Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 295 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AFATR HARIWULA.yyFA 11AJUWULAFR HAERUWULAFIR WARAIT RUNAR 1)AIAI ; Engl.: In memory of Hariwulfa, HalmwulfR, son of Heruwulfa, wrote these runes. Here, e.g. we find nom. sing. in -aR changed into -r (cf. haruwulafR with holtingaR on the golden horn), and the plural ending -OR into -aR (cf. runaR with runoR on the Jarsberg-stone). At the beginning of the Viking period the Scandinavian language seems to have under-gone an extraordinarily rapid development, which almost completely transformed its character. This change is especially notice-able in the dropping of unaccented vowels, and in the introduction of a certain vowel harmony of different kinds (Umlaut, vowel changes, caused by a following i (j) or u (w), as kwceii for kwa6i, poem, and " Brechung," as healpa instead of helper to help), different assimilations of consonants (as ii, nn for 11), of ; ll, nn, rr and ss for lR, nR, rR and sR), dropping of w before o and u (as ors, ulfr for worn, word, wulfR, wolf)( simplified inflection of the verbs, a new passive formed by means of affixing the reflexive pronoun sik or seR to the active form (as kalla-sk, kalla-ss, to call one's self, to be called), &c. At this epoch, therefore, the primitive Scandinavian language must be considered as no longer existing. The centuries Period of A.D. 700-1000 form a period of transition as regards transition. the language as well as the alphabet which it employed. We possess some inscriptions belonging to this period in which the old runic alphabet of twenty-four characters is still used, and the language of which closely resembles that of the primitive Scandinavian monuments, as, for example, those on the stones of Stentoften (about 700) and Bjorketorp (about 750), both from southern Sweden, being the longest inscriptions yet found with the old runic alphabet. On the other hand, inscriptions have come down to us dating from about A.D. 800, in which the later and exclusively Scandinavian alphabet of sixteen characters has almost completely superseded the earlier alphabet from which it was developed, while the language not only differs widely from the original Scandinavian, but also exhibits dialectical peculiarities suggesting the existence Dialects. of a Danish-Swedish language as opposed to Norwegian, as the form ruulf on the stone at Flemlose in Denmark, which in a Norwegian inscription would have been written hruulf corresponding to Hrolf in Old Norwegian literature. These differences, however, are still unimportant, and the Scandinavians still considered their language as one and the same throughout Scandinavia, and named it Densk tunga, Danish tongue. But when Iceland was colonized (c. 900), chiefly from western Norway, a separate (western) Norwegian dialect gradually sprang up, at first of course only differing slightly from the mother-tongue. It was not until the definitive introduction of Christianity (about A.D. loon) that the language was so far differentiated as to enable us to distinguish, in runic inscriptions and in the literature which was then arising, four different dialects, which have ever since existed as the four literary languages—Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish. Of these the latter two, often comprehended within the name of Eastern Scandinavian, as well as the former two, Western Scandinavian, or, to use the Old Scandinavians' own name, Norr>dnt mdl, Northern tongue, are very nearly related to each other. The most important differences between the two branches, as seen in the oldest preserved documents, are the following: (I) In. E. Scand. far fewer cases of " Umlaut," as vare, W. Scand. vicere, were; land, W. Scand. lend (from landu), lands; (2) E. Scand. " Brechung " of y into iu (or io) beforeng(w), nk(w), as siunga, W. Scand. syngua (from singwa), to sing; (3) in E. Scand. mp, nk, nt are in many cases not assimilated into pp, kk, tt, as krumpin, W. Scand. kroppenn, shrunken; cenkia, W. Scand. ekkia, widow; Differences bant W. Scand. batt, he bound; (4) .