icelandic, especially in regard to noun case declensions, whereas modern Norwegian in comparison has moved towards more analytical word structures.


Further information: Grammatical gender

Old Norse had three grammatical genders – masculine, feminine and neuter. Adjectives or pronouns referring to a noun must mirror the gender of that noun , so that one says, "heill maðr!" but, "heilt barn!" As in other languages, the grammatical gender of an impersonal noun is generally unrelated to an expected natural gender of that noun. While indeed _karl_, "man" is masculine, _kona_, "woman", is feminine, and _hús_, house, is neuter, so also are _hrafn_ and _kráka_, for "raven" and "crow", masculine and feminine respectively, even in reference to a female raven or a male crow.

All neuter words have identical nominative and accusative forms, and all feminine words have identical nominative and accusative plurals.

The gender of some words' plurals does not agree with that of their singulars, such as _lim_ and _mund_. Some words, such as _hungr_, have multiple genders, evidenced by their determiners being declined in different genders within a given sentence.


Old Norse inherited the Proto-Germanic feature of having neuter as the default gender. This means that when the gender of a noun is unknown, adjectives and pronouns referencing it use the neuter gender forms, rather than the masculine or feminine. Thus, if speaking or writing to a general audience, one would say _velkomit_, "well is it come," rather than _velkominn_ or _velkomin_, "well is come," as one does not know whether the person hearing it is going to be male or female.

One generally sees adjectives in their neuter form when used pronominally for this reason. For words more commonly used in this way (rather than to describe a noun) one sees their neuter forms more often than their masculine or feminine. Normally the masculine form would be the most beneficial form of an adjective to learn first, given that the majority of nouns are masculine. In these cases, however, the most practical form to learn first would be the neuter.


Main article: Old Norse morphology

Nouns, adjectives and pronouns were declined in four grammatical cases—nominative , accusative , genitive and dative , in singular and plural numbers. Adjectives and pronouns were additionally declined in three grammatical genders. Some pronouns (first and second person) could have dual number in addition to singular and plural. The genitive is used partitively , and quite often in compounds and kennings (e.g.: _ Urðarbrunnr _, the well of Urðr; _ Lokasenna _, the gibing of Loki).

There were several classes of nouns within each gender, the following is an example of the "strong" inflectional paradigms :



NOMINATIVE armr armar


GENITIVE arms arma

DATIVE armi ǫrmum/armum



NOMINATIVE hǫll/hall hallir/hallar (OEN)

ACCUSATIVE hǫll/hall hallir/hallar (OEN)

GENITIVE hallar halla

DATIVE hǫllu/hallu hǫllum/hallum



NOMINATIVE troll troll

ACCUSATIVE troll troll

GENITIVE trolls trolla

DATIVE trolli trollum

In addition to these examples there were the numerous "weak" noun paradigms, which had a much higher degree of syncretism between the different cases in its paradigms, i.e. they had fewer forms than the "strong" nouns.

A definite article was realised as a suffix, that retained an independent declension e.g. TROLL (_a troll_) – TROLLIT (_the troll_), HǫLL ( _a hall_) – HǫLLIN (_the hall_), ARMR (_an arm_) – ARMRINN (_the arm_). This definite article, however, was a separate word, and did not become attached to the noun before later stages of the Old Norse period.


_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to OLD NORSE MANUSCRIPTS _.

The earliest inscriptions in Old Norse are runic , from the 8th century. Runes continued to be commonly used until the 15th century and have been recorded to be in use in some form as late as the 19th century in some parts of Sweden. With the conversion to Christianity in the 11th century came the Latin alphabet . The oldest preserved texts in Old Norse in the Latin alphabet date from the middle of the 12th century. Subsequently, Old Norse became the vehicle of a large and varied body of vernacular literature, unique in medieval Europe. Most of the surviving literature was written in Iceland. Best known are the Norse sagas , the Icelanders\' sagas and the mythological literature, but there also survives a large body of religious literature, translations into Old Norse of courtly romances , classical mythology, and the Old Testament, as well as instructional material, grammatical treatises and a large body of letters and official documents.


Most of the innovations that appeared in Old Norse spread evenly through the Old Norse area. As a result, the dialects were very similar and considered to be the same language, a language that they sometimes called the Danish tongue (_Dǫnsk tunga_), sometimes Norse language (_Norrœnt mál_), as evidenced in the following two quotes from Heimskringla by Snorri Sturluson :

_Móðir Dyggva var Drótt, dóttir Danps konungs, sonar Rígs er fyrstr var konungr kallaðr á danska tungu_.

Dyggvi 's mother was Drott, the daughter of king Danp, Ríg 's son, who was the first to be called king in the Danish tongue.

_...stirt var honum norrœnt mál, ok kylfdi mᴊǫk til orðanna, ok hǫfðu margir menn þat mᴊǫk at spotti_.

...the Norse language was hard for him, and he often fumbled for words, which amused people greatly.

However, some changes were geographically limited and so created a dialectal difference between Old West Norse and Old East Norse.

As Proto-Norse evolved into Old Norse, in the 8th century, the effects of the umlauts seem to have been very much the same over the whole Old Norse area. But in later dialects of the language a split occurred mainly between west and east as the use of umlauts began to vary. The typical umlauts (for example _fylla_ from *_fullijan_) were better preserved in the West due to later generalizations in the east where many instances of umlaut were removed (many archaic Eastern texts as well as eastern runic inscriptions however portray the same extent of umlauts as in later Western Old Norse).

All the while, the changes resulting in breaking (for example _hiarta_ from *_hertō_) were more influential in the East probably once again due to generalizations within the inflectional system. This difference was one of the greatest reasons behind the dialectalization that took place in the 9th and 10th centuries, shaping an Old West Norse dialect in Norway and the Atlantic settlements and an Old East Norse dialect in Denmark and Sweden.

