A Danish and Dano-Norwegian Grammar

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Heath’s Modern Lanuage Series



Dano-Norwegian Grammar






Copyright, 1894


All rights reserved


Rockwell and Churchill



AS a teacher of the Danish or Norwegian language to English speaking students I had very often felt the lack of a reliable grammar of the language, and finally I made up my mind to try to supply the want. Special conditions of which I have not been master have caused the time intervening between the writing of this book and its appearance in print to be a good deal longer than it ought to have been, i. e. about two years, and meanwhile there have appeared a couple of Danish or Norwegian grammars that may deserve this name.

The reason why I have given my book the somewhat cumbersome title of a "Danish and Dano-Norwegian Grammar" will be apparent from the "Introduction." As regards the use of the book I would advise the student first to make up his mind, whether he wants to study the pure Danish language or the Dano-Norwegian language. This must to a large extent depend upon personal and practical considerations. The tourist, the commercial traveller, the merchant may need to study one branch of the language or the other; the literary student may wish to acquaint himself with genuine Danish, or he may wish to study the vernacular of Bjørnson and Ibsen. As a general rule I would say that the Danish pronunciation offers, with its "glottal catch" and other peculiarities, more difficulties to the English speaking student than the Norwegian pronunciation. The student who wants to study Danish must pass by §§ 81 to 146, while those who want to study Norwegian must pass directly from §§ 8 to 81. Besides, in the “Etymology,” attention is often called to certain rules as being peculiar to Danish, others to Norwegian. The student must select those he needs, and pass by those that refer to the language that he is not studying.

I have added some “Exercises” at the end of the book in order to help the student fix in his memory those rules and paradigms which he must know before he can, with any degree of success, commence reading the language. For those who wish more exercises I can recommend Mr. K. Brekke’s excellent Lærebog i Engelsk which is intended for Norwegian students of English, but may also to a certain extent be used the other way. The student may find an abundance of good readers prepared for use in the Danish and Norwegian schools. I mention only Otto Borchsenius and F. Winkel Horn’s Dansk Læsebog, Eriksen and Paulsen’s Norsk Læsebog, Pauss and Lassen’s Læsebog i Modersmaalet, each of them in several volumes. As Dictionaries can be thoroughly recommended: A. Larsen’s Dansk-Norsk Engelsk Ordbog and Rosing’s Engelsk-Dansk Ordbog. To those who want to study the Norwegian form of the language I would recommend: I. Brynildsen’s Norsk-engelsk ordbog and the same author’s edition of Geelmuyden’s Engelsk-norsk ordbog. The tourist will find Bennett’s Phrasebook, Olsvig’s Words and Phrases and the same author’s Yes and No valuable guides to familiarity with the peculiarities of the language.

This Grammar, besides being based upon my own studies and knowledge of the language, rests, as far as Danish is concerned, chiefly upon the works of Sweet, Dahlerup and Jespersen, Jessen, Bojesen, Lefolii and B. T. Dahl, and for the Norwegian upon the grammars of Lökke and Hofgaard and the treatises of Storm, Western, Brekke and J. Aars. To those who desire a more detailed knowledge of the language than can be had from this book I would recommend Poëstion’s Dänische Sprache and the same author’s Lehrbuch der Norwegischen Sprache; both these books are excellent, and especially the Danish Grammar has often been of use to me in writing this book.

The several species of types that are peculiar to the Scandinavian languages compelled me to have this book set in a Danish Newspaper printing office in New York City, not properly equipped for a work of this kind. On that account the typographical appearance of the book is not in every respect as good as I would like it to have been. Deserving of special mention is the fact that the types œ and æ are everywhere in the book used promiscuously to represent the latter character except in §92 where the sign œ is used a couple of times to denote and explain a variety of the sound of ö.

Finally I must acknowledge my debt of gratitude to Professor Dr. Joh. Storm of the University of Christiania for kindly sending me those advance sheets of the 2d edition of his “Englische Philologie” that were of use to me in preparing this grammar, to my honored friend Professor A. H. Palmer of Yale University for kindly reading through the larger part of the book in manuscript and making valuable suggestions, and, last but not least, to Mr. Chr. Børs, late Consul of Norway and Sweden at New York, without whose munificience, proverbial among Norwegians in New York, this book would never have seen the light of day.

Brooklyn, N. Y., August 25th, 1894.




Page. Page.
Introduction 1–2
The Alphabet 3
Danish Sounds 4–29
Vowels 4
Diphthongs 11
Consonants 11
Colloquial forms 21
Accent 21
Sentence accent 25
Glottal Stop 26
Quantity 28
Norwegian Sounds 30–65
Vowels 30
Diphthongs 35
Consonants 36
Accent 52
Abbreviations 58
Quantity 63
Vowel Changes in inflection and word formation 66
Etymology 67–131
Articles—genders 67
Nouns 70–83
Gender of the nouns 70
Formation of the possessive 76
Syntactical remarks about the use of the possessive 77
Formation of the plural 78
The Adjectives 83–91
Declension of the adjectives 83
Use of the definite form of the adjectives 86
Agreement of the adjective with its noun 87
Comparison of adjectives 87
Inflection and use of the comparative and superlative 90
The Pronouns 91–99
The personal pronouns 91
The reflexive and reciprocal pronouns 92
The possessive pronouns 93
The demonstrative pronouns 94
The interrogative pronouns 95
The relative pronouns 96
The indefinite pronouns 98
The Numerals 99–102
The Verbs 102–121
Weak verbs 104
Strong verbs 107
Irregular verbs 113
The use of the numbers 114
The use of the tenses 114
The use of the modes 116
The passive voice 119
Reflexive and impersonal verbs 121
The Adverbs 122–124
The Prepositions 124–126
The Conjunctions 126–128
The Interjections 128–129
The order of the words in the sentence 129–130
The Punctuation 131
Exercises 132–143

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).