$ast in E. Scand. the Easteerrn° dative of the definite plural ends in -umin instead of and W. Scand. -onom, as in handumin, hendonom, (to) the Western hands; (5) in. E. Scand. the simplification of the scanainavian. verbal inflectional endings is far further advanced, and the passive ends in -s(s) for -sk, as in kallas(s), W. Scand. kallask, to be called. In several of these points, and indeed generally speaking, the Western Scandinavian languages have preserved the more primitive forms, which also are found in the oldest Eastern Scandinavian runic inscriptions, dating from a period before the beginning of the literature, as well as in many modern Eastern Scandinavian dialects. For, having regard to the Scandinavian dialects generally, we must adopt quite a different classification from that indicated by the dialects which are represented in the literature. We now pass on to review the latter and their history. I. ICELANDIC.—In ancient times Icelandic was by far the most important of the Scandinavian languages, in form as well as in literature. To avoid ambiguity, the language before the Reformation (about 153o) is often called Old Icelandic. 1. Old Icelandic was spoken not only in Iceland, but also in Greenland, where, as already mentioned, Icelandic colonists lived for a lengthened period. Our knowledge of its character Old is almost exclusively derived from the remarkably lceiandk. voluminous literature,' dating from the first half of the 12th century, and written in the Latin alphabet, adapted to the special requirements of this language. No traces are found of any older runic literature. Indeed, Old Icelandic possesses only very few runic monuments (about forty-five), all of them almost worthless from a philological point of view. The oldest, the inscriptions on the church door of Vaffijbfsta6ur, and that of a tombstone at Hjarllarholt, date from the beginning of the 13th century, and they are consequently later than the oldest preserved manuscripts 2 in the Latin alphabet, some of which are as old as the last half of the 12th century. A small fragment (Cod. AM. 237, fol.) of a Book of Homilies (of which a short specimen is given below) is considered the oldest of all. About contemporary with this is the oldest part of an inventory entitled Reykjaholts mdldagi. From the end of the 12th century we possess a fragment (Cod. Reg. old sign. 1812) of the only existing Old Icelandic glossary, and from the first years of the 13th century the Stockholm Book of Homilies (Cod. Holm. 15, 4to), which from a philological point of view is of the greatest importance, chiefly on account of its very accurate orthography, which is especially noticeable in the indication of quantity; from the early part of the same century comes the fragment (Cod. AM. 325, 2, 4to) entitled 4grip (" abridgment " of the history of Norway), probably a copy of a Norwegian original, also orthographically important. Among later manuscripts we may mention, as philologically interesting, the Annales Regii (Cod. Reg. 2087) from the beginning of the 14th century, orthographically of great value; the rich manuscript of miscellanies, Hauksbok (Codd. AM. 371, 544, 675, 4to), a great part of which is written with Haukr Erlendsson's (d. 1334) own hand; and, above all, three short essays, in which some Icelanders have tried to write a grammatical and orthographical treatise on their own mother-tongue, all three appearing as an appendix to the manuscripts of the Prose Edda. The oldest and most important of these essays (preserved in the Cod. Worm. from the last half of the 14th century) is by an unknown author of about 1140, the second (the oldest known manuscript of which is preserved in the Cod. Ups., c. 1300) is by an unknown author of about 1250; the third (the oldest manuscript in Cod. AM. 748, 4to, of the beginning of the 14th century) is by Snorri's nephew Olafr Hvitaskhld (d. 1259), and is no doubt based partly upon a lost work of the first grammarian of Iceland, pbroddr Riinameistari (who flourished at the beginning of the 12th century), partly and chiefly upon Priscian and Donatus.3 A complete catalogue of the literature edited hitherto is given by Th. Mobius, Catalogus Librorum Islandicorum et Norvegicorum Aetatis Mediae (1856), and Verzeichniss der ... altisldndischen and altnorwegischen . . . von 1855 bis 1879 erschienenen Schriften (188o). Cf. ICELAND. 