Old West Norse and Old Gutnish did not take part in the monophthongization which changed _æi_ (_ei_) into _ē_, _øy_ (_ey_) and _au_ into _ø̄_, nor did certain peripheral dialects of Swedish, as seen in modern Ostrobothnian . Another difference was that Old West Norse lost certain combinations of consonants. The combinations -_mp_-, -_nt_-, and -_nk_- were assimilated into -_pp_-, -_tt_- and -_kk_- in Old West Norse, but this phenomenon was limited in Old East Norse.

Here is a comparison between the two dialects as well as Old Gutnish. It is a transcription from one of the Funbo Runestones (U 990) meaning : _Veðr and Thane and Gunnar raised this stone after Haursi, their father. God help his spirit_: Veðr ok Þegn ok Gunnarr reistu stein þenna at Haursa, fǫður sinn. Guð hjalpi ǫnd hans. (OWN) Veðr ok Þegn ok Gunnarr ræistu stæin þenna at Haursa, faður sinn. Guð hialpi and hans (OEN) Veðr ok Þegn ok Gunnarr raistu stain þenna at Haursa, faður sinn. Guð hialpi and hans (OG)

The OEN original text above is transliterated according to traditional scholarly methods, wherein u-umlaut is not regarded in runic Old East Norse. Modern studies have shown that the positions where it applies are the same as for runic Old West Norse. An alternative and probably more accurate transliteration would therefore render the text in OEN as such: Veðr ok Þegn ok Gunnarr ræistu stæin þenna at Haursa, fǫður sinn. Guð hialpi ǫnd hans (OEN)

Some past participles and other words underwent i-umlaut in Old West Norse but not in Old East Norse dialects. Examples of that are Icelandic slegið/sleginn and tekið/tekinn, which in Swedish are slagit/slagen and tagit/tagen. This can also be seen in the Icelandic and Norwegian words sterkur and sterk ("strong"), which in Swedish is stark as in Old Swedish. These differences can also be seen in comparison between Norwegian and Swedish.


The combinations -mp-, -nt-, and -nk- mostly merged to -pp-, -tt- and -kk- in Old West Norse at around the 7th century, marking the first distinction between the Eastern and Western dialects. :3 The following table illustrates this:


mushroom s(v)ǫppr svamper *swampuz

steep brattr branter *brantaz

widow ekkja ænkia *ain(a)kjōn

to shrink kreppa krimpa *krimpan

to sprint spretta sprinta *sprintan

to sink søkkva sænkva *sankwian

An early difference between Old West Norse and the other dialects was that Old West Norse had the forms _bú_ "dwelling", _kú_ "cow" (accusative) and _trú_ "faith" whereas Old East Norse had _bó_, _kó_ and _tró_. Old West Norse was also characterized by the preservation of _u_-umlaut, which meant that for example Proto-Norse *_tanþu_ "tooth" was pronounced _tǫnn_ and not _tann_ as in post-runic Old East Norse; OWN _gǫ́s_ and runic OEN _gǫ́s_, while post-runic OEN _gás_ "goose".

The earliest body of text appears in runic inscriptions and in poems composed c. 900 by Þjóðólfr of Hvinir (although the poems are not preserved in contemporary sources, but only in much later manuscripts). The earliest manuscripts are from the period 1150–1200 and concern both legal, religious and historical matters. During the 12th and 13th centuries, Trøndelag and Western Norway were the most important areas of the Norwegian kingdom and they shaped Old West Norse as an archaic language with a rich set of declensions. In the body of text that has come down to us from until c. 1300, Old West Norse had little dialect variation, and Old Icelandic does not diverge much more than the Old Norwegian dialects do from each other.

Old Norwegian differentiated early from Old Icelandic by the loss of the consonant _h_ in initial position before _l_, _n_ and _r_, thus whereas Old Icelandic manuscripts might use the form _hnefi_ "fist", Old Norwegian manuscripts might use _nefi_.

From the late 13th century, Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian started to diverge more. After c. 1350, the Black Death and following social upheavals seem to have accelerated language changes in Norway. From the late 14th century, the language used in Norway is generally referred to as Middle Norwegian .

Old West Norse underwent a lengthening of initial vowels at some point, especially in Norwegian, so that OWN _eta_ became _éta,_ ONW _akr_ > _ákr_, OIC _ek_ > _ék_.

Old Icelandic

In Iceland, initial /w/ before /ɾ/ was lost. Compare Icelandic _rangur_ with Norwegian _vrangr_, OEN _vrangʀ_. This change is shared with Old Gutnish.

A specifically Icelandic sound, the long, u-umlauted A, spelled Ǫ́ and pronounced /ɔː/, developed circa the early 11th century. It was short-lived, being marked in the Grammatical Treatises and remaining until the end of the 12th century.

/w/ merged with /v/ during the 12th century. This caused /v/ to become an independent phoneme from /f/, and the written distinction of ⟨v⟩ for /v/ from medial and final ⟨f⟩ to become merely etymological.

Around the 13th century, Œ/Ǿ (/øː/) merged to Æ (/ɛː/). Thus, pre-13th-century _grœnn_ ‘green’ became modern Icelandic _grænn_. The 12th-century Grágás manuscripts distinguish the vowels, and so the Codex Regius copy does as well. However, the 13th-century Codex Regius copy of the Poetic Edda probably relied on newer and/or poorer quality sources—demonstrating either difficulty with or total lack of natural distinction, the manuscripts show separation of the two phonemes in some places, but frequently mix up the letters chosen to distinguish them in others.

Towards the end of the 13th century, Ę (/ɛ/) merged to E (/e/).

Old Norwegian

Further information: Old Norwegian

Around the 11th century, Old Norwegian ⟨hl⟩, ⟨hn⟩, and ⟨hr⟩ became ⟨l⟩, ⟨n⟩, and ⟨r⟩. It is debatable whether the ⟨hC⟩ sequences represented a consonant cluster, /hC/, or a devoicing, /C̥/.

