Modern Gutnish

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Native to Sweden
Region Gotland
Native speakers
500?  (date missing)[citation needed]
Early forms
Old Gutnish
  • Gutnish
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog gutn1238[1]

Modern Gutnish, or Gotlandic, is the native language of the Gotlandic people on the island of Gotland in present-day Sweden. It was both a spoken and written language until late medieval times. Today it exists as a spoken language, but is to some degree mixed with Swedish, Danish and German. It is an open issue whether modern Gutnish is to be considered an independent language or a Scandinavian dialect. It derives, however, from Old Gutnish.

Knowledge of Gutnish is relatively weak both among Gotlanders (Gutes) and other Swedes. It is spoken mainly in the southern parts of the island and in some parts of Fårö. Gutnish exists in two variants, Mainland Gutnish and Faroymal on Fårö. The Faroymal is considered the more archaic of the two forms.

Some features of Gutnish include the preservation of Old Norse diphthongs like ai in for instance stain (Swedish sten, English stone) and oy in for example doy (Swedish , English die). There is also a triphthong that exists in no other Norse languages: iau as in skiaute/skiauta (Swedish skjuta, English shoot).

Comparison with other Germanic languages[edit]

English Dutch German Norwegian (Bokmål) Norwegian (Nynorsk) Danish Gutnish Icelandic Swedish Faroese Jamtish
eye oog Auge øye auge/auga øje auge/auga auga öga eyga aaug
hear horen hören høre høyre/høyra høre hoyre/hoyra heyra höra hoyra höör
sleep slapen schlafen sove sove/sova sove sive/siva sofa sova sova sava
evil euvel (arch.), kwaad böse, übel ond vond ond aumbr vondur ond óndur ful
ship schip Schiff skip skip skib skip skip skepp skip skepp
sing zingen singen synge syngje/syngja synge/sjunge singe/singa syngja sjunga syngja sjoong
high hoog hoch høy høg høj haug hár hög høgur/háur höyg
right rechts rechts høyre høgre højre hygar hægri höger høgra höger
boat boot Boot båt båt båd bat bátur båt bátur båut
over over über over over/yver over yvar yfir över yvir omma
shoot schieten schießen skyte skyte/skyta / skjote/skjota skyde skiaute/skiauta skjóta skjuta skjóta skjuut



  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Gutniska". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

External links[edit]