The Phonology of Norwegian

by Gjert Kristoffersen

Series: The Phonology of the World's Languages

A the end of the fourteenth century, Norway, having previously been an independent kingdom, became by conquest a province of Denmark and remained so for three centuries. In1814, as part of the fall-out from the Napoleonic wars, the country became a largely independent nation within the monarchy of Sweden. By this time, however, Danish had become the language of government, commerce, and education, as well as of the middle and upper classes. Nationalistic Norwegianssought to reestablish native identity by creating and promulgating a new language based partly on rural dialects and partly on Old Norse. The upper and middle classes sought to retain a form of Norwegian close to Danish that would be intelligible to themselves and to their neighbours in Sweden andDenmark. The controversy has gone on ever since. One result is that the standard dictionaries of Norwegian ignore pronunciation, for no version can be counted as 'received'. Another is that there has been considerable variety and change in Norwe


In The Press

The Phonology of Norwegian is a major contribution which will significantly advance phonologists' understanding of Norwegian, and which will be the standard reference work on this language for decades to come.


About The Author

Gjert Kristoffersen is Professor of Nordic Languages at the University of Bergen, and was from 1984-1988 the Editor at the Norwegian University Press.