Orthographic evidence suggests that, in a confined dialect of Old Norwegian, /ɔ/ may have been unrounded before /u/, so that u-umlaut was reversed where the _u_ had not been eliminated. e.g. _ǫll_, _ǫllum_ > _ǫll_, _allum_.

Greenlandic Norse

Further information: Greenlandic Norse

This dialect of Old West Norse was spoken by Icelandic colonies in Greenland. When the colonies died out around the 15th century, the dialect went with it. The phoneme /θ/, and some /ð/ merged to /t/, so that Old Icelandic ÞóRðR becomes TORTR.

Text Example

Further information: Old Norse orthography

The following text is from _Alexanders saga_, an Alexander romance . The manuscript, AM 519 a 4to , is dated c. 1280. The facsimile demonstrates the sigla used by scribes to write Old Norse. Many of these were borrowed from Latin. Without familiarity with these abbreviations, the facsimile will be unreadable to many. In addition, reading the manuscript itself requires familiarity with the letterforms of the native script. The abbreviations are expanded in a version with normalized spelling like the standard normalization system's. Comparing this to the spelling of the same text in Modern Icelandic shows that, while pronunciation has changed greatly, spelling has changed little.


ſem oꝩın͛ h̅ſ brıgzloðo h̅o̅ epꞇ͛ þͥ ſe̅ ſıðaʀ mon ſagꞇ verða. Þeſſı ſveın̅ aͬ.* ꝩar ıſcola ſeꞇꞇr ſem ſıðꝩenıa e͛ ꞇıl rıkra man̅a vꞇan-lanꝺz aꞇ laꞇa g͛a vıð boꝛn̅ ſíıƞ́ Meıſꞇarı ꝩar h̅o̅ ꝼengın̅ ſa e͛ arıſꞇoꞇıleſ heꞇ. h̅ ꝩar harðla goðꝛ clercr ⁊ en̅ meſꞇı ſpekıngr aꞇ ꝩıꞇı. ⁊ er h̅ ꝩͬ .xíí. veꞇᷓ gamall aꞇ allꝺrı nalıga alroſcın̅ aꞇ ꝩıꞇı. en ſꞇoꝛhvgaðꝛ u̅ ꝼᷓm alla ſına ıaꝼnallꝺꝛa.

sem óvinir hans brigzluðu honum eftir því, sem síðarr man sagt verða. þessi sveinn Alexander var í skóla settr, sem siðvenja er til ríkra manna útanlands at láta gera við bǫrn sín. meistari var honum fenginn sá, er Aristoteles hét. hann var harðla góðr klerkr ok inn mesti spekingr at viti. ok er hann var 12 vetra gamall at aldri, náliga alroskinn at viti, en stórhugaðr umfram alla sína jafnaldra,

sem óvinir hans brigsluðu honum eftir því, sem síðar mun sagt verða. Þessi sveinn Alexander var í skóla settur, sem siðvenja er til ríkra manna utanlands að láta gera við börn sín. Meistari var honum fenginn sá, er Aristóteles hét. Hann var harðla góður klerkur og hinn mesti spekingur að viti og er hann var 12 vetra gamall að aldri, nálega alroskinn að viti en stórhugaður umfram alla sína jafnaldra

* A printed in uncial . Uncials not encoded separately in Unicode as of this section's writing.


The Rök Runestone in Östergötland , Sweden, is the longest surviving source of early Old East Norse. It is inscribed on both sides.

Old East Norse, between 800 and 1100, is called _ Runic Swedish_ in Sweden and _ Runic Danish_ in Denmark. The use of _Swedish_ and _Danish_ is not for linguistic reasons, as the differences between them are minute at best during the more ancient stages of this dialect group. Changes had a tendency to occur earlier in the Danish region and until this day many Old Danish changes have still not taken place in modern Swedish rendering Swedish, as the more archaic out of the two concerning both the ancient and the modern languages, sometimes by a profound margin but in all differences are still minute. They are called _runic_ because the body of text appears in runes .

Runic Old East Norse is characteristically archaic in form, especially Swedish (which is still true for modern Swedish compared to Danish). In essence it matches or surpasses the archaicness of post-runic Old West Norse which in its turn is generally more archaic than post-runic Old East Norse. While typically "Eastern" in structure, many later post-runic changes and trademarks of EON had yet to happen.

The phoneme _ʀ_, which evolved during the Proto-Norse period from _z_, was still clearly separated from _r_ in most positions, even when being geminated, while in OWN it had already merged with _r_.

Monophthongization of _æi > ē_ and _øy, au > ø̄_ started in mid-10th-century Denmark. Compare runic OEN: _fæigʀ_, _gæiʀʀ_, _haugʀ_, _møydōmʀ_, _diūʀ_; with Post-runic OEN: _fēgher_, _gēr_, _hø̄gher_, _mø̄dōmber_, _diūr_; OWN: _feigr_, _geirr_, _haugr_, _meydómr_, _dýr_; from PN *faigiaz, *gaizaz, *haugaz, *mawi- + dōmaz (maidendom; virginity), *diuza ((wild) animal).

Feminine o-stems often preserve the plural ending -aʀ while in OWN they more often merge with the feminine i-stems: (runic OEN) _*sōlaʀ_, _*hafnaʀ_/_*hamnaʀ_, _*vāgaʀ_ while OWN _sólir_, _hafnir_ and _vágir_ (modern Swedish _solar_, _hamnar_, _vågar_; suns, havens, scales; Danish has mainly lost the distinction between the two stems with both endings now being rendered as -er or -e alternatively for the o-stems).

Vice versa, masculine i-stems with the root ending in either _g_ or _k_ tended to shift the plural ending to that of the ja-stems while OEN kept the original: _drængiaʀ_, _*ælgiaʀ_ and _*bænkiaʀ_ while OWN _drengir_, _elgir_ (elks) and _bekkir_ (modern Danish "drenge", "elge", "bænke", modern Swedish _drängar_, _älgar_, _bänkar_).

