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Modern Norwegian is the Norwegian language that emerged after the Middle Norwegian transition period (1350-1536). The transition to Modern Norwegian is usually dated to 1525, or 1536, the year of the Protestant Reformation and the beginning of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway (1536-1814).
The Norwegian linguistic term for Modern Norwegian is nynorsk, literally New Norwegian. Nynorsk is also the name of a Norwegian written standard based on Modern Norwegian dialects, as opposed to Bokmål, which branched off the Danish language after the dissolution of Denmark-Norway and was gradually reformed using the Norwegian dialects and Nynorsk as a guideline.
In contrast to Old Norse language, Modern Norwegian has simplified inflections and a more fixed syntax. Old Norse vocabulary is to a considerable degree substituted by Low German, and this is the main reason why Modern Norwegian, together with contemporary Norwegian in general, Danish and Swedish, is no longer mutually intelligible with Insular Nordic (Icelandic and Faroese); see North Germanic languages.
While Modern Norwegian is a linguistic term with a specific historical meaning, contemporary Norwegian also includes the Dano-Norwegian koiné now commonly known as Standard Østnorsk (Standard East Norwegian) and the related official written standard Bokmål. Standard Østnorsk is spoken by a large and rapidly growing minority of Norwegians, and Bokmål is by far the most widely used written language, even among users of Modern Norwegian dialects.
The terms Nynorsk, Modern Norwegian and Contemporary Norwegian are somewhat confusing, because in Norwegian the same term Nynorsk is used for the first two, while Contemporary Norwegian could easily be called moderne norsk (literally Modern Norwegian) in Norwegian.
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