Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Languages of ScandinaviaSeven Sisters of the North$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

The Black Death Comes for Norwegian

The Black Death Comes for Norwegian

Danish Makes a House Call

(p.113) 5 The Black Death Comes for Norwegian
The Languages of Scandinavia

Ruth H. Sanders

University of Chicago Press

The Black Death of the early fourteenth century resulted in the death of possibly as much as 60% of the population of Norway, the hardest hit among the countries of the North. The loss of population eventually led to the nonfunctioning of the Norwegian monarchy, and Denmark filled the gap, as their elite classes took over the governance of Norway. Danish became the language of government administration and the de facto national public language. Norwegian was seldom read and seldom written, and no national standard developed for either writing or speaking Norwegian. Spoken rural dialects were to serve as the linguistic reservoir that made possible the renaissance, five hundred years later, of Norway’s written language. Additionally, Modern Norwegian was doubled. The twins are named Bokmål ‘book language’, based on the literary and urban Norwegianized Danish that developed while Denmark ruled Norway; and Nynorsk ‘New Norwegian’, based on the spoken Norwegian dialects of the towns and rural districts. Today they are the two faces of Modern Norwegian.

Keywords:   Black Death, Dano-Norwegian, Nynorsk, Bokmål, Russenorsk

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.