dǫnsk tunga, dansk tunga (''Danish tongue''), norrœnt mál (''Norse language'')
|Spoken in:||Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroes, Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, Isle of Man, Normandie, Vinland, the Volga and places in between|
|Language extinction:||developed into the various North Germanic languages by the 14th century|
|Writing system:||Runic, later Latin alphabet (Old Norse variant). Terminology and usage As a cultural term "Scandinavia" has no official definition and is subject to usage by those who identify with the culture in question as well Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland ( ( Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland ( Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat meaning "Land of the Greenlanders" Grønland is a self-governing Danish Province located between the The Faroe Islands or Faeroe Islands or simply Faroe(s or Faeroes (Føroyar meaning " Sheep Islands" Færøerne Old Norse Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world History The Roman occupation of Britain was the first period in which the area of present-day England and Wales was administered as a single unit (with the exception The Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin ˈɛlʲən ˈvanɪn or Mann (Mannin) is a self-governing Crown dependency, located in the Irish Sea at the geographical Normandy (Normandie Norman: Normaundie) is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by the Norseman Leifr Eiríksson, about the year A According to some definitions an extinct language is a Language which no longer has any speakers, whereas a dead language is a language which is no longer spoken The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages A writing system is a type of Symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in Language. The Old Norse alphabet consists of 32 letters derived from the Latin alphabet: See also Alphabets derived from the Latin|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages ISO 639 -3 (ISO 639-32007 is an international standard for Language codes The standard describes three‐letter codes for identifying languages In Computing, Unicode is an Industry standard allowing Computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in most of the world's|
Old Norse is the North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300. The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages Terminology and usage As a cultural term "Scandinavia" has no official definition and is subject to usage by those who identify with the culture in question as well Viking Age is the term denoting the years from about 700 to 1066 in European history.
It evolved from the older Proto-Norse, in the 8th century and evolved into the modern North Germanic languages after the Viking Age. Proto-Norse (also Proto-Scandinavian, Primitive Norse, Proto-Nordic, Ancient Nordic, Old Scandinavian and Proto-North Germanic
Most speakers of Old Norse dialects spoke the Old East Norse dialect in what are present-date Denmark and Sweden. In texts which date from Medieval Icelandic time, writers wrote with Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian dialects. Old Norwegian is a term used for the Old Norse language as spoken and written in Norway in the Middle Ages. These dialects derive from the Old West Norse dialect.
No clear geographical boundary exists between the two dialects. Old East Norse traits were found in eastern Norway and Old West Norse traits were found in western Sweden.
Some consider Old Gutnish, sometimes included in Old East Norse because it is the least known, a third dialect since it shares traits with both Old West Norse and Old East Norse and also has developed its own. Old Gutnish was the dialect of Old Norse that was spoken on the island of Gotland.
The Icelandic Gray Goose Laws states that Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders and Danes spoke the same language, dǫnsk tunga. Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland ( ( Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland ( See also Medieval Scandinavian laws The Gray Goose Laws (Icelandic Grágás) were a collection of laws from the Icelandic Commonwealth period consisting Speakers of the eastern dialect, spoken in Sweden and Denmark, would have said dansk tunga (Danish tongue) or norrønt mál (Nordic language) to name their language.
Some claim that speakers of Old Norse and speakers of Old English, Old Saxon and Old Low Franconian would have been able to understand each other. Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German ( ISO 639 -3 code osx) is the earliest recorded form of Low German, documented from the 9th century However, this claim may be an overstatement.
Gradually, Old Norse splintered into the modern North Germanic languages: Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages Icelandic ( is a North Germanic language, the language of Iceland. Faroese ( føroyskt ˈføːɹɪst or) often also spelled Faeroese (cf Norwegian ( norsk) is a North Germanic Language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is an official language Danish ( d̥ænsɡ̊ is one of the North Germanic languages (also called Scandinavian languages a sub-group of the Germanic branch of the Swedish ( is a North Germanic language spoken by more than nine million people predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along the
Modern Icelandic is closest to Old Norse. Written modern Icelandic derives from Old Norse/modern Icelandic phoneme system. Contemporary Icelandic-speakers can understand written Old Norse, which differs slightly in spelling as well as semantics and word order. However, pronunciation, particularly of the vowel phonemes, has changed at least as much as 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 mutual intelligibility. In Linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between Languages in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand 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. Middle Low German ( ISO 639 -3 code gml) is a Language that is the descendant of Old Saxon and is the ancestor of modern Low German. 