2 An account of the oldest Icelandic manuscripts (to about 1230) is given by J. Hoffory in the Gott. Gel. Anz. (1884), p. 478 sq. A short review of the most important Old Icelandic manuscripts (and their editions), classed according to subjects, is given by O. Brenner, Altnordisches Handbuch, pp. 13 sq. The principal collections of manuscripts are—(1) the Arnamagnaean (AM.) in Copenhagen, founded by Arni Magnusson (d. 1730) ; (2) the collection of the Royal Library (Reg.) in Copenhagen, founded by T. Torfaeus The oldest form of the Icelandic language is, however, not pre-served in the above-mentioned earliest manuscripts of the later Form half of the 12th century, which are written in the language of the of their own age, but in far later ones of the 13th century, language which contain poems by the oldest Icelandic poets, such as the renowned Egill Skallagrimsson (about 950) and the unknown authors of the so-called Edda-songs. In spite of the late date of the manuscripts, the metrical form has been the means of preserving a good deal of the ancient language. But, as already remarked, during the loth and 11th centuries this dialect differs but little from Norwegian, though in the 12th this is no longer the case. We may here contrast a specimen of the above-mentioned oldest Icelandic manuscript with an almost contemporary Norwegian one (Cod. AM. 619; see below) : Icel.—En fiat es Norw.—En at er Engl.—And that is vitanda, at alit ma vitanda, at alit ma to be known that all andlega merkiasc oc andlega merkiasc oc that is needed for the fyllasc f oss, pat es fyllasc i os, at er decoration of the til kirkio bunings til kirkiu bunings church or the service epa pionosto parf at eta til pionasto arf may, spiritually, be haua, ef ver liuom at hafa, ef ver lifum found and imitated sva hreinlega at ver sva raeinlega, at ver within us, if we live sem verger at callasc sem ver6ir at kallasc so cleanly that we are goes mustere. gu6s mysteri. worthy to be called God's temple. Apart from the fact that the language is, generally speaking, archaic, we find in the Icelandic text two of the oldest and most essential characteristics of Icelandic as opposed to Norwegian, viz. the more complete vowel assimilation (pionosto, pionasto; cf. also, e.g. Icel. kollopom, Norw. kallad'um, we called) and the retention of initial h before r (hreinlega, rceinlega), 1 and n. Other differences, softie of which occur at this period, others a little later, are—in Icel. lengthening of a, o, u before if, 1g, 1k, lm and 1p (as Icel. hdlfr, Norw. and oldest Icel. halfr, half) ; later still, also of a, i, u and y before ng and nk; Icel. d and ey for older 0 and (Ay (as in Icel. ddma, heyra, Norw. and oldest Icel. d¢ma, to deem, heyra, to hear) ; Icel. termination of 2nd plur. of verbs in -6 (p) or -t, but Norw. often in -r (as Icel. taki5, -t, Norw. takir, you take). These points may be sufficient to characterize the language of the earlier ' classical " period of Icelandic (about 1150–1350). At the middle of the 13th century the written language undergoes material changes, owing in a great measure, perhaps, to the powerful influence of Snorri Sturloson. Thus in unaccented syllables i now appears for older e, and u (at first only when followed by one or more consonants belonging to the same syllable) for o; the passive ends in -z for -sk. The other differences from Norwegian, mentioned above as occurring later, are now completely established. - With the be-ginning of the 14th century there appear several new linguistic phenomena: a u is inserted between final r and a preceding consonant (as in rikur, mighty); 9 (pronounced as an open o) passes into o (the character o was not introduced till the 16th century), or before ng, nk into au (as long fioll, pronounced laung fioll) ; e before ng, nk passes into ei; a little later a passes into ie, and the passive changes its termination from -z, oldest -sk, into -zt (or -zst) (as in kallazt, to be called). The post-classical period of Old Icelandic (1350-1530), which is, from a literary point of view, of but little importance, already shows marked differences that are characteristic of Modern Icelandic; kn has, except in the northern dialects, passed into hn, as in kntitr, knot; as early as the 15th century we find ddl for 11 and rl (as falla, pronounced faddla, to fall), ddn for nn and rn (as horn, pron. hoddn, horn), and a little later the passive ends in -st, e.g. kallast, to be called. Although dialectical differences are not altogether wanting, they do not occur to any great extent in the Old Icelandic literary Dialects language. Thus, in some manuscripts we find ft replaced by fst (oft, ofst, often); in manuscripts from the western part of the island there appears in the 13th and 14th centuries a tendency to change If, rf into lb, rb (tolf, tolb, twelve; pgrf, pgrb, want), &c. To what extent the language of Greenland differed from that of Iceland we cannot judge from the few runic monuments which have come down to us from that colony. Apart from the comparatively inconsiderable attempts at a grammatical treatment of Old Icelandic