The Languages of ScandinaviaSeven Sisters of the North

The Languages of ScandinaviaSeven Sisters of the North

Ruth H. Sanders

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780226493893

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Five Germanic languages--Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, and Faroese--along with two Finno-Ugric languages--Finnish and Sami--have lived in neighboring territory in the North for millennia. Though the first five languages belong to a different linguistic family than the second two, their long life together has influenced them all in sometimes surprising ways. This book investigates archaeological, cultural, and genetic evidence from deep history, beginning in the immediate post-Ice Age, to reveal where the languages and their speakers came from. The book's focus is on the crucial intersections, sometimes actually collisions, among the seven languages and their speakers. The conclusion reports on the languages of Scandinavia today and some linguistic trends that will likely affect their future.