Old Icelandic was essentially identical to Old Norwegian and together they formed the Old West Norse dialect of Old Norse. Old Gutnish was the dialect of Old Norse that was spoken on the island of Gotland. Crimean Gothic was a Germanic dialect spoken by the Crimean Goths in some isolated locations in Crimea (now in Ukraine) until the late 18th The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. Old Norwegian is a term used for the Old Norse language as spoken and written in Norway in the Middle Ages. The Old East Norse dialect was spoken in Denmark and Sweden and settlements in Russia, England and Normandy. The Kingdom of Denmark ( ˈd̥ænmɑɡ̊ (archaic ˈd̥anmɑːɡ̊ commonly known as Denmark, is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation. Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Normandy (Normandie Norman: Normaundie) is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. The Old Gutnish dialect was spoken in Gotland and in various settlements in the East. Old Gutnish was the dialect of Old Norse that was spoken on the island of Gotland. is a county, province and municipality of Sweden and the largest Island in the Baltic Sea. In the 11th century, it was the most widely spoken European language ranging from Vinland in the West to the Volga in the East. Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by the Norseman Leifr Eiríksson, about the year A In Russia it survived longest in Novgorod and probably lasted into the 13th century. Veliky Novgorod (Вели́кий Но́вгород is the foremost historic city of North-Western Russia and the administrative center of Novgorod 
Its modern descendants are the West Scandinavian languages of Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian and the extinct Norn language of the Orkney and the Shetland Islands as well as the East Scandinavian languages of Danish and Swedish. Icelandic ( is a North Germanic language, the language of Iceland. Faroese ( føroyskt ˈføːɹɪst or) often also spelled Faeroese (cf Norwegian ( norsk) is a North Germanic Language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is an official language Norn is an extinct North Germanic language that was spoken on Shetland and Orkney, off the north coast of mainland Scotland, and in Orkney (also known as the Orkney Islands or incorrectly the Orkneys) is an Archipelago in northern Scotland, situated 10 miles (16 km north Shetland (formerly spelled Zetland, from etland; Old Norse non Hjaltland; Sealtainn is an Archipelago off the northeast coast of Danish ( d̥ænsɡ̊ is one of the North Germanic languages (also called Scandinavian languages a sub-group of the Germanic branch of the Swedish ( is a North Germanic language spoken by more than nine million people predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along the Norwegian has descended from West Norse (West Scandinavian), but over the centuries it has been heavily influenced by East Norse (East Scandinavian).
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. The term Dane may refer to People with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity whether living in Denmark, emigrants or the descendants of emigrants The Faroe Islands or Faeroe Islands or simply Faroe(s or Faeroes (Føroyar meaning " Sheep Islands" Færøerne Old Norse Old Norse also had an influence on English dialects and particularly Lowland Scots which contains many Old Norse loanwords. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Scots ( The Scots leid) refers to Anglic varieties derived from early northern Middle English spoken in parts of Scotland and Northern A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one Language from another with little or no translation It also influenced the development of the Norman language. Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. The northern Norman can be classified in the septentrional Oil languages with Picard and
Various other languages, which are not closely related, have been heavily influenced by Norse, particularly the Norman dialects and Scottish Gaelic. Scottish Gaelic ( Gàidhlig) is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. Russian, Finnish and Estonian also have a number of Norse loanwords; the words "Rus" and "Russia", according to one theory, may be derivatives from "Rus", the name of a Norse tribe (see Etymology of Rus and derivatives). Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages Finnish ( or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (92% As of 2006) and by ethnic Finns outside Estonian (; ˈeːsti ˈkeːl is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1 Rus’ (Русь rusʲ Русичи Русы are an ancient people whose name survives in the cognates Russians, Rusyns, and Ruthenians Also, the current Finnish words for Sweden and Swedish are Ruotsi and Ruotsalainen respectively.
