Talk:History of Icelandic

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I have started the article using the body from the Icelandic language article and headings from the Italian article, and requested its translation into English. If anyone can help to translate, please step forward. Max Naylor 16:21, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Translation complete. Max Naylor 08:55, 2 June 2007 (UTC)


I can't find the source for it, but I'm really sure that Old Norse didn't have the pitch accent current Norwegian and Swedish have (refered to as "music" in this article). This pitch accent is a relatively new development in these languages. So I think that what's stated in this article, that Icelandic has lost that pitch accent, is wrong, and that it just branched out before Norwegian and Swedish developed their pitch accent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Nor. & Swe. ð > d[edit]

The article says:

"With regards to consonants, Continental Scandinavian languages and most other Germanic languages lost the series of fricatives þ, ð, which were retained only in Icelandic and English (which shows here a phonological trait which is notably archaic). They were substituted by corresponding dentals [t], [d] (cfr. Norweigan, Swedish tung "heavy" smed "smith", whilst Icelandic þungr, smiðr (modern Icelandic þungur, smiður); note however that modern Danish has reintroduced the sonorant fricative [ð] which was formed by language contact."

In fact, in practically all Norwegian and Swedish dialects, ON ð became silent, just as in Faroese. Thus, Norwegian and Swedish smed (ON smiðr/smiðʀ) is pronounced [sme:], not "[sme:d]", in most dialects. In Swedish, the latter pronounciation is bookish and, among common people, belongs to the 20th century. // JiPe ( (talk) 21:09, 31 October 2008 (UTC))

Yeah. Overall this is not a very accurate article. Haukur (talk) 22:58, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Icelandic and Finnish?[edit]

A Connection? perhaps something for better knowing ppl to look into. I base this question on one word - Sími -, in Icelandic this was a line between boats. Thats exactly what this word means in finnish. Now, i would be very interested in hearing about which one came first and affected which. (talk) 22:08, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about this word in particular, but I know Finnish borrowed many words from Proto-Germanic (the most famous being kuningas from PGmc. *kuningaz) and Old Norse, so I wouldn't be surprised if sími turned out to be an Old Norse word that's been borrowed into Finnish and inherited in Icelandic. Alternatively, it could be coincidence (the way it's a coincidence that the Persian word for "bad" is bad and some Australian Aboriginal language word for "dog" is dog). —Angr 06:27, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The IP seems to refer to siima; the comment made me assume the word in question was siimi or the like. It does seem like a Germanic loan, compare German Seil and the Proto-Indo-European verbal root *sh2ei- "to tie, bind". (My impression is that the phonotactical structure of siima is also untypical of inherited Uralic lexemes.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:14, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Celtic influence section[edit]

Since this section is completely lacking in citations, it should simply be deleted. It seems to be an attempt to assert the opposite of that which seems obvious, that it is Old Norse that affected Scottish Gaelic, rather than Goidelic that affected Icelandic phonology. Indeed, the article on preaspiration claims that some Swedish and Sami dialects show preaspiration.CecilWard (talk) 15:22, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I for one would not object to the deletion of the section. Even if it can be sourced, it sounds like a very WP:FRINGE theory that is not well established enough to warrant mention at Wikipedia. +Angr 15:41, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

copy editing[edit]

The difference between letter and sound, and between sound and phoneme, was confused. I tried fixing it up, but probably got some wrong, so please proof. — kwami (talk) 01:23, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

The "Foreign influences on Icelandic" section[edit]

I know very little about Icelandic (which is why I was reading this article in the first place!) but the "Foreign influences" section bothers me somewhat. It really reads more like a personal reflection or essay than a standard Wikipedia article. This isn't helped by the complete absence of citations, but there are other problems too: the use of words such as "perhaps" implies original research, and the lack of clarity regarding borrowings, in particular the assertion that all (my emphasis) other Germanic languages share the mentioned terms of Latin origin. (I can't actually think of an English equivalent to kaupa, as it happens, but my concern is broader than that.) Loganberry (Talk) 01:47, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Just to respond to your one example, the adjective cheap is cognate with kaupa and is descended from the Latin loanword in Proto-Germanic. The surname Chapman originally meant "merchant" and is exactly parallel to German Kaufmann. —Angr (talk) 05:18, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Subsections for Middle Icelandic[edit]

Would chronology be the best way to group the sound changes in Middle Icelandic (1350–1550)? ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 11:55, 16 July 2011 (UTC)


This sentence seems very subjective: "This ability is sometimes mildly overstated by Icelanders themselves, most of whom actually read the Sagas with updated modern spelling and footnotes—though otherwise intact." (talk) 21:16, 22 October 2013 (UTC)