The plural ending of ja-stems were mostly preserved while those of OEN often acquired that of the i-stems: _*bæðiaʀ_, _*bækkiaʀ_, _*væfiaʀ_ while OWN _beðir_ (beds), _bekkir_, _vefir_ (modern Swedish _bäddar_, _bäckar_, _vävar_).

Old Danish

Further information: History of Danish

Until the early 12th century, Old East Norse was very much a uniform dialect. It was in Denmark that the first innovations appeared that would differentiate Old Danish from Old Swedish :3 as these innovations spread north unevenly (unlike the earlier changes that spread more evenly over the East Norse area) creating a series of isoglosses going from Zealand to Svealand .

In Old Danish, /hɾ/ merged with /ɾ/ during the 9th century. From the 11th to 14th centuries, the unstressed vowels -_a_, -_o_ and -_e_ (standard normalization -_a_, -_u_ and -_i_) started to merge into -_ə_, represented with the letter _e_. This vowel came to be epenthetic , particularly before _-ʀ_ endings. At the same time, the voiceless stop consonants _p_, _t_ and _k_ became voiced plosives and even fricative consonants . Resulting from these innovations, Danish has _kage_ (cake), _tunger_ (tongues) and _gæster_ (guests) whereas (Standard) Swedish has retained older forms, _kaka_, _tungor_ and _gäster_ (OEN _kaka_, _tungur_, _gæstir_).

Moreover, the Danish pitch accent shared with Norwegian and Swedish changed into _stød _ around this time.

Old Swedish

Further information: Old Swedish

At the end of the 10th and early 11th century initial _h-_ before _l_, _n_ and _r_ was still preserved in the middle and northern parts of Sweden, and is sporadically still preserved in some northern dialects as _g-_, e.g. _gly_ (lukewarm), from _hlýʀ_. The Dalecarlian dialects developed independently from Old Swedish and as such can be considered separate languages from Swedish.

Text Example

This is an extract from _ Västgötalagen _, the Westrogothic law. It is the oldest text written as a manuscript found in Sweden and from the 13th century. It is contemporaneous with most of the Icelandic literature. The text marks the beginning of Old Swedish as a distinct dialect.

Dræpær maþar svænskan man eller smalenskæn, innan konongsrikis man, eigh væstgøskan, bøte firi atta ørtogher ok þrettan markær ok ænga ætar bot. Dræpar maþær danskan man allæ noræn man, bøte niv markum. Dræpær maþær vtlænskan man, eigh ma frid flyia or landi sinu oc j æth hans. Dræpær maþær vtlænskæn prest, bøte sva mykit firi sum hærlænskan man. Præstær skal i bondalaghum væræ. Varþær suþærman dræpin ællær ænskær maþær, ta skal bøta firi marchum fiurum þem sakinæ søkir, ok tvar marchar konongi.

If someone slays a Swede or a Smålander , a man from the kingdom, but not a West Geat , he will pay eight örtugar (20-pence coins) and thirteen marks, but no weregild . If someone slays a Dane or a Norwegian, he will pay nine marks. If someone slays a foreigner, he shall not be banished and have to flee to his clan . If someone slays a foreign priest, he will pay as much as for a fellow countryman. A priest counts as a freeman. If a Southerner is slain or an Englishman, he shall pay four marks to the plaintiff and two marks to the king.


Main article: Old Gutnish

Due to Gotland 's early isolation from the mainland, many features of Old Norse did not spread from or to the island, and Old Gutnish developed as an entirely separate branch from Old East and West Norse. For example, the diphthong _ai_ in _aigu_, _þair_ and _waita_ was not retroactively umlauted to _ei_ as in e.g. Old Icelandic _eigu_, _þeir_ and _veita_. Breaking was especially active in Old Gutnish, leading to forms such as _bjera_ and _bjauþa_, mainland _bera_ and _bjúþa_. Dropping of /w/ in initial /wɾ/ is shared only with Old Icelandic.

Text Example

The Gutasaga is the longest text surviving from Old Gutnish . It was written in the 13th century and dealt with the early history of the Gotlanders. This part relates to the agreement that the Gotlanders had with the Swedish king sometime before the 9th century:

So gingu gutar sielfs wiliandi vndir suia kunung þy at þair mattin frir Oc frelsir sykia suiariki j huerium staþ. vtan tull oc allar utgiftir. So aigu oc suiar sykia gutland firir vtan cornband ellar annur forbuþ. hegnan oc hielp sculdi kunungur gutum at waita. En þair wiþr þorftin. oc kallaþin. sendimen al oc kunungr oc ierl samulaiþ a gutnal þing senda. Oc latta þar taka scatt sinn. þair sendibuþar aighu friþ lysa gutum alla steþi til sykia yfir haf sum upsala kunungi til hoyrir. Oc so þair sum þan wegin aigu hinget sykia.

So, by their own will, the Gotlanders became the subjects of the Swedish king, so that they could travel freely and without risk to any location in the Swedish kingdom without toll and other fees. Likewise, the Swedes had the right to go to Gotland without corn restrictions or other prohibitions. The king was to provide protection and help, when they needed it and asked for it. The king and the jarl shall send emissaries to the Gutnish thing to receive the taxes. These emissaries shall declare free passage for the Gotlanders to all locations in the sea of the king at Uppsala (that is the Baltic Sea was under Swedish control) and likewise for everyone who wanted to travel to Gotland.



