Arkaismar i nynorsken
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An “archaism” in this context means a word deemed obsolete or typical of an older period in language history, while being out of tune in present-day usage. Nynorsk has a tradition of purism, especially directed against words of Danish and German stock which are dominant in Bokmål and also common in dialectal speech, even the speech of many Nynorsk users. They are often (attempted) replaced with alternative coinages of genuine Nynorsk stock, sometimes with success, sometimes not. Purism has in the most recent decades been controversial among Nynorsk users, and it has been lessened to a considerable degree. As a result, many of the words formerly coined to replace Dano-German loanwords, have themselves been branded as “archaisms”, a result of a purism which is now by many regarded as exaggerated. Such words may still, however, be used to obtain particular stylistic effects. This article purports to discuss archaisms in Nynorsk in a general linguistic background, and to show some of the stylistic functions archaisms may have. The general phenomenon of archaims is placed in a style-historical perspective, and lines are drawn back to Roman and Greek antiquity. The question of how one can define and delimit archaisms in Nynorsk is discussed, and the function and scope of archaizaton in Nynorsk is treated (Nynorsk was after all codified as a means to bridge the historical gap between Old Norse and modern Norwegian dialectal speech). The article, thus, is intended to clarify some linguistic concepts based on examples from Nynorsk. The article also discusses various views among Nynorsk users concerning archaization, and what relations there are between these views and the minority position Nynorsk has in relation to Bokmål. Based on this, the article gives some consequences for the teaching in Nynorsk in schools. The empirical basis of the article is of various kinds: expressions of opinions by different Nynorsk users, and some literary texts: Jon Fosse’s novel Andvake (2007), Nils Rune Langeland’s essay collection Noreg ‘Norway’ (208), Eilev Groven Myhren’s Nynorsk translation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (2006), and Liv Hatle’s translation of short stories by the Finnish-Estonian author Aino Kallas (2001).
PublisherDet Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskab
SeriesSkrifter (Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskab)