dǫnsk tunga ("danish tongue") norrønt mál ("nordic language")
nordic countries, great britain, ireland, isle of man, normandy, newfoundland, the volga and places in-between
evolved from proto norse in the 8th century, developed into the various north germanic languages by the 14th century
runic, later latin (old norse alphabet)
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part of old norse
old west norse
old east norse
poetry (alliterative verse)
sagas (of icelanders)
first grammatical treatise
english words of old norse origin
part of a series on the
extent of norse language in 900 ad: western norse in red and eastern norse in orange.
nordic stone age
nordic bronze age
pre-roman iron age
roman iron age
germanic iron age
old norse religion
paganism and mythology
ask and embla
rituals and worship
death in norse paganism
wikiproject norse history and culture
old norse was a north germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th centuries.
the proto-norse language developed into old norse by the 8th century, and old norse began to develop into the modern north germanic languages in the mid- to late 14th century, ending the language phase known as old norse. these dates, however, are not absolute, since written old norse is found well into the 15th century.
old norse was divided into three dialects: old west norse, old east norse, and old gutnish. old west and east norse formed a dialect continuum, with no clear geographical boundary between them. for example, old east norse traits were found in eastern norway, although old norwegian is classified as old west norse, and old west norse traits were found in western sweden. most speakers spoke old east norse in what is present-day denmark and sweden. old gutnish, the more obscure dialectal branch, is sometimes included in the old east norse dialect due to geographical associations. it developed its own unique features and shared in changes to both other branches.
the 12th-century icelandic gray goose laws state that swedes, norwegians, icelanders, and danes spoke the same language, dǫnsk tunga ("danish tongue"; speakers of old east norse would have said dansk tunga). another term, used especially commonly with reference to west norse, was norrœnt mál or norrǿnt mál ("nordic/northern speech"). today old norse has developed into the modern north germanic languages icelandic, faroese (both inherited cases from the language), norwegian, danish, and swedish, of which norwegian, danish and swedish retain considerable mutual intelligibility.
The Proto-Norse language developed into Old Norse by the 8th century, and Old Norse began to develop into the modern North Germanic languages in the mid- to late 14th century, ending the language phase known as Old Norse. These dates, however, are not absolute, since written Old Norse is found well into the 15th century.
Old Norse was divided into three dialects: Old West Norse, Old East Norse, and Old Gutnish. Old West and East Norse formed a dialect continuum, with no clear geographical boundary between them. For example, Old East Norse traits were found in eastern Norway, although Old Norwegian is classified as Old West Norse, and Old West Norse traits were found in western Sweden. Most speakers spoke Old East Norse in what is present-day Denmark and Sweden. Old Gutnish, the more obscure dialectal branch, is sometimes included in the Old East Norse dialect due to geographical associations. It developed its own unique features and shared in changes to both other branches.
The 12th-century Icelandic Gray Goose Laws state that Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders, and Danes spoke the same language, dǫnsk tunga ("Danish tongue"; speakers of Old East Norse would have said dansk tunga). Another term, used especially commonly with reference to West Norse, was norrœnt mál or norrǿnt mál ("Nordic/Northern speech"). Today Old Norse has developed into the modern North Germanic languages Icelandic, Faroese (both inherited cases from the language), Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, of which Norwegian, Danish and Swedish retain considerable mutual intelligibility.