Talk:Elfdalian dialect

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AV- word order[edit]

What is an "AV- word order in coordinated clauses with deleted subjects"? I only associate AV with agent-verb, which doesn't seem to make much sense in this context. Pittmirg 09:40, 18 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pittmirg (talkcontribs)


Has ti anything to do with elven mythology in the Scandinavian lands? I guess it does, better give an etymology... Undead Herle King (talk) 05:38, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

The name "Älvdalen" you mean? No it has nothing to do with elves. A Scandivanvian word for river is älv (spelled elf before the 20th century) and dal is cognate to English "dale" (valley). //Heimvennar - divider 12:55, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
It's worth mentioning here that there are plenty of places in Sweden called Älvdal, Älvdalen (definite) or Älvdala (plural or def. dative) - 'River Valley' - due to this very common topography in the northern half of Scandinavia. Write "älvdal" in e.g. Eniro's map search. Of course, the reference to mythical beings isn't realistic given the topography of these places.
JiPe ( (talk) 17:28, 13 September 2009 (UTC))

Own language?[edit]

I think claiming the Dalecarlian is a separate language from Swedish is not NPOV. I can find no professional linguist asserting this. --Gabbe 17:42, Jun 19, 2004 (UTC)

If it is not immediately understandable for other Swedes, it is a separate language. On the other hand, there are no good reason to consider Norwegian and Swedish separate languages. --Oddeivind (talk) 18:14, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
It is considered by many, as well by experts, as an own language rather than a dialect. It have an own orthography (if this can be a measure of an own language.) Anyway, I just state some information from: (its only in Swedish and Daleclarian unfortunately) // Rogper 14:45, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That article clearly mentions that it is traditionally counted as a dialect, that it nowadays has an orthography (it didn't use to have..) and further goes on to talk of älvdalska as a "linguistic variety". Granted, I didn't know about the separate orthography bit, but since a separate orthography can be established quite established almost arbitrarily (especially in lanugages like Swedish or English, where spelling usually has less in common with the spoken languages than in languages/orthographies such as Russian, etc.) I'm all for calling it unique among Swedish dialects, and I'm not trying to deny that it certainly is more different from Standard Swedish than most dialects, but I still feel that calling it a separate language is more of a statement of opinion than a scientifically (that is linguistically) well-established fact, in the sense that it is something generally agreed upon by the vast majority of linguists in the field. Maybe a middle way would be to have the article claim that it is considered by some linguists as being a separate language, or something to that effect? —Gabbe 18:12, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
Dalecarlian has less in common with Swedish than Norwegian or Danish has. I have yet to meet a linguist that doesn't consider it a separate language. How much do you understand out of this text? [[User:Tsujigiri|辻斬り]] 13:27, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
That's ridiculous. You can find examples of old dialects from all of Sweden that are incomprehensible to a speaker of modern standard Swedish. They are dialects of Swedish nevertheless. That doesn't mean they are separate languages.
Yeah, I agree. This is part of a series of misinterpreation of SIL's often quite inexplicable and very inconsistent tendency to classify certain (but far from all) dialects of Swedish as seperate languages. Just the fact that älvdalsmål ("Dalecarlian" is the nonsense-translation dervied from yet another nonsense translation of the Swedish Dalarna) is featured in the sample collection of the Swedish dialect project SweDia, is reason enough to remove the language template. The same has already been done for Scanian language, which was also moved to Scanian (linguistics).
No Swedish linguists, even if they are perfectly aware of the sometimes arbitrary distinctions between languages and dialects, use the term "language" to describe this dialect. I don't mind having a seperate article for the dialect, but I disapprove of the pseudo-English title and think it should have its proper Swedish name älvdalsmål instead, or at something like "Älvdalen dialect".
Peter Isotalo 13:31, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
What about Älvdalen tongue? Seems to me like the most neutral English term. As for the the article, I think it should explain how älvdalsmål has a separate lineage to Old Norse, while traditionally being regarded as a Swedish dialect. Please bear with me if I've got it all wrong — I believe the situation is similar to the Norwegian dialects of upper Setesdal, which are unintelligible with most other dialects, but still considered Norwegian because they're spoken in Norway, by Norwegians, and its speakers write in one of the standard languages. contrapuncti 22:15, May 20, 2005 (UTC)
Let's try to stay away from making our own translations. It wreaked some serious havoc with the articles on the provinces of Sweden. If no common English name exists ("Dalecarlian" is SIL's own completely unsupported concept) then it's best to stick with the Swedish terms that are recognized by almost all linguists. I moved the article, removed the infobox and rewrote the article quite a bit. Still a stub, but now it actually makes some sense.
Peter Isotalo 18:07, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
If a "dialect" in Sweden is incomprehensible to a speaker of modern standard Swedish, then it is by definition not a dialect, but a language. Rikssvensk, however, could not be considered a language, as it is mutually understandable with most Norwegian dialects. In fact, modern Swedish and Modern Norwegian belongs to the same modern Scandinavian language. --Oddeivind (talk) 00:17, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

"New" diphtongs? Aren't the diphtongs old diphtongs, if they were present in Old Norse?