See also: History of English § Scandinavian influence , and List of English words of Old Norse origin

Old English and Old Norse were related languages. It is therefore not surprising that many words in Old Norse look familiar to English speakers (e.g., _armr_ (arm), _fótr_ (foot), _land_ (land), _fullr_ (full), _hanga_ (to hang), _standa_ (to stand)). This is because both English and Old Norse stem from a Proto-Germanic mother language. In addition, numerous common, everyday Old Norse words were adopted into the Old English language during the Viking age. A few examples of Old Norse loanwords in modern English are (English/Viking age Old East Norse), in some cases even displacing their Old English cognates:

* NOUNS – _anger_ (angr), _bag_ (baggi), _bait_ (bæit, bæita, bæiti), _band_ (band), _bark_ (bǫrkʀ, stem bark-), _birth_ (byrðr), _dirt_ (drit), _dregs_ (dræggiaʀ), _egg_ (ægg, related to OE. cognate "æg" which became Middle English "eye"/"eai"), _fellow_ (félagi), _gap_ (gap), _husband_ (húsbóndi), _cake_ (kaka), _keel_ (kiǫlʀ, stem also kial-, kil-), _kid_ (kið), _knife_ (knífʀ), _law_ (lǫg, stem lag-), _leg_ (læggʀ), _link_ (hlænkʀ), _loan_ (lán, related to OE. cognate "læn", cf. lend), _race_ (rǫs, stem rás-), _root_ (rót, related to OE. cognate "wyrt", cf. wort ), _sale_ (sala), _scrap_ (skrap), _seat_ (sæti), _sister_ (systir, related to OE. cognate "sweostor"), _skill_ (skial/skil), _skin_ (skinn), _skirt_ (skyrta vs. the native English _shirt_ of the same root), _sky_ (ský), _slaughter_ (slátr), _snare_ (snara), _steak_ (stæik), _thrift_ (þrift), _tidings_ (tíðindi), _trust_ (traust), _window_ (vindauga), _wing_ (væ(i)ngʀ) * VERBS – _are_ (er, displacing OE "sind") _blend_ (blanda), _call_ (kalla), _cast_ (kasta), _clip_ (klippa), _crawl_ (krafla), _cut_ (possibly from ON kuta), _die_ (døyia), _gasp_ (gæispa), _get_ (geta), _give_ (gifa/gefa, related to OE. cognate "giefan"), _glitter_ (glitra), _hit_ (hitta), _lift_ (lyfta), _raise_ (ræisa), _ransack_ (rannsaka), _rid_ (ryðia), _run_ (rinna, stem rinn-/rann-/runn-, related to OE. cognate "rinnan"), _scare_ (skirra), _scrape_ (skrapa), _seem_ (søma), _sprint_ (sprinta), _take_ (taka), _thrive_ (þrífa(s)), _thrust_ (þrysta), _want_ (vanta) * ADJECTIVES – _flat_ (flatr), _happy_ (happ), _ill_ (illr), _likely_ (líklígʀ), _loose_ (lauss), _low_ (lágʀ), _meek_ (miúkʀ), _odd_ (odda), _rotten_ (rotinn/rutinn), _scant_ (skamt), _sly_ (sløgʀ), _weak_ (væikʀ), _wrong_ (vrangʀ) * ADVERBS – _thwart/athwart_ (þvert) * PREPOSITIONS – _till_ (til), _fro_ (frá) * CONJUNCTION – though/tho (þó) * INTERJECTION – _hail_ (hæill), _wassail_ (ves hæill) * PERSONAL PRONOUN – _they_ (þæiʀ), _their_ (þæiʀa), _them_ (þæim) (for which the Anglo-Saxons said _híe_, _hiera_, _him_) * PRENOMINAL ADJECTIVES – _same_ (sami)

In a simple sentence like "They are both weak" the extent of the Old Norse loanwords becomes quite clear ( Old East Norse with archaic pronunciation: "Þæiʀ eʀu báðiʀ wæikiʀ" while Old English "híe syndon bégen (þá) wáce"). The words "they" and "weak" are both borrowed from Old Norse, and the word "both" might also be a borrowing, though this is disputed (cf. German _beide_). While the number of loanwords adopted from the Norse was not as numerous as that of Norman French or Latin, their depth and everyday nature make them a substantial and very important part of every day English speech as they are part of the very core of the modern English vocabulary.

Words like "bull" and "Thursday" are more difficult when it comes to their origins. "Bull" may be from either Old English "bula" or Old Norse "buli", while "Thursday" may be a borrowing, or it could simply be from the Old English "Þunresdæg", which could have been influenced by the Old Norse cognate. The word "are" is from Old English "earun"/"aron", which stems back to Proto-Germanic as well as the Old Norse cognates.


Development of Old Norse vowels to the modern Scandinavian languages OLD NORSE Modern Icelandic Modern Faroese Modern Swedish Modern Danish EXAMPLES

A ⟨A⟩ a(ː) a/ɛaː a/ɑː ⟨a⟩; ɔ/oː ⟨å⟩ (+ld,rd,ng) ⟨a⟩; ɔ/ɔː ⟨å⟩ (+rd) ON _land_ "land": Ic/Fa/Sw/Da/No _land_; ON _dagr_ "day": Ic/Fa _dagur_, Sw/Da/No _dag_; ON _harðr_ "hard": Ic/Fa _harður_, Sw/Da _hård_, No _hard_;

ON _langr_ "long": Ic/Fa _langur_, Sw _lång_, Da/No _lang_

JA ⟨JA⟩ ja(ː) ja/jɛaː (j)ɛ(ː) ⟨(j)ä⟩ jɛ: ⟨jæ⟩; jæ: ⟨je⟩ (+r) ON _hjalpa_ "to help": Ic/Fa _hjálpa_, Sw _hjälpa_, Da _hjælpe_, No _hjelpe_; ON _hjarta_ "heart": Ic/Fa _hjarta_, Sw _hjärta_, Da _hjerte_, NB _hjerte_, NN _hjarta_/_hjarte_

Aː ⟨á⟩ au(ː) ɔ/ɔaː ɔ/oː ⟨å⟩ ɔ/ɒ: ⟨å⟩ ON _láta_ "to let": Ic/Fa _láta_, Sw _låta_, Da _lade_, No _la_

ɛː ⟨æ⟩ ai(ː) a/ɛaː ɛ(ː) ⟨ä⟩

ON _mæla_ "to speak": Ic/Fa _mæla_; ON _sæll_ "happy": Ic _sæll_, Fa _sælur_, Sw _säl_, Da _sæl_

