Høgnorsk

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Høgnorsk, meaning "High Norwegian", is a term for varieties of the Norwegian language form Nynorsk that reject most of the official reforms that have been introduced since the creation of Landsmål. Høgnorsk typically accepts the initial reforms that, among other things, removed certain silent letters of etymological origin, while keeping most of the Landsmål grammar intact.

Professor Torleiv Hannaas is often credited for introducing the term 'Høgnorsk' in an article in 1922, "Høgnorsk eller flatnorsk?". He used it analogously to High German (Hochdeutsch),[1] pointing out that Ivar Aasen, the creator of Nynorsk orthography, had especially valued the dialects of the mountainous areas of middle and western Norway, as opposed to the dialects of the lowlands of eastern Norway, which Hannaas called flatnorsk (Flat Norwegian, like Plattdeutsch).

The Høgnorsk movement grew out of opposition to the official Samnorsk policy which aimed at evening out the differences between Nynorsk and the other main variety of Norwegian language, Bokmål. Reforms to this end were carried through in 1938 and 1959. Initially there was considerable resistance against these reforms, but the resulting standard is now widely accepted. Høgnorsk is currently supported by the Ivar Aasen-sambandet and the activists behind Målmannen, but has relatively few active users.

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  1. ^ Hochdeutsch is the linguistic term for the southern and central dialects of German, spoken in the more mountainous parts of the German language area, in contrast to Low German (Plattdeutsch or Niederdeutsch) spoken mainly in the North German Plain. However, non-scientifically, Hochdeutsch (unlike its English equivalent "High German") is the common word for "Standard German". The scientific German term for Standard German is Neuhochdeutsch ("New High German").

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