As far as I know, all diphtongs in Älvdalsmål are secondary. But in the dialects spoken just west of Älvdalen parish (Transtrand and Lima dialects), the Old Norse diphtongs are indeed preserved.
Jens Persson jepe2503 AT hotmail DOT com (13 Jan 2006)


Is this statement really correct?

There are fewer differences between it and standard Swedish than between British English and American English,

When I read information from Nordic language institute in Uppsala I found out that they are quite different. // Rogper 07:22, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The statement is very untrue. Just to take a quick example; the Dalecarlian sentence ulum dalska means in Swedish vi ska tala dalska. You will not find such big differences between American and British English. [[User:Tsujigiri|辻斬り]] 13:42, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have looked at learning Dalecarlian and it is very different from Norwegian (which I can speak OK), Swedish and Danish. It retains alot of features that I know none of them do and only Jamska, Faroese and Icelandic still have (I think might Gotish too?). I suspect to Swedish-only speakers it probably sounds rather archaic.-- 05:29, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Obviously, it seems like several people have no idea about what Älvdalsmål is. Claiming that it is as close to Standard Swedish as British English is to American English and claiming that it is spoken in Värmland (see below) is simply just a proof that some people should not "contribute" to Wiki. Please, if one does not have even the most basic knowledge about the subject, then do not add to the article in question! personally I have studied Älvdalsmål for five years or so quite thoroughly (on non-scholar level), and it is clear that most contributors here have not. Just to mention one name which is spreading his own biased personal views, often close to being disparaging and insulting to people in question, on the topics of several (dialect related) articles, I mention Peter Isotalo.
Jens Persson jepe2503 AT hotmail DOT com (13 Jan 2006)

"England and America are two countries separated by a common language." GB Shaw Robert Greer (talk) 22:56, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Älvdalsmål spoken in Värmland!?[edit]

Exactly where in Värmland is Älvdalsmål spoken? This information puzzles me since the distance between the Älvdalen parish and the border to Värmland is considerable. Did a group of Älvdalen people some time in history migrate to Värmland to form an Älvdalsmål speaking community? Until someone will confirm that Älvdalsmål is spoken in Värmland, I'll remove the claim. (I didn't think I could avoid the word moron describing the one who has claim the statement, but I could.)
Jens Persson jepe2503 AT hotmail DOT com (13 Jan 2006)

Please cite your sources. Your statements need to be verifiable or we can't possible know if you're being neutral or not.
Peter Isotalo 09:30, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Nationalencyklopedin. (Or, since NE isn't too reliable concerning dialectology, e.g. Bengt Pamp's Svenska dialekter ( ).) The sources don't say there isn't something called "Älvdalsmål" spoken in Värmland (there actually is such a dialect), but they definitely say that the dialect described in the article is confined to the Älvdalen parish, Dalecarlia.
I suggest you split the article into Älvdalsmål_(Dalecarlia) (the article already existing) and Älvdalsmål_(Värmland) (a new article describing the dialect spoken in Värmland - there's a description about it in the split article in NE).
Jens Persson ( 21:46, 8 October 2006 (UTC))
I forgot to say the following. Please mr Isotalo, regarding your statement that Älvdalsmål (as described in the present article) is also spoken in Värmland, cite your sources. Your statements need to be verifiable or we can't possible know if you're being neutral or not.
Jens Persson ( 21:06, 16 October 2006 (UTC))

Östen Dahl of Råðdjärum[edit]

Mr Isotalo, you did the following edit:

where you e.g. changed the statement

"Recently there have been attempts to create a written standard language for Elfdalian through the establishment of the Ulum Dalska association with the help of the Råðdjärum (lit. 'Let us confer') group of Swedish linguists such as Östen Dahl."