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 variously marked with an accent, unmarked or less frequently geminated. All phonemes have, more or less, the expected phonetic realization.
|Front vowels||Back vowels|
Some y, yː, ø, øː, e, and all æː were obtained by i-mutation from u, uː, o, oː, a, and aː respectively. I-mutation (also known as umlaut, front mutation, i-umlaut, i/j-mutation or i/j-umlaut) is an important type of Sound change
Some y, yː, ø, øː, and all ɒ, ɒː were obtained by u-mutation from i, iː, e, eː, and a, aː respectively. A -mutation is a metaphonic process supposed to have taken place in late Proto-Germanic (i
The long open back rounded vowel /ɒː/ does not appear in Old Norse texts of the classical period. It seems to have existed in an earlier stage of the language, and to have merged with /aː/ before the classical period. 
Old Norse has six stop phonemes. Of these /p/ is rare word-initially and /d/ and /b/ do not occur between vowels, because of the fricative allophones of the Proto-Germanic language (e. In Phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar speech sounds ( Phones that belong to the same Phoneme. Proto-Germanic, or Common Germanic, is the hypothetical common ancestor ( Proto-language) of all the Germanic languages such as modern English g. *b *[β] > v between vowels). The /g/ phoneme is realized as a voiced velar fricative [ɣ] inside words and wordfinally, except when it is geminated. In Phonetics, gemination happens when a spoken Consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short Consonant.
|Stop||p b||t d||k g|
|Fricative||f (v)||θ (ð)||s||(x) (ɣ)||h|
The velar fricative [x] is an allophone of /k/ and /ɣ/ before /s/ and /t/.
The standardized Old Norse spelling was created in the 19th century, and is for the most part phonemic. The Old Norse alphabet consists of 32 letters derived from the Latin alphabet: See also Alphabets derived from the Latin The Orthography of the Old Norse language since the introduction of the Latin alphabet in Iceland was varied historically The most notable deviation is that the non-phonemic difference between the voiced and the unvoiced dental fricatives is marked - the oldest texts as well as runic inscriptions use 'þ' exclusively. Long vowels are denoted with acutes. Most other letters are written with the same glyph as the IPA phoneme, except as shown in the table below.
There was no standardized orthography in use in the Middle ages. A modified version of the letter Wynn called Vend was used briefly for the sounds /u/, /v/, and /w/. Wynn ( (also spelled wen, ƿynn, or ƿen) was a letter of the Old English alphabet. Vend is a letter of Old Norse. It was used to represent the sound /u/ /v/ and /w/ Long vowels were sometimes marked with acutes, but also sometimes left unmarked or geminated.
|Phoneme||9th-10th c.||11th-13th c.||12th-14th c.||Standardized West Norse|
|/v/||ᚠ||ᚡ||f, ff, u, ffu||f|
|/w/||ᚢ||ᚢ||u, w, ƿ||v|
|Phoneme||9th-10th c.||11th-13th c.||12th-14th c.||Printed West Norse|
|/iː/||ᛁ||ᛁ||i, ii, í||í|
|/i/ (unstressed)||ᛁ||ᛁ , ᛅ||i, e, æ||i|
|/eː/||ᛁ||ᚽ||e, ee, é, æ, ææ||é|
|/e/||ᛁ, ᛁᚬ||ᛅ||e, æ||e|
|/æː/||ᛅ, ᚬ||ᛅ||æ, ææ, ę||æ|
|/æ/||ᛅ, ᚬ||ᛅ||e, ę||e|
|/aː/||ᛅ, ᚬ||ᛆ||a, aa||á|
|/a/ (unstressed)||ᛅ, ᚬ||ᛆ||a, æ||a|
|/yː/||ᚢ||ᚤ, ᛦ||y, yy||ý|
|/øː/||ᚢ||ᚯ||ø, øø, ǿ, ǫ||œ|
|/ø/||ᚢ , ᛅᚢ||ᚯ||ø, ǫ||ø|
|/uː/||ᚢ||ᚢ||u, uu, ú||ú|