E ⟨E⟩ ɛ(ː) ɛ/eː

ON _menn_ "men": Ic/Fa _menn_, Sw _män_, Da _mænd_, No _menn_; ON _bera_ "to bear": Ic/Fa _bera_, Sw _bära_, Da/No _bære_, NN _bera_; ON _vegr_ "way": Ic/Fa _vegur_, Sw _väg_, Da _vej_, No _veg/vei_

Eː ⟨é⟩ jɛ(ː) a/ɛaː ⟨æ⟩

ON _lét_ "let" (past): Ic _lét_, Fa _læt_, Sw _lät_

I ⟨I⟩ ɪ(ː) ɪ/iː ɪ/iː ⟨i⟩ e ⟨i⟩/ eː ⟨e⟩ ON _kinn_ "cheek": Ic/Fa _kinn_, Sw/Da _kind_, No _kinn_

Iː ⟨í⟩ i(ː) ʊɪ(ː) ʊt͡ʃː ⟨íggj⟩ ⟨i⟩ ON _tíð_ "time": Ic/Fa _tíð_, Sw/Da/No _tid_

ɔ ⟨ǫ⟩ ø > œ(ː) ⟨ö⟩ œ/øː ⟨ø⟩, ɔ/oː ⟨o⟩ ⟨a⟩; ⟨o⟩; ⟨ø⟩ (+r); ⟨å⟩ (+ld,rd,ng) ON _hǫnd_ "hand": Ic _hönd_, Fa _hond_, Sw/NN _hand_, Da/NB _hånd_; ON _nǫs_ "nose": Ic _nös_, Fa _nøs_, Sw/No _nos_, Da _næse_; ON _ǫrn_ "eagle": Ic/Sw _örn_, Fa/Da/No _ørn_; ON _sǫngr_ "song": Ic _söngur_, Fa _songur_, Sw _sång_, Da/NB _sang_, NN _song_

Jɔ ⟨Jǫ⟩ jø > jœ(ː) ⟨jö⟩ jœ/jøː ⟨jø⟩ (j)œ/(j)øː ⟨(j)ø⟩

ON _skjǫldr_ "shield": Ic _skjöldur_, Fa _skjøldur_, Sw _sköld_, Da/No _skjold_; ON _bjǫrn_ "bear": Ic/Sw _björn_, Fa/Da/NN _bjørn_

ɔː ⟨ǫ́⟩ aː > au(ː) ⟨á⟩ ɔ/ɔaː ⟨á⟩, œ/ɔuː ⟨ó⟩ ɔ/oː ⟨å⟩ ⟨å⟩ ON _tá_ (*_tǫ́_) "toe": Ic/Fa _tá_, Sw/Da/No _tå_

O ⟨O⟩ ɔ(ː) ɔ/oː ɔ/oː ⟨o⟩

ON _morginn/morgunn_ "morning": Ic _morgunn_, Fa _morgun_, Sw/NN _morgon_, Da/NB _morgen_

Oː ⟨ó⟩ ou(ː) œ/ɔuː ɛkv ⟨ógv⟩ ʊ/uː ⟨o⟩ ⟨o⟩ ON _bók_ "book": Ic/Fa _bók_, Sw/No _bok_, Da _bog_

U ⟨U⟩ ʏ(ː) ʊ/uː ɵ/ʉː ⟨u⟩

ON _fullr_ "full": Ic/Fa _fullur_, Sw/Da/No _full_

Uː ⟨ú⟩ u(ː) ʏ/ʉuː ɪkv ⟨úgv⟩ ⟨u⟩ ON _hús_ "house": Ic/Fa _hús_, Sw/Da/No _hus_

Jó ⟨Jó⟩ jou(ː) jœ/jɔuː (j)ɛkv ⟨(j)ógv⟩ jɵ/jʉː ⟨ju⟩ ⟨y⟩ ON _bjóða_ "to offer, command": Ic/Fa _bjóða_, Sw _bjuda_, Da/No _byde_

Jú ⟨Jú⟩ ju(ː) jʏ/jʉuː (j)ɪkv ⟨(j)úgv⟩ ON _djúpr_ "deep": Ic/Fa _djúpur_, Sw _djup_, Da _dyb_, NB _dyp_, NN _djup_

ø ⟨ø⟩ ø > œ(ː) ⟨ö⟩ œ/øː ⟨ø⟩ œ/øː ⟨ö⟩

ON _gøra_ "to prepare": Sw _göra_

øː ⟨œ⟩ ɛː > ai(ː) ⟨æ⟩ ⟨ø⟩ ON _grœnn_ "green": Ic _grænn_, Fa _grønur_, Sw _grön_, Da _grøn_, No _grønn_

Y ⟨Y⟩ ɪ(ː) ɪ/iː ⟨ö⟩; ⟨y⟩ ON _dyrr_ "door": Ic/Fa _dyr_, Sw _dörr_, Da/No _dør_ ON _fylla_ "to fill": Ic _fylla_, Fa/Sw _fylla_, Da _fylde_, No _fylle_

Yː ⟨ý⟩ i(ː) ʊɪ(ː) ʊt͡ʃː ⟨ýggj⟩ ʏ/yː ⟨y⟩ ⟨y⟩ ON _dýrr_ "dear": Ic _dýr_, Fa _dýrur_, Sw/Da/No _dyr_

ɛI ⟨EI⟩ ei(ː) aɪ(ː) at͡ʃː ⟨aiggj⟩ e(ː) ⟨e⟩ ⟨e⟩ ON _steinn_ "stone": Ic _steinn_, Fa _steinur_, Sw/Da/NB _sten_, NN _stein_

œY ⟨EY⟩ ei(ː) ɔɪ(ː) ⟨oy⟩ ɔt͡ʃː ⟨oyggj⟩ œ/øː ⟨ö⟩ ⟨ø⟩ ON _ey_ "island": Ic _ey_, Fa _oyggj_, Sw _ö_, Da _ø_, No _øy_