"Recently there have been attempts to create a written standard for Älvdalsmål through the establishment of the association Ulum Dalska with the help of the groupRåðdjärum (lit. 'Let us confer') and prominent Swedish linguists such as Östen Dahl."

i.e., the original (implicitly) stated fact that Östen Dahl is a member of Råðdjärum is changed into a (implicit) statement that Östen Dahl is not a member of the mentioned group. If you check the reference (given in the article) you'll see the following statement:

"Råðdjärum, Älvdalska språkrådet började sin verksamhet i augusti 2004. Det består av fem ledamöter: Östen Dahl, Gunnar Nyström, Yair Sapir, Lars Steensland och Inga-Britt Petersson."

i.e., Östen Dahl is a member of Råðdjärum! This was the reference I used when originally stating that he's a member of the group. Now, if you condiser your given information to be more reliable than mine, please cite your sources. Your statements need to be verifiable or we can't possible know if you're being neutral or not.

Jens Persson ( 21:26, 16 October 2006 (UTC))

Move of article[edit]

Please note that contributions to this article on 31 December 2006 and 1 January 2007 (notably the move from Älvdalsmål to Elfdalian) were made by a friend who is interested in Elfdalian. Since I was logged in he happened to write under my username. I can't claim any responsability for changes made nor should I be credited for all his fine work. Likewise, I won't enter into any discussion about these specific changes. --Sasper 16:32, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

"Elfdalian" seems like a good title, but it would be nice to have more than just a single article on the topic as evidence that it is indeed the most commonly used English name. We also have a problem with the definition now because Dalecarlian language redirects here, but is defined in this article as the East Scandinavian dialect group to which Elfdalian belongs. There's also a link to the Ethnologue entry that uses the term "Darlecarlian" for this particular dialect.
Peter Isotalo 18:33, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
"Elfdalian" is the common English name used for Älvdalska today, used by Prof. Östen Dahl among others. See also the English summaries of the articles on Efdalian on [1]. Elfdalian is a member of the Dalecarlian dialect group, in turn a member of the East Scandinavian language group. Unfortunately this information is for some reason not visible in the entry's language classification box. VR
I don't think it is accurate to say that "Elfdalian" is the most commonly used English name. As far as I can tell it was introduced by Dahl & Koptjevskaja-Tamm in 2005 and adopted by Sapir in his article. There seem to be as many articles using the less misleading term "Övdalian." I say misleading because the meaning of älv (Övdalian öv, by regular sound change) is 'river' but the neologism Elfdalian inspires visions of elves. Svenonius 07:24, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I am by the way in Älvdalen as I write this, doing research on the language/dialects, and the river is culturally extremely salient, so much so that it forms the basis for the system of compass directions; the words cognate with 'west' and 'east' (base forms west- and ost-) refer to opposite directions away from the river, which runs generally north-south; so that where the river bends to run west-east, as it does between Brunnsberg and Karlsarvet (locally Kallser), what English would call 'south' is west. The words corresponding to 'north' and 'south' similarly use the way the river runs, rather than magnetic or polar north. Just in case you thought that it was accidental that the place should be called 'River Valley.' Svenonius
Interesting, but what does this observation have to do with the discussion concerning the word "Elfdalian"?
Jens Persson ( 01:39, 7 July 2007 (UTC))

"Dalecarlian" and conservation[edit]

Currently, the separate classification of "Dalecarlian" redirects here and I can't for the live of me understand exactly what other dialects are supposed to be included in this group. It seems that they both are just pretty different terms for the same thing.

I'm also a tad skeptical to the claim that the dialect is the "best preserved". My experience is that linguists tend to consider these kinds of statements to be over-simplification as all languages experience change one way or the other. The ever-present tendency for younger speakers to differ their speech from their elders, for example, can hardly be absent in Dalarna. So which of the sources actually makes this claim? Could we have a citation either here or in the article?

Peter Isotalo 13:48, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Dalecarlian is the English word for Swedish dalmål (especially österdalälvsmåland västerdalälvsmål). There are many dalmål, e.g. Orsamål, Moramål, Våmhusmål etc.
Please, use common sense when it comes to the claim about conservatism. Do we really have to dig up references supporting obvious claims? If you have the time, you can read Östen Dahl's article Att sätta älvdalskan på kartan where this issue is discussed, especially in chapter 4. In the English summary, Dahl writes:
"It is also shown that the Ovansiljan varieties on one hand belong the most conservative in Scandinavia, on the other display a considerable number of innovations which turn out to be quite widely distributed in northern and eastern Scandinavia. It is hypothesized that these innovations may have have spread from the Mälar provinces during the early Middle Ages, although they are no longer found there, due to influence from the south."
I definitely recommend you to read the article thoroughly.
Jens Persson ( 23:39, 27 May 2007 (UTC))

You are absolutely right, Jens. I am trying to make a little bit order in the confusion between Dalecarlian and Elfdalian. I hope it is somewhat clearer by now.