|/u/ (unstressed)||ᚢ||ᚢ, ᚮ||u, o||u|
|/oː/||ᚢ||ᚮ||o, oo, ó||ó|
|/ɒː > aː/||ᛅ, ᛅᚢ||ᛆ||a, aa, á, ó||á, ǫ́|
|/ɒ/||ᛅ, ᛅᚢ||ᛆ||W ǫ, o / E a, ø||ǫ|
|/juː/||ᛁ ᚢ||ᛁ ᚢ||iu, iú||jú|
|/joː/||ᛁ ᚢ||ᛁ ᚢ||W io, ió / E iu||jó|
|/jɒ/||ᛁ ᛅ||ᛁ ᛆ||W io, iǫ / E io, iø||jǫ|
|/ja/||ᛁ ᛅ||ᛁ ᛆ||ia||ja|
|/æi/||ᛅᛁ||ᛅᛁ / ᚽ||W ei / E e, ee||e|
|/ɒu/||ᛅᚢ||ᛆᚢ / ᚯ||W au / E ø, øø||au|
|/øy/||ᛅᚢ||ᛆᚢ / ᚯ||W ey / E ø, øø||ey|
Old Norse was a highly inflected language. In Grammar, inflection or inflexion is the way language handles grammatical relations and relational categories such as tense, mood, voice Most of the grammatical complexity is retained in modern Icelandic, whereas modern Norwegian has a much simplified grammatical system.
Old Norse nouns could have three grammatical genders – masculine, feminine or neuter. In Linguistics, grammatical genders, sometimes also called Noun classes are classes of nouns reflected in the behavior of associated words every noun must belong Nouns, adjectives and pronouns were declined in four grammatical cases – nominative, genitive, dative and accusative, in singular and plural. In Grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a Noun or Pronoun, giving more information about the In Linguistics and Grammar, a pronoun is a Pro-form that substitutes for a (including a noun phrase consisting of a single Noun) with or In Linguistics, declension (or declination) is the occurrence of Inflection in Nouns Pronouns and Adjectives indicating The nominative case is a Grammatical case for a Noun, which generally marks the subject of a Verb, as opposed to its object or other In Grammar, the genitive case or possessive case (also called the second case) is the case that marks a Noun as modifying another The dative case is a Grammatical case generally used to indicate the Noun to whom something is given The accusative case ( abbreviated ACC) of a Noun is the Grammatical case used to mark the Direct object of a Transitive Plural is a Grammatical number, typically referring to more than one of the Referent in the real world Some pronouns (first and second person) could have dual number in addition to singular and plural. Dual is a Grammatical number that some languages use in addition to singular and Plural.
There were several classes of nouns within each gender, the following is an example of some typical inflectional paradigms:
|The masculine noun armr (English arm)|
|The feminine noun hǫll (OWN), hall (OEN) (English hall)|
|The neuter noun troll (English troll):|
The definite article was expressed as a suffix, e. In Grammar, inflection or inflexion is the way language handles grammatical relations and relational categories such as tense, mood, voice g. troll (a troll) – trollit (the troll), hǫll ( a hall) – hǫllin (the hall), armr (an arm) – armrinn (the arm).
Verbs were conjugated in person and number, in present and past tense, in indicative, imperative and subjunctive mood. The Germanic language family is one of the language groups which resulted from the breakup of Proto-Indo-European (PIE In Linguistics, conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a Verb, Noun or Adjective from its Principal parts by Inflection In Grammar, the subjunctive mood (sometimes referred to as the conjunctive mood) is a Verb mood that exists in many languages Grammatical mood is one of a set of distinctive Verb forms that are used to signal modality.