in the middle ages which we have Gram- mentioned above, grammar as a science can only be said mat/cal to have begun in the 17th century. The first grammar, treatment. written by the Icelander Runolphus Jonas (d. 1654), dates from 1651. His contemporary and compatriot Gudmund Andreae (d. 1654) compiled the first dictionary, which was not, however, edited till 1683 (by the Dane Petrus Resenius, d. 1688). The first scholars who studied Old Icelandic systematically were R. K. Rask (1787–1832), whose works 1 laid the foundation to our (d. 1719) and Brynjolfr Sveinsson (d. 1674) ; O the Delagardian collection (Delag. or Ups.) at Upsala, founded in 1651 by Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie; (4) the Stockholm collection (Holm.), founded by Jon Rugman (in 1662) and Jon Eggertson (in 1682). 1 E.g. Veiledning til det Islandske sprog (1811) ; in a new, much-improved Swedish edition, Anvisning til Islandskan (1818).knowledge of the language, and his great contemporary Jac. Grimm, in whose Deutsche Grammatik (1819 seq.) particular attention is paid to Icelandic. Those who since the time of Rask and Grimm have principally deserved well of Icelandic grammar are—among the Norwegians, the ingenious and learned P. A. Munch (d. 1863), to whom we really owe the normalized orthography that has hitherto been most in use in editing Old Icelandic texts, and the solid worker at the syntax, M. Nygaard; the learned Icelander K. Gfslason (d. 1891), whose works are chiefly devoted to phonetic researches;2 the Danish scholars, K. J. Lyngby (d. 1871), the author of an essay which is of fundamental importance in Icelandic orthography and phonetics, and L. F. A. Wimmer, who has rendered great services to the study of the etymology. The latest and greatest Icelandic grammar is by the Swede A. Noreen.' As lexicographers the first rank is held by the Icelanders S. Egilsson (d. 1852),° G. Vigfusson (d. 1889),5 and J. Porkelsson (d. 19o4),5 the Norwegian J. Fritzner (d. 1893),' the Swede L. Larsson,e and the German H. Gering., 2. Modern Icelandic is generally dated from the introduction of the Reformation into Iceland; the book first printed, the New Testament of 154o, may be considered as the earliest Modern Modern Icelandic document. Although, on account of the Iceladic. exceedingly conservative tendency of Icelandic ortho- graphy, the language of Modern Icelandic literature still seems to be almost identical with the language of the 17th century, it has in reality undergone a constant and active development, and, phonetic-ally regarded, has changed considerably. Indeed, energetic efforts to bring about an orthography more in accordance with phonetics were made during the years 1835–1847 by the magazine entitled Fjolnir, where we find such authors as Jonas Hallgrimsson and Konr. Gfslason ; but these attempts proved abortive. Of more remarkable etymological changes in Modern Icelandic we may note Frm the following: y, y and ey at the beginning of the 17th oofthe century coincided with i, i and ei; the long vowels d, Ianguage d and o have passed into the diphthongs au (at least about 165o), ai (about 1700), ou, e.g. mal, language, media, to speak, still, chair; g before i, j is changed into dj (after a consonant) or j (after a vowel), e.g. liggia, to lie, eigi, not; in certain other cases g has passed into gw or w, e.g. ldgur, low, ljaiga, to lie; initial g before n is silent, e.g. (g)naga, to gnaw; ps, pt have passed into fs, ft; bb, dd, gg are pronounced as bp, dl, gk, and ii, rl, nn, rn now in most positions (not, however, before d, t and s, and in pet names) as dil, dtn, as fjall, mountain, bjorn, bear; f before n is now pronounced as bp, as hrafn, raven, &c. Both in vocabulary and syntax we find early, e.g. in the lawbook Jonsbdk, printed in 1578(–1580), Danish exercising an important influence, as might be expected from political circumstances. In the 18th century, however, we meet with purist tendencies. As one of the leading men of this century may be mentioned the poet Eggert Olafsson (d. 1168), whose poems were not printed till 1832. Worthy of mention in the history of Modern Icelandic language are the learned societies which appeared in the same century, of which the first, under the name of " Hilt osynilega," was established in 176o. At this time archaic tendencies, going back to the Old Icelandic of the 13th and 14th centuries, were continually gaining ground. In the 19th century the following won especial renown in Icelandic literature: Bjarne porarensen (d. 1841), Iceland's