Gutnish

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Gutnish
Gotlandic
Gotländska/Gutamål/Gutniska
Native to Sweden
Region Gotland Island, Fårö Island
Native speakers
~2,000-5,000 (1998)[1][2]
Early forms
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog gutn1238[3]

Gutnish, or Gotlandic (Swedish: Gotländska, Gutniska or Gutamål) refers to the dialects of the Swedish language spoken on the islands of Gotland and Fårö.[4] The dialects, while stemming from the Old Gutnish (Swedish: Forngutniska) variety of Old Norse, are considered part of modern Swedish. Gutnish exists in two variants, Mainland Gotlandic (Swedish: Laumål), mostly spoken in the southern portion of Gotland, and Faroymal (Swedish: Färömål), spoken on parts of the island of Fårö. UNESCO defines Gutnish as a "definitely endangered language" as of 2010.[5]

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).

Most Gotlanders can understand Gutnish, but tend to speak Standard Swedish, as contemporary Gutnish is also closer to Standard Swedish.

There are major efforts to revive the traditional version of Modern Gutnish, and Gutamålsgillet (Gutnish Language Guild) is organizing classes and meetings for speakers of traditional Gutnish. According to the guild's webpage, there are now 1500 people using Gutnish on Facebook.[6]

Lexicon[edit]

Gotlandic has many words of its own that make it different from Swedish. Here is a small selection of Gotlandic's everyday vocabulary:[7]

Gutnish Swedish German English
päiku flickan das Mädchen the girl / maiden
sårken pojken der Junge the boy
russe hästen das Pferd the horse
rabbis kanin Kaninchen rabbit
träsket sjön der See the sea
sjoen havet das Meer the ocean

Status[edit]

Like most dialects of Swedish, Gotlandic is under great influence of the Swedish standard language, both through speaker contact and through media and (perhaps most importantly) written language. As a result, Gotlandic has become much closer to the Swedish standard language. There are also many Gotlanders who do not learn the dialect, but speak a regionally colored variant of the standard Swedish. This is characterized mainly by its intonation, but also by diphthongs and tripthongs, some lexical peculiarities as well as the infinitive ending -ä.

The Gutamålsgillet association, which has been working for the preservation and revitalization of Gotlandic since 1945, estimates that Gotlandic is spoken today by 2,000 to 5,000 people.[8] How many are still passive, is not specified. However, an interest in Gotlandic seems to be present: From 1989 to 2011, the radio show Gutamål ran in Radio Gotland[9], which regularly reached about 15,000 to 20,000 listeners,[10] , and in 2008 Gotland University offered their first course in Gotlandic. Gutamålsgillet collects writings of authors and poets who write their texts in Gotlandic, and maintains a Swedish-Gotlandic dictionary and an ever-growing list of Gotlandic neologisms.

Examples[edit]

Um kvälden
Nätt'l för manfolk u kungvall för kune.
Neie slags örtar för ymsedere.
Svalk di bei saudi, styrk di me dune
um däu jär djaupt i naudi nere!
Vävald pa raini, rindlaug i hagen
- täusen sma kluckar gynnar ljaude.
Die aimar fran marki u rydmen av dagen
slucknar langum för livnes u daude.
Gustaf Larsson[11]


Staingylpen
Staingylpen gärdä bryllaup,
langhalu bigravdä läik,
tra torkä di däu sigderäivarä
va fyrä komst däu intä däit?
Nach P.A. Säve[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120828130434/http://www.gutamal.org:80/gillet/faq
  2. ^ Moseley, Christopher, ed. (2010). Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Memory of Peoples (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO Publishing. ISBN 978-92-3-104096-2. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Archaic Gutnish". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Swedish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  5. ^ Moseley, Christopher, ed. (2010). Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Memory of Peoples (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO Publishing. ISBN 978-92-3-104096-2. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  6. ^ Description of Gutnish on Gotland Tourism Website
  7. ^ Gutamålsgillets Årdliste / Ordlista
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120828130434/http://www.gutamal.org:80/gillet/faq
  9. ^ Archiv der Sendungen Gutamål auf Sveriges Radio
  10. ^ Gutamålsgillet
  11. ^ Herbert Gustavson: Gutamålet – inledning till studium. 3. überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Barry Press Förlag, Visby 1977, S. 62.
  12. ^ Herbert Gustavson: Gutamålet – inledning till studium. 3. überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Barry Press Förlag, Visby 1977, S. 73.

External links[edit]