|A. WEAK VERBS, i. In Germanic languages, including English, weak verbs are by far the largest group of verbs which are therefore often regarded as the norm though historically they e. Verbs in which the preterite is formed by adding a termination.|
characteristic vowel a
characteristic vowel i
characteristic vowel i
characteristic vowel i
|IMPERAT.||boð-a||kall-a||dœm||fylg||gleð||spyr||vak (vak-i)||dug (dug-i)|
|B. STRONG VERBS, i. In the Germanic languages strong verbs are those which mark their past tenses by means of ablaut. e. Verbs in which the Preterite and Participle Passive are formed by changing the Root Vowel.|
|1st Class||2nd Class||3rd Class||4th Class||5th and 6th Class||7th Class|
|Ablaut patterns||i (e) : a : u||í : ei : i||jó : au : u.||a : ó : a||e : a : á : e / o||á (a): é (e) : á (a)|
au : jó : au
|THE VERB SUBSTANTIVE|
|INDIC. A feature common to all Indo-European languages is the presence of a Verb corresponding to the English verb to be.||Pres.||Sing.||1.||em||Pret.||var (vas)||IMPERAT.||SUBJ.||Pres.||sjá,||sé||Pret.||vær-a||INFIN.||ver-a||PAST PART.||ver-it|
|3.||er (es)||var (vas)||sé||vær-i|
|TEN VERBS WITH PRESENT IN PRETERITE FORM. Following the convention in Historical linguistics, this article marks unattested reconstructed words with an asterisk|
|as regular weak verbs|
|as regular weak verbs|
|as regular weak verbs|
|EIGHT VERBS WITH THE PRETERITE IN -ra.|
|D. VERBS WITH THE REFLEXIVE OR RECIPROCAL SUFFIX -sk, -z, -st (-mk). In Grammar, a reflexive verb is a Verb whose semantic agent and patient (typically represented syntactically by the subject and the direct object are the A reciprocal is a linguistic structure that marks a particular kind of relationship between two noun phrases|
|PART.||Pass.||Neut.||kalla-zt, láti-zt, (glað-zt, gefi-zt, bori-zt,) etc.|
|E. VERBS WITH THE NEGATIVE SUFFIX.|
|3.||er-at (es-at)||var-at (vas-at)||skal-at||skyldi-t||mon-at||mundi-t||hyggr-at||átti-t|
|IMPERAT.||ver-at-tu (be not thou!), lát-at-tu (let not thou!), grát-at-tu (weep not thou!), etc.|
The earliest inscriptions in Old Norse are runic, from the 8th century. The 8th century is the period from 701 to 800 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. 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. Vernacular refers to the Native language of a country or a locality 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, the Old Testament, as well as instructional material, grammatical treatises and a large body of letters and official documents. The sagas (from Icelandic saga, plural sögur) are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history about early Viking voyages The Sagas of Icelanders ( Icelandic: Íslendingasögur)&mdashmany of which are also known as family sagas &mdashare prose histories describing As a Literary genre of High culture, romance or chivalric romance refers to a style of heroic Prose and verse Narrative 
Old English and Old Norse were closely related languages, and 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), etc. This is because both English and Old Norse date back to Proto-Germanic. Proto-Germanic, or Common Germanic, is the hypothetical common ancestor ( Proto-language) of all the Germanic languages such as modern English In addition, a large number of common every day Old Norse words mainly of East Norse origin were adopted into the Old English language during the Viking age, becoming loanwords. A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one Language from another with little or no translation A few examples of Old Norse loanwords in modern English are (English/Viking age Old East Norse):
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: "ÞæiR eRu báðiR wæikiR" 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 still disputed by some. While the number of loanwords adopted from the Scandinavians wasn't as numerous as that of Norman French or Latin, their depth and every day 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've been influenced by the Old Norse cognate. The word "are" is from Old English "earun"/"aron" as well as the Old Norse cognates.
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. The 8th century is the period from 701 to 800 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. In Linguistics, umlaut (from German um - "around"/"the other way" + Laut "sound" is a process whereby a 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 *fullian) 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. In Historical linguistics, vowel breaking is the change of a Monophthong into a Diphthong or Triphthong. 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. The 9th century is the period from 801 to 900 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional The Kingdom of Denmark ( ˈd̥ænmɑɡ̊ (archaic ˈd̥anmɑːɡ̊ commonly known as Denmark, is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation.
