Page:A simplified grammar of the Danish language.djvu/16

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danish grammar.

Stockholm, in 1869, to deliberate on the best methods for bringing the written languages of the three Northern kingdoms into closer harmony with each other, and with their common mother-tongue, the Old Northern, Rask's system was adopted as the main basis of the Orthographic Resolutions, unanimously accepted by the delegates.

In accordace with the scheme of the Congress, which closely agreed with the system of spelling and writing already in use among the Swedes, it was proposed that the Gothic characters should be discarded in Dano-Norwegian; that all superfluous letters should be rejected; that the marks employed in Swedish to indicate special vowel-sounds, as å (for aa), ä and ö, should be adopted, and that the spelling of the Dano-Norwegian and the Swedish should be governed by the same rules, wherever the nature and root of the words admitted of their being brought into accord.

The moving spring of this radical reform of the Scandinavian languages was the national desire of giving to the three Northern lands one joint literature equally accessible to all. And for a time it seemed as if this object would be speedily attained; but it must be admitted that the progress of the much needed reform in the mode of writing, and spelling Dano-Norwegian, has not been as rapid and complete as its advocates had hoped. At the present moment the old and the new systems are still running their parallel courses in Denmark and in Norway, for while scientific works almost without exception, and some of the best literary productions of either country, are printed and spelt in accordance with the new system, the