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 (before 1948 written as aa, which still is used in some place and personal names), æ, and ø, have been added.

Bibliography

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 a matter of fact, this conceptual difference can be clearly expressed in the Danish language which contains two different inflections of the same root: gaeldende (corresponding to valid1) and gyldig (corresponding to [valid.
The history of the Danish language is intertwined with its most closely related languages, Swedish and Norwegian.
Many of the books in the collection are too specialised and some are just random, like a book in Danish language, which I came across.
A medievalist specializing in Scandinavia, Adams presents an annotated edition of one of the first books to be printed on a Danish press and probably the first antisemitic work in the Danish language.
com)-- Madgex, the UK's leading job board provider, are thrilled to announce the launch of their first Danish language job board for leading Copenhagen based publisher Mediehuset Ingenioren A/S.
Voice and language solutions provider Nuance Communications Inc (Nasdaq:NUAN) announced on Thursday that its Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search apps for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad have made their debut in Denmark, supporting the Danish language.
Topics like the influence of foreign languages on the Danish language or the dialects and slangs spoken by the Arabic speaking urban youth are completely dismissed.
The reading of Danish language, especially Gothic Danish, has been a major challenge to many contemporary Virgin Islands researchers, and it is certainly the case with the author of this book.
Four of the six Danish language pieces appearing here have been previously published elsewhere, one in Aarboger for Nordisk Oldkyndighed og Historie and three in the Danish Historisk Tidsskrift.
If you are not familiar with the world of Danish ceramics or the Danish language you might have a hard time telling from some of their names which are women and which are men.
In which of the Bond films did Cecile Thomsen play James Bond's Danish language teacher?
On April 19, 2007, the Government passed legislation that will require all foreign religious proselytizers to pass a Danish language test before being allowed to enter the country, although it has not yet been determined when that requirement will be implemented.

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