A second 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.
|English||Old West Norse||Old East Norse|
However, these differences were an exception. 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. Heimskringla is the best known of the Old Norse Kings' sagas. Snorri Sturluson (1178 – September 23, 1241) was an Icelandic historian poet and politician  Dyggve's mother was Drott, the daughter of king Danp, Ríg's son, who was the first to be called king in the Danish tongue. Dyggvi or Dyggve was a mythological Swedish king of the House of Ynglings He died in bed and never reached Valhalla. Drightin ( Old English: dryhtin, Old Norse: dróttin) was a northern European title for nobility corresponding to "prince" in a broader
…stirt var honum norrœnt mál, ok kylfdi mJǫk til orðanna, ok hǫfðu margir menn þat mJǫk at spotti.  …the Norse language was hard for him, and he often fumbled for words, which amused people greatly.
Here is a comparison between the two dialects as well as Old Gutnish. It is a transcription from one of the Funbo Runestones (U990) meaning : Veðr and Thane and Gunnar raised this stone after Haursi, their father. The Funbo runestones constitute a group of four remaining Runestones from Funbo in the Swedish province of Uppland, and which were raised by members of God help his spirit:
The OEN original text above is transliterated according to traditional scholar methods meaning u-umlaut is not regarded in runic Old East Norse even though more recent 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:
Most of the innovations that appeared in Old Norse spread evenly through the Old Norse area, but some were geographically limited and created a dialectal difference between Old West Norse and Old East Norse. One difference was that 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. An early difference was that Old West Norse had the forms bú (dwelling), kú (accusative for cow) and trú (faith) whereas Old East Norse had bō, kō and trō. 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 (compare runic OEN (Swedish) gǭs (goose), OWN gǫ́s while post runic OEN gās). Proto-Norse (also Proto-Scandinavian, Primitive Norse, Proto-Nordic, Ancient Nordic, Old Scandinavian and Proto-North Germanic Moreoever, there were nasal assimilations as in bekkr (bench) from Proto-Norse *bankiR (OEN bænker).
The earliest body of text appears in runic inscriptions and in poems composed ca 900 by Tjodolf of Hvin. Events By place Asia Laguna Copperplate Inscription, Kavi script inscribed in Luzon, Philippines, Þjóðólfr of Hvinir ( Thjodolf) was a Norwegian Skald, active around the year 900 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 Vestlandet 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. Trøndelag is the name of a geographical region in the central part of Norway, consisting of the two counties Nord-Trøndelag and Sør-Trøndelag. Western Norway ( Norwegian: Vestlandet) is the region along the Atlantic coast of southern Norway. In the body of text that has come down to us from until ca 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 Norse is the North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age Old Norwegian is a term used for the Old Norse language as spoken and written in Norway in the Middle Ages.
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. The Black Death, or the Black Plague, was one of the deadliest Pandemics in human history widely thought to have been caused by a bacterium named Yersinia From the late 14th century, the language used in Norway is generally referred to as Middle Norwegian.
The following text is from Egils saga. Egils saga is an epic Icelandic saga possibly by Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241 AD who may have written the account between the years 1220 and The manuscript is the oldest known for that saga, the so called θ-fragment from the 13th century. The text clearly shows how little Icelandic has changed structurally. The last version is legitimate Modern Icelandic, although nothing has been altered but the spelling. The text also demonstrates, however, that a modern reader might have difficulties with the unaltered manuscript text, to say nothing of the lettering.
