In 1814 the Norwegian linguistic situation was a kind of functional diglossia. As early as the sixteenth century, the traditional Norwegian literary language was supplanted by written Danish. However, the development of the spoken language followed its own course, yielding a large variety of different dialects. There even existed a Norwegian pronunciation of written Danish which is estimated to have been used by approximately 1 per cent of the population. This situation was not altogether as unnatural as it might seem at first glance. Both Norwegian and Danish had undergone a highly similar morphosyntactic restructuring since the classical Old Norse (ON) and Old Danish period. The syntactic patterning of the two languages was to a large extent the same, and so were even the main inflectional categories. The differences between the two languages mainly concerned the phonological system and the morphological (allomorphic) manifestation of inflectional categories, i.e. areas where many languages tolerate considerable discrepancies between their written and spoken forms.