Norse and Icelandic

T. Eythórsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Old Norse is a medieval North Germanic language attested in Norway and Iceland. Most of the evidence comes from texts that were written and preserved in Iceland. Modern Icelandic is closer to Old Norse than any other modern Nordic language. Nevertheless, numerous innovations have taken place in Icelandic, mostly affecting its phonology and syntax rather than its morphology. Among interesting linguistic features are preaspirated stops, oblique subjects, stylistic fronting, and symmetric verb-second. In accordance with the policy of language purism in Iceland, neologisms are created for new concepts rather than borrowing words from other languages. The ancient system of patronymics has been preserved.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Language and Linguistics
PublisherElsevier Ltd.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780080448541
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Other keywords

  • Icelandic
  • Insular Scandinavian languages
  • Language purism
  • Modern Icelandic
  • Nordic languages
  • Norse
  • Oblique subject
  • Old Icelandic
  • Old Norse
  • Old West Nordic languages
  • Patronymics
  • Preaspiration
  • Scandinavian languages
  • Stylistic fronting
  • Symmetric verb-second


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