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.


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 ?
Milano skated to the same-side dot and wired a shot with Nick Moutrey screening Dansk for the 3-2 go-ahead goal.
Each week more than 9 million shopping trips are carried out at stores owned by the Dansk Supermarked Group, and every day the company provide 1.
However, the oil giant said on Tuesday that Dansk Shell will remain under Shell's ownership and "continue business as usual".
On-line gaming company Mr Green & Co AB (STO:MRG) announced on Monday the acquisition of all of the shares in the Danish online gaming company Dansk Underholdning by Malta based Mr Green Ltd, with the intention to launch Mr Green in Denmark.
In March 2015, Couche-Tard announced an agreement with A/S Dansk Shell to acquire its Retail, Commercial Fuels and Aviation businesses in Denmark.
Stellan dinnerware freshens a classic Dansk shape with a two-toned color palette, while Kisco is a sleek coupe shape in several earth tones with a white rim and a semi-matte glaze.
Dansk made one mistake came late in the first period and Lerg was the beneficiary, scoring his fourth goal of the season, second in this building.
Due to the start-up costs, Sainsbury's and Dansk say they will lose PS5m to PS10m each on the venture between now and April.
Sainsbury's and Dansk Supermarked will both plough PS12.
The ban spurred a protest two weeks ago when Dansk Supermarked told a headscarf-wearing applicant, Nada Fraije, that she would be given a job at one of the stores of the chain only if she agreed to take off her headscarf.
When I got her," said Gribetz, who joined Lenox last year when the company was sold to new owners, "we knew it was important to get Dansk back to its roots.
Aggregate Industries has also entered the Danish market through the creation of a joint-venture import and merchanting business through the aggregate trading company Dansk Natursten, one of the market leaders for importing hard-rock material into Denmark.