greatest lyric poet, and Jonas Hallgrimsson (d. 1845), perhaps its most prominent prose-author in modern times. The dialectical differences in Modern Icelandic are comparatively trifling and chiefly phonetic. The Westland dialect has, for example, preserved the Old Icelandic long a, while the other Dialects. dialects have changed it to the diphthong au; in the Northland dialect initial kn is preserved, in the others changed into hn; in the northern and western parts of the island Old Icelandic by appear;, as kv, in a part of south-eastern Iceland as x, in the other dialects as xw, e.g. hvolpur, whelp. As a matter of curiosity it may be noted that on the western and eastern coasts traces are found of a French-Icelandic language, which arose from the long sojourn of French fishermen there. Owing to the exclusive interest taken in the ancient language, but little attention is given even now to the grammatical treatment of Modern Icelandic. Some notices of the language of the Gram-17th century may be obtained from the above-mentioned matical grammar of Runolphus Jonas (1651), and for the language treatment. of the 18th from Rask's grammatical works. For the language of our own time there is hardly anything to refer to but F. Jonsson's very short Islandsk Sproglcere (1905); cf. also B. Magnusson Olsen's valuable paper ` Zur neuislandischen Grammatik " (Germania, xxvii., 1882). A dictionary of merit was that of 2 Especially Um frumparta islenzkrar tdngu i fornold (1846). 3 Altislandische and altnorwegische Grammatik unter Berucksichtiglkng des Urnordischen (1884), 3 Aufl• (1903). 4 Lexicon poeticum (18J4–186o). 5 An Icelandic-English Dictionary, based on the MS. collections of the late R. Cleasby (1869–1874). 5 Supplement til Islandske ordb4ger (1876, 1879–1885 and 1899). Ordbog over det Gamic Norske sprog (1862–1867, new ed. 1883, seq.). 9 Ordfdrrddeti de dlsta isldndska handskrifterna (1891). 9 Vollstandiges Worterbuch zu den Liedern der Edda (1903). Old Nor- stated, for some time spoken in parts of Ireland and wegian. the north of Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Hebrides, Shetland and Orkney (in the last two groups of islands it continued to survive down to the end of the 18th century), and also in certain parts of western Sweden as at present defined (Bohuslan, Sarna in Dalarna, Jamtland and Harjedalen). Our knowledge of it is due only in a small measure to runic inscriptions, for these are comparatively few in number (about 15o), and of trifling importance from a philological point of view, especially as they almost wholly belong to the period betdieen 1050 and 1350,1 and consequently are contemporary with or at least not much earlier than the earliest literature. The most important are the detailed one of Karlevi on Oland, wherein a Norwegian poet (towards i000) in so-called " druttkuAt " metre celebrates a Danish chief buried there, and that of Froso in Jamtland, which (about Io5o) mentions the christianizing of the province. The whole literature preserved is written in the Latin alphabet. The earliest manuscripts are not much later than the oldest Old Icelandic ones, and of the greatest interest. On the whole, however, the earliest Norwegian literature is in quality as well as in quantity incomparably inferior to the Icelandic. It amounts merely to about a score of different works, and of these but few are of any literary value. A small fragment (Cod. AM. 655. 4to, Fragm. ix., A, B, c), a collection of legends, no doubt written a little before 1200, is regarded as the earliest extant manuscript. From the very beginning of the 13th century we have the Norwegian Book of Homilies (Cod. AM. 619, 4to) and several fragments of law-books (e.g. the older Gulapingslaw and the older Eibsivapingslaw). Of later manuscripts the so-called legendary Olafssaga (Cod. Delag. 8, fol.), from about 1250, deserves mention. The chief manuscript (Cod. AM. 243 B., fol.) of the principal work in Old Norwegian literature, the Speculum regale or Konungsskuggsid (" Mirror for Kings,") is again a little later. The masses of charters which—occurring throughout the whole middle age of Norway from the beginning of the 13th century—afford much information, especially concerning the dialectical differences of the language, are likewise of great philological importance. As in Old Icelandic so in Old Norwegian we do not find the most primitive forms in the oldest MSS. that have come down to us; for Form that purpose we must recur to somewhat later ones, con- of the taining old