Wiktionary:About Old Norse

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Old Norse is an extinct Germanic language, formerly spoken in Scandinavia, the Faroe islands, Iceland and Greenland, as well as parts of Britain and Ireland.



Old Norse texts, grammars and dictionaries, like those of other old Germanic languages, often present terms in a normalised orthography. This means that variations in spelling and representation are 'evened out' to produce a common standard spelling. For Old Norse, the most common normalised spelling is based on modern Icelandic spelling. This normalisation scheme is detailed in the Wikipedia article on Old Norse orthography. There is some uncertainty about the letter ę, which is sometimes used in normalised spelling to represent the 'open e' phoneme (/ɛ/ or /æ/) as distinct from 'closed e' (/e/), which is represented by the letter e.

the manuscript spellings... ...are normalised to
c, k k
d, ð ð
k, q k
u, v, w (consonantal) v
u, v (vocalic) u
ö ǫ

Preferably, the lemma or 'main' entry should be at the normalised spelling. Any other attested spellings may be listed under an ===Alternative forms=== heading at the beginning of the normalised entry, and may have their own entries when attested, which should link back to the normalised spellings using the {{alternative spelling of}} template (if the difference is only a matter of spelling) or {{alternative form of}} (if the pronunciation was also different) to avoid the duplication of information.

Vowel length[edit]

In common with many other old European languages whose early orthography was based on that of Latin, vowel length was only sometimes indicated Old Norse texts. Like the modern Icelandic orthography on which it is based, however, the standard normalisation scheme represents long vowels by using an acute accent: á, í, ó and so on. Unlike Latin and other old Germanic languages, Old Norse includes these accents in entry names, so no special linking is necessary.