chapter  2
16 Pages

Literacy Acquisition in Norwegian

From Old Norse to Contemporary Norwegian The Norwegian script, together with the Icelandic, Danish, and Swedish, form the North Germanic group of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Scripts in Old Norse date back to the period of the Vikings, about the 10th century c.e. Modern Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian languages are closely related to each other with minor variations in phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics of the spoken languages, in addition to orthography of the written languages. These differences can be described as merely dialectical. Oral, even more

so than written, communication flows relatively easily among the three languages. Danish orthography, however, is less transparent than Swedish and Norwegian orthographies. Icelandic, on the other hand, is close to the Old Norse language and cannot be immediately understood by Norwegians today.