|The manuscript text, letter for letter||The same text in normalized, Old Norse spelling||The same text in Modern Icelandic|
ÞgeiR blundr systor s egils v þar aþingino & hafði gengit hart at liþueizlo við þst. Icelandic ( is a North Germanic language, the language of Iceland. h bað egil & þa þstein coma ser t staðfesto ut þangat a myrar h bio aðr fyr suNan huit a fyr neþan blundz vatn Egill toc uel aþui. oc fysti þst at þr leti h þangat fa ra. Egill setti þorgeir blund niðr at ana brecko En stein fǫrði bustað siN ut yf lang á. & settiz niðr at leiro lǫk. En egill reið hei suðr anes ept þingit m flocc siN. & skilðoz þr feðgar m kęrleic
Þorgeirr blundr, systursonr Egils, var þar á þinginu ok hafði gengit hart at liðveizlu við Þorstein. Hann bað Egil ok þá Þorstein koma sér til staðfestu út þangat á Mýrar; hann bjó áðr fyrir sunnan Hvítá, fyrir neðan Blundsvatn. Egill tók vel á því ok fýsti Þorstein, at þeir léti hann þangat fara. Egill setti Þorgeir blund niðr at Ánabrekku, en Steinarr fœrði bústað sinn út yfir Langá ok settisk niðr at Leirulæk. En Egill reið heim suðr á Nes eptir þingit með flokk sinn, ok skildusk þeir feðgar með kærleik.
Þorgeir blundur, systursonur Egils, var þar á þinginu og hafði gengið hart að liðveislu við Þorstein. Hann bað Egil og þá Þorstein að koma sér til staðfestu út þangað á Mýrar; hann bjó áður fyrir sunnan Hvítá, fyrir neðan Blundsvatn. Egill tók vel á því og fýsti Þorstein, að þeir létu hann þangað fara. Egill setti Þorgeir blund niður að Ánabrekku, en Steinar færði bústað sinn út yfir Langá og settist niður að Leirulæk. En Egill reið heim suður á Nes eftir þingið með flokk sinn, og skildust þeir feðgar með kærleik.
Old East Norse, between 800 and 1100, is in Sweden called Runic Swedish and in Denmark Runic Danish, but 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 (though 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 as well as modern languages, sometimes by a profound margin but in all differences are still minute). Events By Place Europe September 15 - Oldest known mention of Monkey. They are called runic because the body of text appears in the runic alphabet. Unlike Proto-Norse, which was written with the Elder Futhark, Old Norse was written with the Younger Futhark, which only had 16 letters. Proto-Norse (also Proto-Scandinavian, Primitive Norse, Proto-Nordic, Ancient Nordic, Old Scandinavian and Proto-North Germanic The Elder Futhark (or Elder Fuþark, Older Futhark, Old Futhark) is the oldest form of the Runic alphabet, used by Germanic tribes The Younger Futhark, also called the Scandinavian runes, is a Runic alphabet, a reduced form of the Elder Futhark, consisting of only 16 characters in Because of the limited number of runes, the rune for the vowel u was also used for the vowels o, ø and y, and the rune for i was used for e.
Runic Old East Norse is characteristic of being archaic in form, especially Swedish (which is still true for modern Swedish compared to Danish). In essence it corresponds to or surpasses the archaic structure 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. 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 hlýR. The phoneme -R (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) and the monophthongization of æi and øy/au into ē and ø̄ respectively had yet to take place: (runic OEN) fæigR (PN *faigiaz; bound to die; dead), gæiRR (PN *gaizaz; spear), haugR (PN *haugaz; mound, pile), møydōmR (PN *mawi- + dōmaz; virginity), diūR (PN *diuza; (wild) animal) while OWN feigr, geirr, haugr, meydómr, dýr (post runic OEN fēgher, gēr, hø̄gher, mø̄dōmber, diūr). Proto-Norse (also Proto-Scandinavian, Primitive Norse, Proto-Nordic, Ancient Nordic, Old Scandinavian and Proto-North Germanic The combinations -mp-, -nt-, and -nk- were often preserved while merging into -pp-, -tt- and -kk- in Old West Norse: (runic OEN) *krimpa, (Proto-Norse *krimpan) *sprinta, (PN *sprintan) *sænkva (PN *sankwian) while OWN kreppa, spretta and søkkva (modern Swedish krympa, sprinta (dialect), sänka, modern Danish krympe, sprinte, sænke; to shrink, to sprint, to sink (transitive; compare intransitive "*sionkva" while OWN "søkkva" for both variations)). Proto-Norse (also Proto-Scandinavian, Primitive Norse, Proto-Nordic, Ancient Nordic, Old Scandinavian and Proto-North Germanic Feminine o-stems often preserve the plural ending -aR while in OWN they more often merge with the feminine i-stems: (runic OEN) *sōlaR, *hafnaR/*hamnaR, *vāgaR 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). OEN often preserves the original value of the vowel directly