TIED Home | Verbix Main Site
The Norwegian language

Group Germanic (with English, German, Gothic etc.), North Germanic (with Danish, Faroese etc.)
Geography Spoken in Norway only
History The Old Norwegian language was very rich of literature sources, mainly sagas about ancient kings of the country. After Norway became a Danish colony, the Norwegian language's sphere was limited to rural areas, while only Danish was spoken in the cities. The revival began in the 19th century, and with the help of scholars the language was artificially renovated. 
Phonetics Today, there are two main varieties of the language: the 'Book Language', basing on Danish dialects generated in Norwegian towns, and the 'New Norwegian', formed on the basis of rural Norwegian dialects. Both varieties are official, but their weight is different: the 'book language' is spoken in big cities, the majority of the literature is issued in it. 
The system of phonetics is not always reflected by orthography. There are postalveolar consonants [t.], [d.], [n.] and [l.] used after r. Historically a lot of consonants were mutated. Another interesting feature is that both dynamic and musical stress are used in the language, which is met nowhere else in Indo-European.
Nominal Morphology There are three genders, though feminine is used rarely. Two cases include common and genitive, the geniotive marker is -s. Two articles are definite and indefinite, both are declined in number and in gender. Adjectives have strong and weak variants.
Verbal Morphology The flective structure of the verb was broken, it is not conjugated in person nor number. Flectively formed moods and tenses were replaced by complex constructions with auxiliary verbs. The only form which did not change sicne the Old Norwegian times is the imperative mood which is in fact the pure root of the verb: skriv! 'write!'.
Lexicon The Norwegian language does not contain much of the modern scientific and technical terms, so it had to borrow them from Danish. Some genuine Norwegian vocabulary was attempted to introduce in the official speech, but they are mainly colloquial and sound even rough for the literature language.
Writing Latin alphabet
Close Contacts Danish, Swedish, formerly Icelandic.
Sample .


Picture Church portal in Norway
More info