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Birkasvenskan/Hedebynordiskan – kring en språkhistorisk konstruktion
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts. Institutionen för språkstudier. (Nordliga studier)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8748-9934
2018 (Swedish)In: Studier i svensk språkhistoria 14 / [ed] Harry Lönnroth, Bodil Haagensen, Maria Kvist & Kim Sandvad West, Vasa: University of Vaasa , 2018, p. 1-51Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This contribution examines Bengt Hesselman's (1936) and Gun Widmark's (1994a, 2001, 2010) thesis about the existence of a so-called Birkasvensk/ Hedebynordisk variety. This assumed Viking Age variety is supposed to have spread from Hedeby in Southern Jutland to the Swedish and Norwegian language areas. From Birka, but also from Kaupang, a further diffusion then took place. Basically, the language features were supposed to emanate  from  the  adjacent  West  Germanic  area. The  features  discussed  are,  e.g., diphthongization of long e 2  to ia/iä, monophthongization  of au to long o and disappearance of initial h. These language features and their distribution in the Scandinavian languages are discussed in great detail in  the contribution,  and  the  result  is  that  a Birkasvensk/ Hedebynordisk variety probably did not exist. The reasons are that the status of the language features in question in the West Germanic area in several cases is very difficult to establish, that the distribution patterns in Scandinavia differ quite markedly if the different features are compared, and that good alternative explanations of the sound developments and the distribution patterns do exist. Nevertheless, the discussion is important, since it has given the language historians opportunities to assume wider geographical perspectives, as in this case the language history is thereby discussed in a historical context. The discussion of a Birkasvensk/ Hedebynordisk variety also causes sociolinguistic perspectives on the Viking Age language to be considered. Hesselman' s thesis has not really been seriously discussed until recent decades and the author also discusses the reasons for this.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Vasa: University of Vaasa , 2018. p. 1-51
Series
Vaasan yliopiston tutkimuksia / University of Vaasa Research Papers, ISSN 2489-2556, E-ISSN 2489-2564 ; 305
Keywords [en]
Scandinavian languages, language history, Scandinavian dialects, Vikings, Hedeby, Birka, Bengt Hesselman, Gun Widmark
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148545ISBN: 978-952-476-799-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-148545DiVA, id: diva2:1215150
Conference
Svenska språkets historia. Fjortonde sammankomsten i Vasa den 9–10 juni 2016
Available from: 2018-06-07 Created: 2018-06-07 Last updated: 2019-06-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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