Variant subtag proposal: Høgnorsk variety of Norwegian

Leif Halvard Silli xn--mlform-iua at
Fri Jan 1 22:07:48 CET 2010

Michael Everson, Fri, 1 Jan 2010 19:52:10 +0000:
> Leif's political arguments do not really interest me.
> I speak Danish, and I can easily distinguish Nynorsk from Bokmål. (I  
> well remember the first time I encountered Nynorsk. It is rather  
> distant from Danish!)

As a matter of fact, the language issue has become more "rights" 
oriented over the years. This is a normal effect of becoming 
institutionalized, I think. So what you consider political, I consider 
a-political. Rights is something that everyone is supposed to agree 
about. Rights moves things out of the political sphere, emphasizing the 
individual's right to get it as he/she wants instead of focusing on a 
majority choice. The internet has in that regard let many of these 
rights take form - just consider Wikipedia and Google and Mozilla, in 
their different localizations.

Thorgeir already corrected you on the language tree. I would like to 
comment your perceptions. It is not so straight forward as the 
"Dano-Norwegian" concept makes it look.

Nynorsk is considered more purist than Bokmål. And as a result,  Danish 
sometimes appears closer to Nynorsk than to Bokmål. Probably because 
there is 1) a tendency in Bokmål of wanting to separate itself from 
Nynorsk  - leading to archaisms and "book language" and 2) a love 
amongst Danish users for one's own language - thus no need amongst them 
to be "more Danish than the pope". As a practical example: In Danish 
they use "purist" names for the grammatical terms ('substantive', 
'verb' etc), whereas Norwegian has ended up with mostly the Latin 
terms. I read an English detective book in Danish once, and had many 
revelations from it also regarding how sentences are built-up - so it 
is not only the vocabulary either ... 

A well known Norwegian introduction to Philosophy [the Examen 
Philosoficum exam] in Nynorsk was also published and sold in Denmark, 
before it was translated. I met one of its Danish readers, 
accidentally. He made no complaints about the Norwegian used. He 
probably did not know what to expect. On the other side, another Dane 
told me how he was found of a certain Norwegian priest because of the 
conservative Bokmål/Riksmål language he is known for - it was almost 
"better than Danish". But then, as you probably know, the Danish words 
sounds completely different when pronounced by a Norwegian. It is a 
well known fact that Norwegians read Danish quite well, but that we 
joke a lot about the pronunciation. As the Dano-Norwegian writer Ludvig 
Holberg said when he came to France: The French there sounded so 
strange ...

OK - sorry, this was certainly mostly off topic.
> It is clear that høgnorsk is in some sense
> Indo-European
> Germanic
> North-Germanic
> East-Scandinavian
> Norwegian
> Nynorsk
> Høgnorsk
> It should be sub-tagged nn-hognorsk and not further up the tree.
> no-hognorsk is in some sense valid, but no less valid than gem-hognorsk
leif halvard silli

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list