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The Languages of ScandinaviaSeven Sisters of the North$
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Ruth H. Sanders

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226493893

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226493923.001.0001

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Introduction: Dead Man Talking

Introduction: Dead Man Talking

(p.1) Introduction: Dead Man Talking
The Languages of Scandinavia

Ruth H. Sanders

University of Chicago Press

Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian, often referred to together as "Mainland Scandinavian," are all daughters of extinct Old Norse, as are the "Insular Scandinavian" languages Icelandic and Faroese. Both Insular and Mainland Scandinavian developed from the Germanic language that was spoken in Northern Europe from the sixth century BC, and even earlier, from Proto-Indo-European. Finnish and Sámi, on the other hand, are daughters of Proto-Finno-Ugric. Neither is mutually intelligible with the Mainland Scandinavian languages. Linguists have discovered cross-linguistic influence, possibly even codevelopment, between the Proto-Finno-Ugric and the Proto-Indo-European languages of the North. This may be due to the fact that the birthplace of both of these proto-languages is in territories that are today northwestern Russia.

Keywords:   Mainland Scandinavian, Insular Scandinavian, Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Finno-Ugric

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