The Language Conflict of Norway

1158 WordsJul 9, 20185 Pages
In the middle of the 19th century when Norway, needed to have a new written language of it’s own, after being under Danish rule. The process of getting this new Norwegian written language, was not straightforward, as not one way of doing was agreed on. There were two rivaling ways of getting the new Norwegian written language. One was to adopt a newly created language based upon the older dialects, that reassembled old norse the most. This approach was founded by Ivar Aasen. The other approach was to use the dano-norwegian that a lot of people already used, and standardize it a gradually changing the danish words into Norwegian. This idea was founded by Knud knudsen, and is what lead to bokmål. These two different approaches battled in…show more content…
This could explain to some extent why the situation in Norway with two written languages, had people being so engaged in the process that the situation, reached a point where it was called a language conflict. The process of selecting a written language in Norway, was also troubled by the fact, that they feared they would never get their own Norwegian written language if, they did not do it fairly quickly before Sweden might, impose their language upon them. This can be seen by this quote from Henrik Wergeland, who played a part in the period under Swedish rule, in getting an independent Norwegian written language: “The name of a Norwegian language and literature is no longer of any concern to Norwegians… Now it is the reality of an independent written language that challenges the spirits of Norway. Time must of itself give birth to this before the century has run its course, and so much the sooner as our forces are united to that purpose” (Language Conflict and Language Planning, page 27, the quote at the top). In this quote you can also see that Henrik Wergeland shares the same idea as Knud Knudsen, which he actually inspired. The idea that language change should not be done abruptly, like Ivar Aasen did
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