Danish language

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Danish language,

member of the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. The official language of Denmark, it is spoken by over 5 million people, most of whom live in Denmark; however, there are some Danish speakers in Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, Iceland, and the United States. Like the other Scandinavian languages, Danish is derived from Old Norse, and by the first half of the 12th cent. it could be distinguished from the parent tongue (see Germanic languagesGermanic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by about 470 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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; NorseNorse,
another name for the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). The modern Norse languages—Danish, Faeroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish—all stem from an earlier
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). Between 1100 and 1800 a number of phonological changes took place in Danish, and the grammar became increasingly simple. The spelling and pronunciation of the language began to be standardized c.1700, and a modern standard Danish can be said to have existed since about 1800, although there are still a number of dialects. Danish grammar is comparatively simple. The noun is inflected only to show the possessive and plural forms and has but two genders, neuter and nonneuter (or common). The meaning of nouns that are otherwise the same can depend on gender. For example, when used in the nonneuter øre means "coin," whereas used in the neuter øre means "ear." Homonyms may also be differentiated in Danish by the use of a stød, or glottal stop, which is a sound that results from the closing and opening of the glottis to expel air. Verbs have no personal inflection. Although the vocabulary of Danish is substantially native, many words have been borrowed from other languages, notably from Low German in the 14th to 16th cent.; from High German, Latin, and French in the 16th to 19th cent.; and from English since the late 19th cent. Because of the large number of similar and identical words in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, a knowledge of any one of these languages makes it possible to understand the spoken and written forms of the other two. Since c.1100, Danish has used the Roman alphabet, to which three symbols representing three vowels, å (written as aa before 1948), æ, and ø, have been added.


See L. F. A. Wimmer, A Short History of the Danish Language (1897); Danish grammars by E. Bredsdorff (1959) and E. Norlev and H. A. Koefoed (3d ed. 1968).

References in periodicals archive ?
As part of Madgex's continued international growth the Jobfinder launch marks our first Danish language site.
His various publications, involving many aspects of Western and Eastern European languages and literatures, appeared in English, French, German, Danish, and Icelandic; and he is to date the only foreigner to have edited a major work of Danish literature, the diaries of the Danish-Jewish writer Meir Aron Goldschmidt, published by the Society for Danish Language and Literature.
Unlike American English, which has borrowed innumerable words from Yiddish, the Danish language hardly shows any indication of a Jewish presence.
The word discount was assimilated into the Danish language during the past decade, but it bears a stigma of being synonomous with the word cheap and its connotations: low price and low quality.
NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that its Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search apps for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad have made their debut in Denmark, supporting the Danish language.
compile six essays drawn from a conference held in Copenhagen in May of 2004, "Culture and Language Learning," organized under the Danish Language and Culture Network.
It will include Danish language coverage of Danish sports events, interviews and news stories, as well as the usual coverage of sports events and news.
Viasat will be launching a Danish edition of the Viasat Sport channel, which will include Danish language coverage of Danish sports events, interviews and news stories, as well as the usual coverage of leading Nordic and international sports events and news.
He added the system also needed to provide Danish language support.
The solution will operate in the Danish language and will support approximately 2,100 mobile workers in service provisioning and fault correction throughout Denmark.
In order to ensure compliance with local pharmaceutical marketing requirements, and to ensure that all materials (including labelling) in Danish language are correct, IPC-Nordic A/S, which has both medical- and regulatory-qualified personnel on its staff, has been appointed by Senetek as Senetek's regulatory agent in Denmark.
Nuance (Nasdaq:NUAN), the leader in Voice Web software, today announced that speech recognition in the Danish language has become a reality at SAS, Denmark.

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