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Elfdalian, a divergent Nordic dialect now and throughout the ages

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Hanna Danbolt Ajer.

Elfdalian (autonym ‘Övdalsk’, Swedish ‘Älvdalska’) is spoken by around two thousand people in the Swedish municipality of Älvdalen, Dalarna. It is a variety of the Northern Dalecarlian dialects, which developed from Old Norse in relative isolation. This position has resulted in a number of striking archaisms and innovations not known or no longer known from other Nordic languages, particularly within the domains of phonology and morphology. Moving back through time, we will trace back several important linguistic developments to different periods, and see that this branch of Dalecarlian, though never fully separated from the surrounding dialects, started diverging from the Nordic continuum already in Proto-Norse times.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group series.

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