""norrøn"", 24 April 2013

Unicode is giving me grief on this article[edit]

There are two letters - one with A plus ogonek and one with Y - that have boxes next to them. What are these letters supposed to be? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:12, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

A-ogonek with a box next to it is probably A-ogonek with a ring above - it's pronounced [õ:] i.e. [o:] nasalized. The Y with a box next to it is probably Y-ogonek, i.e. nasalized Y. The trouble is the font you have installed on your computer. I recommend installing f.ex. the free DejaVu fonts, which can be found at the DejaVu wiki. They can be considered "OpenSource font standard" kind of. Said: Rursus 07:31, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Bad map or wrong map[edit]

The map provided displays an area where elfdalian is not spoken. The map displays an area where a mixed Swedish-Norwegian dialect is spoken, the so called Särna-Idre dialect. Instead the link to Östen Dahl provides a map where three groups of Dalecarlian are spoken (the difference between Elfdalian and Dalecarlian not clear to me), which is south east of the Särna-Idre area. Said: Rursus 07:52, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Two maps. Said: Rursus 08:03, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
That's why I added Elfdalian is spoken in the southeastern halffor a pretty long time ago in order to avoid confusion.
Jens Persson ( (talk) 19:41, 19 September 2008 (UTC))

Language code[edit]

What about the language code? Ethnologue gives dlc as the iso 639-3 code (here) and links to SIL, but SIL does not recognize that code. Is it newly introduced by Ethnologue, or has it been removed from ISO 639-3? Mike (talk) 16:46, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I just found this out indirectly from a blog about Scanian. The same thing has happened to both Scanian and Jamtlandic as well, see here (scy) and here (jmk), respectively. Since Scanian is spoken in parts of Denmark the effect of the removal of the language code for Scanian is that parts of Denmark where Scanian is claimed to be spoken is now listed as being Swedish (as well as Danish) speaking! Read about it here. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, probably both.
JiPe ( (talk) 02:33, 26 June 2010 (UTC))

Recent renaming of the article[edit]

On Jan 20, 2013 the user Kwamikagami "moved page Elfdalian language to Elfdalian dialect", but I see no recent discussion about the subject, and I cannot use "undo" on the History page. Is it "fair use" to make such a major page-move like this? (talk) 21:04, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Well, Kwami is a linguist so I would assume they know what they were doing. I've been browsing around and it's difficult to get a clear verdict. Övdalian does not seem to have an army and a navy. Ethnologue does not list it, but it lists Dalecarlian as a dialect--which would make Övdalian a dialect as well. Drmies (talk) 21:14, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
    • The Wikipedia page links to an article in Aftonbladet, whose translated title is "Elfdalian is a language - not a Swedish dialect". It is signed by several linguists, some of whom have worked with Elfdalian for decades, written dictionaries, co-authored a 600 page grammar etc. As I wrote above, Kwamikagami has not written anything on this Talk page before moving the page. Shouldn't he/she at least try to present some argument(s) against that Aftonbladet article? (I can translate the Aftonbladet article if anyone's interested.) (talk) 10:31, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
    • PS. Although Ethnologue is a very helpful resource at times, it is no omniscient authority. I've heard many linguists complain about Ethnologue's classifications and naming practices.) (talk) 10:35, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I know nothing of this situation, and Ethnologue is not to be relied on. But if Elfdalian is a language, wouldn't that make Dalecarlian a language family? AFAICT, no-one claims that it is. Or perhaps Elfdalian is the standard of a Dalecarlian language. Question: Is Elfdalian mutually intelligible with other Dalecarlian varieties? If so, then it would be normal to say that they are dialects of a single language, though whether that language is Swedish, Dalecarlian, or something else is another question.
In our article, we state that, "The three main dialects of the Dalecarlian language, Övmål, Mormål and Orsmol are mutually intelligible but not readily interintelligible with surrounding dialects of Rettvik, Leksand, Särna or neighbouring province Hälsingland. It is therefore more correct to specify these three together to constitute the language Dalecarlian, whilst Elfdalian or Övmål is one of the three main dialects". That contradiction may have been my reason for making the move. — kwami (talk) 10:49, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for replying. Good point about Dalecarlian's status as a "language family" vs. "dialect group". As far as I know, the dialect continuum in the Upper Siljan area (green on this map [[2]]) began to diverge from the Swedish spoken closer to Stockholm already in the 14th century, but of course (Standard) Swedish has since been reintroduced in the area, and influenced the vernaculars. As you can probably see on the map I link to, Älvdalen in the north-western green area is quite far away from the relatively densely populated area around lake Siljan, and has therefore been more isolated than Mora and Orsa, which are closer to the lakes. I have asked people in Orsa about mutual comprehension, and although there are clear similarities between Orsamål and Elfdalian, there are differences in pronunciation (most notably the nasal vowels in E.) which may hinder spoken comprehension. Many diphthongs also differ, which can throw off the understanding pretty quickly. There are also some differences in vocabulary. (The same should apply for Mora, but I have not spoken to people there.) Still in the early 1960's, the first contact most children in Älvdalen had with (Standard) Swedish was through school, and older relatives often spoke no (Standard) Swedish.
Summary: Elfdalian has, historically, been less influenced by Swedish than have Orsamål and Moramål, so I would say that the Upper Siljan genetic relationship has been somewhat fragmented by the "uneven" influence of Swedish. Furthermore -- perhaps a moot point, but still worth mentioning in my opinion -- the average Swede understands spoken Bokmål Norwegian better than he/she would understand Elfdalian, even as spoken by younger generations. I will have to look closer at the section "Context" in the article. (talk) 12:40, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
"Dialect group" is often jargon for a language that for whatever reason someone doesn't recognize as a language. In an encyclopedia, I think we should avoid jargon and just call it a language. My impression so far is that Dalecarlian is a separate language from Swedish, and that it has some rather distinctive dialects, just as Swedish does, and that Elfdalian is one of these dialects. I find many British dialects difficult to understand as well, but recognize them as English. Somewhere I read that if you're a native speaker of A, and move to a B-speaking area, will you understand B after a couple weeks of letting your ears adjust? If yes, then A and B are dialects of one language. — kwami (talk) 20:48, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Any purely linguistic definition of "dialect" vs. "language" will have flaws, e.g. how different dialects of Serbo-Croatian split into the languages Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian in the 1990's. This happened not because of any linguistic revolution, but because of post-civil-war politics.
I suggest we name this article "Elfdalian", thus leaving out any judgment of dialect/language in the title. The matter is discussed in the text anyway. (talk) 15:20, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