poems from times as remote as the days of language. porbiorn Hornklofi (end of the 9th century). It has already been stated that the language at this epoch differed so little from other Scandinavian dialects that it could scarcely yet be called by a distinctive name, and also that, as Icelandic separated itself from the Norwegian mother-tongue (about 900), the difference between the two languages was at first infinitely small—as far, of course, as the literary language is concerned. From the 13th century, however, they exhibit more marked differences; for, while Icelandic develops to a great extent independently, Norwegian, owing to geographical and political circumstances, is considerably influenced by the Eastern Scandinavian languages. The most important differences between Icelandic and Norwegian at the epoch of the oldest MSS. (about 1200) have already been noted. The tendency in Norwegian to reduce the use of the so-called u-Umlaut has already been mentioned. On the other hand, there appears in Norwegian in the 13th century another kind of vowel-assimilation, almost unknown to Icelandic, the vowel in terminations being in some degree influenced by the vowel of the preceding syllable. Thus, for instance, we find in some manuscripts (as the above-mentioned legendary Olaf ssaga) that the vowels e, o, 0 and long a, ri are followed in terminations by e, o; i, u, y, and short a, ce, on the other hand, by u—as in bdner, prayers, konor, women; but tib'ir, times, tungur, tongues. The same fact occurs in certain Old Swedish manuscripts. When Norway had been united later with Sweden under one crown (1319) we meet pure Suecisms in the Norwegian literary language. In addition to this, the 14th century exhibits several differences from the old language: rl, rim are sometimes assimilated into II, nn—as kall (elder karl), man, konn (korn), corn, prestanner (prestarnir), the priests; i passes into y before r, 1—as hyrbir (hirb'ir), shepherd, lykyl (lykill), key; final -r after a consonant is changed into -ar, -er, -ir, -or, -ur or -as., sometimes only -a, -e, -ce,—as hester (hestr), horse, b¢ker (b¢kr), books, the names polleifwr (j orleifr), Gublmfa (Gubleifr). About the beginning of the 15th century initial kv occurs for old by (not, however, in pronouns, which take kv only in i The latest rune-stones are from the end of the 14th century. Owing to influence of the learned, such stones appear again in the 17th century, e.g. in Telemarken.western Norway), as the local name Qviteseib (hvitr, white). During the 15th century, Norway being united with Denmark, and at intervals also with Sweden, a great many Danisms and a few Suecisms are imported into the language. As Suecisms we may mention the termination -in of the 2nd pers. Our. instead of -ir, -ib (as vilin, you will). The most important Danisms are the following: b, d and g are substituted for p, t and k—as in the local names Nab¢ (earlier Napa), Tvedc sogn (pveita sokn) ; -a in terminations passes into -e--as hare (h¢yra) to hear, s¢ghe (s¢kia), to seek; single Danish words are introduced—as iek (ek), I, se (sid), to see; sp¢rge (spyria), to ask, &c. Towards the end of the middle ages the Danish influence shows an immense increase, which marks the gradual decline of Norwegian literature, until at last Norwegian as a literary language is completely supplanted by Danish. During the 15th century Norway has hardly any literature except charters, and as early as the end of that century by far the greatest number of these are written in almost pure Danish. In the 16th century, again, charters written in Norwegian occur only as rare exceptions, and from the Reformation onward, when the Bible and the old laws were translated into Danish, not into Norwegian, Danish was not only the undisputed literary language of Norway, but also the colloquial language of dwellers in towns and of those who had learned to read. Dialectical differences, as above hinted, occur in great number in the Norwegian charters of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. Especially marked is the difference between the language Dialects. of western Norway, which, in many respects, shows a development parallel to that of Icelandic, and the language of eastern Norway, which exhibits still more striking correspondences with contemporary Old Swedish. The most remarkable characteristics of the eastern dialects of this epoch are the following:—a is changed into a in the pronouns Bann, this, poet, that, and the particle )ver, there (the latter as early as