ɔU ⟨AU⟩ øy(ː) ɛ/ɛɪː ⟨ey⟩ ɛt͡ʃː ⟨eyggj⟩ ON _draumr_ "dream": Ic _draumur_, Fa _dreymur_, Sw _dröm_, Da/NB _drøm_, NN _draum_

* ^ NB = Bokmål Norwegian , a mixture of Danish and pure Norwegian; NN = Nynorsk Norwegian , based on West Norwegian dialects and without Danish influence; No = same in both forms of Norwegian. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Vowel length in the modern Scandinavian languages does not stem from Old Norse vowel length. In all of the modern languages, Old Norse vowel length was lost, and vowel length became allophonically determined by syllable structure, with long vowels occurring when followed by zero or one consonants (and some clusters, e.g. in Icelandic, most clusters of obstruent to obstruent + , or , such as , , etc.); short vowels occurred when followed by most consonant clusters, including double consonants . Often, pairs of short and long vowels became differentiated in quality before the loss of vowel length and thus did not end up merging; e.g. Old Norse /a aː i iː/ became Icelandic /a au ɪ i/, all of which can occur allophonically short or long. In the mainland Scandinavian languages, double consonants were reduced to single consonants, making the new vowel length phonemic. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ When not followed by a consonant. * ^ _A_ _B_ ⟨o⟩ or (before /r/) ⟨ø⟩ in some isolated words, but the tendency was to restore ⟨a⟩. * ^ When un-umlauted */u/ is still present elsewhere in the paradigm.

Pronunciation of vowels in various Scandinavian languages SPELLING OLD NORSE Modern Icelandic Modern Faroese Modern Swedish

⟨A⟩ a a(ː) a/ɛaː a/ɑː

⟨á⟩ aː au(ː) ɔ/ɔaː –

⟨ä⟩ – – – ɛ/ɛː

⟨å⟩ – – – ɔ/oː

⟨æ⟩ ɛː ai(ː) a/ɛaː –

⟨E⟩ e ɛ(ː) ɛ/eː e/eː

⟨é⟩ eː jɛ(ː) – –

⟨I⟩ i ɪ(ː) ɪ/iː ɪ/iː

⟨í⟩ iː i(ː) ʊɪ(ː) –

⟨O⟩ o ɔ(ː) ɔ/oː ʊ/uː; ɔ/oː

⟨ó⟩ oː ou(ː) œ/ɔuː –

⟨ǫ⟩ ɔ – – –

⟨ǫ́⟩ ɔː – – –

⟨ö⟩ – ø > œ(ː) – œ/øː

⟨ø⟩ ø – œ/øː –

⟨œ⟩ øː – – –

⟨U⟩ u ʏ(ː) ʊ/uː ɵ/ʉː

⟨ú⟩ uː u(ː) ʏ/ʉuː –

⟨Y⟩ y ɪ(ː) ɪ/iː ʏ/yː

⟨ý⟩ yː i(ː) ʊɪ(ː) –

⟨EI⟩ ɛi ei(ː) aɪ(ː) –

⟨EY⟩ œy ei(ː) ɛ/ɛɪː –

⟨OY⟩ – – ɔɪ(ː) –

⟨AU⟩ ɔu øy(ː) – –


* Germanic a-mutation * _ An Introduction to Old Norse _—A common textbook on the language * List of English words of Old Norse origin * Old Norse morphology —The grammar of the language. * Old Norse orthography —The spelling of the language * Old Norse poetry * Proto-Norse language —The Scandinavian dialect of Proto-Germanic that developed into Old Norse


* Greenlandic Norse * Old Danish * Old Icelandic * Old Gutnish * Old Norwegian * Old Swedish


* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Old Norse". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ Torp, Arne, Lars S. Vikør (1993) * ^ Peter Tunstall. _Review of The syntax of Old Norse: With a survey of the inflectional morphology and a complete bibliography_. Primary source. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Adams, Charles Kendall (1895). _Johnson\'s Universal Cyclopedia: A New Edition_. D. Appleton, A. J. Johnson. pp. 336–8. * ^ _A_ _B_ Article _Nordiska språk_, section _Historia_, subsection _Omkring 800–1100_, in _ Nationalencyklopedin _ (1994). * ^ J. van der Auwera _202. The typological development of the Nordic languages I: Phonology_. 1. Proto-Nordic: 1853. 2. Common Nordic: 1855. 3. Old East Nordic: 1856, 1859. 4. Old West Nordic: 1859 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ M. Schulte. "Phonological developments from Old Nordic to Early Modern Nordic I: West Scandinavian." _The Nordic languages vol. 2_ pp. 1081–1096. Monophthongization: page 1082; /øy/: page 1082; Reduced vowels: page 1085 * ^ Haugen, Einar (1950). "First Grammatical Treatise. The Earliest Germanic Phonology". _Language_. 26 (4): 4–64. doi :10.2307/522272 .

