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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic ExperimentThe Case of Modern Norwegian$
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Ernst Jahr

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637829

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637829.001.0001

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Two Norwegian written standards: is linguistic reconciliation possible? Early twentieth century up to the 1917 language reforms

Two Norwegian written standards: is linguistic reconciliation possible? Early twentieth century up to the 1917 language reforms

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter 5 Two Norwegian written standards: is linguistic reconciliation possible? Early twentieth century up to the 1917 language reforms
Source:
Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment
Author(s):

Ernst Håkon Jahr

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637829.003.0005

Early on in the 20th century, other solutions to the language question were proposed: would it be possible to find a way out which did not imply the defeat of either Landsmaal or Riksmaal? Was a merger possible? The urban and eastern dialects both seemed to offer possibilities as possible linguistic bridges. Between 1915 and 1917 there was a breakthrough in Parliament for the idea of the development of a pan-Norwegian language variety through language planning. Protection by law was given to rural and low-status urban dialects in 1915 and 1917. These dialects were now considered a possible basis for a merging of Landsmaal and Riksmaal. A serious weakness of this analysis was the absence of an understanding of the underlying sociolinguistic differences between the two standards. The language reforms of 1917 represent the conclusion of the first language planning period (1814-1917), the period that focussed on creating a national standard. There now existed two national written standards, and both were based on spoken varieties found within the country’s boundaries.

Keywords:   Pan-Norwegian, protection by law of rural and urban dialects, low-status dialects as basis for written standards, sociolinguistic differences, reform of 1917

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