- Greenlandic Norse
Greenland; Western Settlementand Eastern Settlement
extinct=by the late
15th century( 16th centuryat the latest)
Greenlandic Norse is an extinct
North Germanic languagethat was spoken in the Norse settlements of Greenlanduntil their demise in the late 15th century. The language is attested through some 80 runic inscriptions, many of which are difficult to date and not all of which were necessarily carved by people born in Greenland.Bandle, p. 1234.]
It is difficult to identify specifically Greenlandic linguistic features in the limited runic material. Nevertheless, there are inscriptions showing the use of t for historical
þin words such as torir rather than þorir and tana rather than þana. This linguistic innovation has parallels in West Norwegian in the late medieval period. On the other hand Greenlandic appears to have retained some features which changed in other types of Scandinavian. This includes initial hl and hr, otherwise only preserved in Icelandic, and the long vowel œ, which merged with æ in Icelandic but was preserved in Norwegian. [Barnes, p. 185.]
Greenlandic Norse is believed to have been in
language contactwith Kalaallisut, the language of the local Inuit people, and to have left loanwords in that language. In particular, the Kalaallisut word "Kalaaleq" (older "Karaaleq"), meaning "Greenlander", is believed to be derived from the word " Skrælingr", the Norse term for the people they encountered in North America. [Jahr, p. 233.] It has also been suggested that the word "kona", meaning "woman", is of Norse origin. [Jahr, p. 231.]
Kingigtorssuaq runestoneis a runestone dating from ca. 1300, discovered near Upernavik, far north of the Norse settlements. It was presumably carved by Norse explorers.
The patronymic "Tortarson" (standardized Old Norse: "Þórðarson") shows the change from þ to t while the word "hloþu" (Old Icelandic "hlóðu", Old Norwegian "lóðu") shows the retention of initial hl.
* Bandle, Oskar (2002). "The Nordic Languages : An International Handbook of the History of the North Germanic Languages : Volume 2". ISBN 311017149X.
* Barnes, Michael (2005). "Language" in "A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture", ed. by Rory McTurk. ISBN 0-631-23502-7.
* Jahr, Ernst Håkon and Ingvild Broch (1996). "Language Contact in the Arctic : Northern Pidgins and Contact Languages". ISBN 3110143356.
* [http://www.arild-hauge.com/gron-greenland.htm Runic inscription from Greenland]
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