* ^ Orrin W. Robinson, _ Old English and Its Closest Relatives_, pg. 83 * ^ Henry Sweet, _An Icelandic Primer_ (1895) pg. 5 * ^ Vigfússon, Powell ; An Icelandic Prose Reader: with Notes, Grammar, and Glossary; #: Chapter * ^ Benediktsson, H. (1963). "Some Aspects of Nordic Umlaut and Breaking". _Language_. 39 (3): 409–431. doi :10.2307/411124 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Ragnvald Iversen, _Norrøn Grammatikk_, 1961, p 24 and onwards. * ^ Old Norse for Beginners Lesson 5 * ^ A. G. Noreen _Abriss Der Altnordischen (Altislndischen) Grammatik_ pg. 12 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Oskar Bandle, et al; _The Nordic Languages, An International Handbook on the History of the North Germanic Languages_, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 2002 * ^ Old Norse for Beginners: Grammar Reference – Neuter nouns * ^ Old Norse for Beginners: Grammar Reference – Feminine nouns * ^ MeNoTa Handbook v.2.0 – Ch. 8.3#id391306341240.2.1 Gender * ^ _Zoëga's_ – Letter H – Entry hungr * ^ _Early England and the Great Gender Shift: Old English and Old Norse Straddling the Horns of the Default Dilemma_ Rice, Steinmetz (referenced in this abstract) * ^ Trond Tosterud, "Gender assignment in Old Norse," _Lingua_ 116:9 (Sep. 2006), pp. 1441–1463 * ^ _See, e.g.,_ O'Donoghue 22–102. * ^ Ynglingasaga * ^ http://www.heimskringla.no/original/heimskringla/sagasigurdarjorsalafara.php * ^ The Old Norse dialect areas * ^ The word stark in _Svensk etymologisk ordbok_, "Swedish etymological dictionary" * ^ _Further Old Norse Secondary Formations_; Albert Murray Sturtevant; p. 457 * ^ Codex Regius – Vǫluspá * ^ Hock, Hans Henrich . _Principles of Historical Linguistics_. 1986 p. 149 * ^ _A_ _B_ Andrea de Leeuw van Weenen, University of Leiden, University of Greifswald, ed. 2009. AM 519 a 4to: Alexanders saga, fol. 1v, l. 10–14. Menota ms. 14, v. 1.0. Bergen: Medieval Nordic Text Archive. Facsimile; Normalization * ^ Tarrin Wills, _The Anonymous Verse in the_ Third Grammatical Treatise Retrieved from Internet Archive January 13, 2014. * ^ Kroonen, Guus. "On the origins of the Elfdalian nasal vowels from the perspective of diachronic dialectology and Germanic etymology" (PDF). _Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics_. University of Copenhagen. Retrieved 27 January 2016. "In many aspects, Elfdalian, takes up a middle position between East and West Nordic. However, it shares some innovations with West Nordic, but none with East Nordic. This invalidates the claim that Elfdalian split off from Old Swedish." * ^ _Gutasaga_ §§ 4–5. * ^ O'Donoghue 190–201; Lass 187–188. * ^ _A_ _B_ Helfenstein, James (1870). _A Comparative Grammar of the Teutonic Languages: Being at the Same Time a Historical Grammar of the English Language_. London: MacMillan and Co.


* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Introduction to Letter A * ^ Introduction to Letter Ö (Ø): 1, 2 * ^ Formation of Words – Vowel Changes; Page 1: Umlaut, Breaking (Resolution); Page 2: Breaking, Absorption and Contraction, Ablaut * ^ Noun Tables, Remarks on the 1st Strong Masculine Declension (Assim.: Note 3.α) * ^ References to words labelled heterogeneous in gender: Lilja-Linditre; Muna-Mundr * ^ Introduction to Letter R * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Introduction to Letter Æ (Œ) * ^ Introduction to Letter E: 1, 2


* Cleasby, Richard. Vigfússon, Guðbrandur. _An Icelandic-English Dictionary_. Oxford: Clarendon Press, (1874). @: Germanic Lexicon Project (images, text). Google Books (images)

* Gutasagan, Lars Aronsson, ed. Project Runeberg (1997), Facing Text Translation by Peter Tunstall * Harbert, Wayne. _The Germanic Languages_. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2007) * Haugan, Jens. _Right Dislocated 'Subjects' in Old Norse_ (Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax Number 62. 1998) "WPSS". Norms.uit.no. Retrieved 2010-05-02. * Haugen, Einar (1950). "First Grammatical Treatise. The Earliest Germanic Phonology". _Language_. 26 (4): 4–64. doi :10.2307/522272 .

* Iversen, Ragnvald. _Norrøn Grammatikk_, Aschehoug & Co., Oslo, 1961. * Lass, Roger. _Old English: A Historical Linguistic Companion_. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (1993).



* Byock, Jesse (2013). _Viking Language – Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas_. Jules William Press. ISBN 978-1-4802-1644-0 . * Gordon, Eric V.; A. R. Taylor (1981). _An Introduction to Old Norse_. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-811184-9 . * Sweet, Henry (1895). _An Icelandic Primer, with Grammar, Notes, and Glossary_. Univerzita Karlova. * Torp, Arne, Lars S. Vikør (1993), Hovuddrag i norsk språkhistorie (3.utgåve), Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS 2003


* _An Icelandic–English Dictionary_ (1874), Richard Cleasby and Gudbrand Vigfusson . @ Internet Archive, Germanic Lexicon Project (HTML, PNG, TIFF) * G. T. Zoëga, _A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic_ (1910), Univerzita Karlova – UK (in Czech) * "Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog – A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose." Copenhagen 1989–. (Scientific dictionary of Old Norse Prose texts. Digital version of printed volumes 1–3 (a-em), word-list, Indices and all the dictionary's slips/citations (en-ǫ) as well as newly edited material available on-line. (in Danish) and (in English)) * Jan de Vries, _Altnordisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch_ (1977) * Finnur Jónsson, _Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis_ (1931): a dictionary of Old Norse poetry ,


_ THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (January 2010)_

* Bayldon, George. _An Elementary Grammar of the Old Norse or Icelandic Language_ London : Williams and Norgate , 1870. * Faarlund, Jan Terje . _The Syntax of Old Norse_ New York : Oxford University Press , (2004).


_ OLD NORSE TEST _ of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator

_ OLD NORSE REPOSITORY _ of Wikisource , the free library

_ For a list of words relating to Old Norse, see the OLD NORSE LANGUAGE_ category of words in Wiktionary , the free dictionary.

* Heimskringla.no, an online collection of Old Norse source material * Old Norse sound sample * Old Norse loans in Old and Middle English, and their legacy in the dialects of England and modern standard English

* Old Norse basic lexicon at the Global Lexicostatistical Database

* ^ Geir T. Zoëga. "A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic — Словари — Северная Слава". norroen.info. Retrieved 2016-09-04. * ^ "Lexicon Poeticum : Index Page". Notendur.hi.is. 2003-03-08. Retrieved 2016-09-04.

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