More to do[edit]

-The grammar section needs some wikilinks. In Writing systems, the relation between Germanic runes, Dalecarlian alphabet, and Elfdalian runes is not clear. "Råðdjärum's Orthography" is unclearly written, and its relation to the aforementioned systems is not spelled out. I have no doubt that a lot of the External links are helpful--but they need to be brought in as references.

Hafspajen (talk) 09:22, 24 April 2013 (UTC)


I tried to bring some order to the "context" section:

- I changed the title of the section from "Context" into "Classification".

- I try to clarify the distinctions between Elfdalian and Dalecarlian, moving larger passages about Dalecarlian to the Dalecarlian dialects article.

- I added a date to the age of Dalecarlian according to Levander 1925, adding a reference.

""norrøn"", April 24 2013

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. No prejudice against a new RM for Elfdalian language. --BDD (talk) 22:00, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Elfdalian dialectElfdalian – There is currently no consensus on whether Elfdalian should be classified as a language or a dialect of Swedish. I suggest that this page is changed back to the title "Elfdalian", since the question of classification is discussed (with references) in the text. Felix ahlner (talk) 21:19, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support This page was moved to Elfdalian dialect, despite sources stating otherwise in the article. According to Wikipedia’s naming conventions for languages:
The word "language" is used for varieties which have standard forms, per common usage, even if they are not distinct languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility […] The term dialect should only be used for distinct but mutually intelligible varieties of a language, such as the Suzhou dialect of Wu Chinese, or Bukusu dialect (Luhya).
It’s well known that Elfdalian is mutually incomprehensible with Swedish, and even with other dialects in Dalecarlia.[3] There is also a standardised orthography and literature published in the language. As stated in the article, several Swedish linguists regard Elfdalian as a separate language. The article should be moved to Elfdalian language according to Wikipedia’s naming conventions. --Lundgren8 (t · c) 22:22, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support. Reversing undiscussed move to inaccurate (or at least generally disputed) title. Raise a separate RM if you want to move it to Elfdalian language, but clean this up immediately as at least a step in the right direction. Andrewa (talk) 03:42, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support a two-word title, as the first is an adjective begging the noun (which noun is another question, support "dialect" as more used). However, if this discussion results in a no clear consensus, agree that it should revert to the original title. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:04, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.