Page:A simplified grammar of the Danish language.djvu/17

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modes of writing and spelling.

popular daily press, and all public notices, and advertisements, generally adhere to the German characters, and to the old forms of spelling.

In Norway this uncertainty in regard to the method of writing and spelling the language is intensified by strong national feeling, for while all parties are agreed in desiring to bring back their spoken language to the more genuine Northern forms, of which survivals are to be found in the "Bondesprog" or peasant-language, there is no agreement as to the special peasant-dialect that should be accepted as authoritative, and no harmony in the manner of carrying out the proposed changes. Thus, while one section of the patriotic party follows H. Ibsen and B. Björnson in writing their native language in accordance with the strictest rules of the modern system, others, equally zealous, refuse to depart from a single one of the practices which it was the special object of that system to do away with. Both parties have, however, one common object in view, which is to make modern Norwegian diverge as much as possible from the older Danish; and the result of the present tendency to take up into the spoken language of the cultivated classes expressions and modes of pronunciation, which till recently were exclusively used by the peasants, is to make Norwegian approximate more closely to Swedish. At present the language is passing through a stage of transition, almost bewildering to foreigners, who must be prepared, for some time to come, to meet in Norway with the most extreme diversity in the mode in which the language is spoken, and written, by the older and younger