the 13th century), and later on (in the 14th century) also in terminations after a long root syllable—as sendce, to send, h4yrce, to hear (but gera, to do, mlita, to know); is passes (as in Old Swedish and Old Danish) into ice—as himerta (Icel. hiarta), heart; y sometimes passes into iu before r, 1—as hiurder, shepherd, lykiul, key, instead of hyri ir, lykyl (older still, hirbir, lykill; see above); final -r after a consonant often passes into -ar, -ter, sometimes only into -a, -a—as prestar (prestr), priest; b¢kar (b¢kr), books; dat. sing. br¢ba (br¢br), (to a) brother; tl passes into tsl, sl—as lisla (litla), (the) little, the name Atsle, Asle (Atle) ; rs gives a " thick " s-sound (written ls)—as Brerdols, genitive of the name Bergperr; nd, ld are assimilated into nn, 11—as bann (band), band, the local name Vestfoll (Vestfold) ; and (as far back as the 13th century) traces occur of the vowel assimilation, tiljnvning," that is so highly characteristic of the modern Norwegian dialects—as vuko, vuku, for vaku (Icel. veko, -u), accusative singular of vaka, wake, mykyll for mykill, much. On the other hand, as characteristics of the western dialects may be noted the following: final -r after a consonant passes into -ur, -or, or -ir, -er—as vetur (vetr), winter,. rettur (rettr), right, aftor (aftr), again; sl passes into tl—as sytla (sfsla), charge; hw is changed into kw also in pronouns—as kuer (huerr), who. kuassu (huersu), how. . This splitting of the language into dialects seems to have continued to gain ground, probably with greater rapidity as a Norwegian literary language no longer existed. Thus it is very likely that the present dialectical division was in all essentials accomplished about the year 1600; for, judging from the first work on Norwegian dialectology,' the S¢ndfjord (Western Norway) dialect at least possessed at that time most of its present features. A little clog-calendar of the year 1644 seems to prove the same regarding the Valders (Southern Norway) dialect. How far the Old Norwegian dialects on the Faeroes, in Ireland and Scotland, on the Scottish islands, and on the Isle of Man differed from the mother-tongue it is impossible to decide, on account of the few remnants of these dialects which exist apart from local names, viz. some charters (from the beginning of the 15th century onward) from the Faeroes, Shetland and the Orkneys, and a few runic inscriptions from the Orkneys (thirty in number), and the Isle of Man (about thirty in number).' These runic inscriptions, however, on account of their imperfect orthography, throw but little light on the subject. Of the Orkney dialect we know at least that initial hl, hn, hr still preserved h in the 13th century—that is, at least two hundred years longer than in Norway. Old Norwegian grammar has hitherto always been taken up in connexion with Old Icelandic, and confined to notes and appendices inserted in works on Icelandic grammar. A systematic Gram-treatise on Old Norwegian grammar is still wanting, with mental the exception of a short work by the Danish scholar treatment. N. M. Petersen (d. 1862), which, although brief and decidedly antiquated, deserves all praise. Among those who in recent days have above all deserved well for the investigation of the Old Norwegian may be mentioned, as to the grammar, the Swede E. Wadstein and the Norwegian M. Hngstad; as to the lexicography, the Norwegian E. Hertzberg, for the law terms, and O. Rygh (d. 1899), for the local names, while the personal names are collected by the Swede E. H. Lind. A most valuable collection of materials 2 C. Jensen's Norsk dictionarium eller glosebog (1646). 3 See P. M. C. Kermode, Manx Crosses (1907). Bjorn Haldorsen (d. 1794), edited in 1814 by Rask. Cleasby-Vigfusson's dictionary mentioned above also pays some attention to the modern language. A really convenient Modern Icelandic dictionary is still wanting, the desideratum being only partly supplied by J. Thorkelsson's excellent Supplement til islandske ordby ger, iii. (189o-1894). II. NORWEGIAN OR NORSE.—T& Old Norwegian language (till the Reformation) was not, like the modern language, con- fined to Norway and the Faeroes, but was, as already Old Swedish, during its earliest pre-literary period (800-1225), retains quite as original a character as contemporary Form Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian. The first part of the of the inscription of the Rokstone running thus— language.
End of Article: AFATR HARIWULA

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