preceding runic R while OWN receives R-umlaut (resulting in the same change as with i-umlaut): (runic OEN) *glaR, *haRi and hrauR while OWN gler, heri (later héri) and hrøyrr/hreyrr (modern Swedish glar (older form), hare, rör; glass, hare, pile of rocks). u-umlaut is still preserved in both phonemic and allophonic positions like in post runic Old West Norse (while sparsely preserved in post runic OEN): fǫður (accusative), vǫrðr and ǫrn (post runic Swedish faþur, varþer, örn (u-umlaut preserved); father, guardian/care taking, eagle). The plural ending of ja-stems were mostly preserved while those of OWN often acquired that of the i-stems: *bæðiaR, *bækkiaR, *væfiaR while OWN beðir, bekkir, vefir (modern Swedish bäddar, bäckar, vävar; beds, rivers, webs). 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 OWN kept the original: drængiaR, *ælgiaR and *bænkiaR while OWN drengir, elgir and bekkir (modern Swedish drängar (new meaning), älgar, bänkar; lads (farmhands), elks, benches).
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 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. Danish ( d̥ænsɡ̊ is one of the North Germanic languages (also called Scandinavian languages a sub-group of the Germanic branch of the Swedish ( is a North Germanic language spoken by more than nine million people predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along the An isogloss is the geographical boundary or delineation of a certain linguistic feature e Zealand (also Sealand Danish: Sjælland;) is the largest Island (7031 km² of Denmark (excluding Greenland Svealand ( or (rarely or historically Sweden Proper is the historical core region of Sweden.
The word final vowels -a, -o and -e (Old Norse -a, -u and -i) started to merge into -ə, represented with the letter e. At the same time, the voiceless stop consonants p, t and k became voiced stops and even fricatives. A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a Consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the Vocal tract. Fricatives are Consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together These innovations resulted in that 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, in Danish a tonal word accent distinction shared with Norwegian and Swedish changed into stød around this time. Tone is the use of pitch in Language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning—that is to distinguish or inflect words Stød is a suprasegmental unit of Danish Phonology, which in its most common form is a kind of Creaky voice (laryngealization but may In modern Swedish and Norwegian there are two tone contours (acute accent and grave accent in Swedish terminology, Tone1 and Tone2 in Norwegian), in words having tone1 in Norwegian and accute accent in Swedish is found stød in Danish. History An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels. Pitch The grave accent was first used in the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek, where it occurred only on the last syllable of a word in cases where the Stød is a glottal gesture considered a kind of creaky voice, and it seems to have been documented by Swedish sources as early as the 14th century. Vocal fry registerIn Linguistics, creaky voice (sometimes called laryngealisation, pulse phonation or vocal fry or glottal fry) The origin of Scandinavian word tones is unclear, they may have developed from a non-distinctive tonal feature thought to have existed in Proto-Norse which then became distinctive when the endings of words were reduced in continental Old Norse. There are tonal phenomena in neither Icelandic nor Faroese. 
This is an extract from the Westrogothic law (Västgötalagen). See also Medieval Scandinavian laws Västgötalagen or the Westrogothic law is the oldest Swedish text written in the Latin script 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. Swedish ( is a North Germanic language spoken by more than nine million people predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along the
The Gutasaga is the longest text surviving from Old Gutnish. The Gutasaga is a saga treating the history of Gotland before its Christianization. Old Gutnish was the dialect of Old Norse that was spoken on the island of Gotland. It was written in the 13th century and dealt with the early history of the Gotlanders. This part relates of the agreement that the Gotlanders had with the Swedish king sometime before the 9th century:
Note here that the diphthong ai in aigu, þair and waita is not regressively umlauted to ei as in e. g. Old Icelandic eigu, þeir and veita.