Submitted by Betty Rockswold
The Germanic (Teutonic) languages split off early into three groups: East Germanic, North Germanic and West Germanic. East Germanic evolved into Gothic North Germanic - by progression into Old Norse and then into Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic.
West Germanic split into two groups, high and low German. The High German is now the modern German language.
The Low Germanic group split into three parts:
Anglo Saxon to Middle English to Modern English (including American)
Old Saxon to Middle Low German to Plattdeutsch
Low Franconian to Middle Dutch to Dutch Flemish
There is a close kinship between German and other modern languages, all of which derive through defunct dialects like Old Norse from the languages spoken by Germanic tribes who were settle in northern Europe before the birth of Christ. Pressed by invaders from Asia, some of these tribes later emigrated to the British Isles where their language eventually evolved into English. All Teutonic tongues have, in addition, been enriched by influences from Latin and Latin's descendants, the Romance languages. In the remote past both Teutonic and Romance tongues came from common ancestors, the India-European languages.
The Valdres dialect is distinctive from other Norwegian dialects in Norway. This
is not the Norwegian of the scholar or journalists but the dialect of our forefathers.
Some students of Norse dialects say that Valdres is more melodic than any other
Norse way of speaking.
Norwegians come to America to tape older Valdres descendants to compare with modern day speech. Those here retained much of the old words and phrases, but some is mixed with English.
Valdres is the official spelling of the name of the area but earlier forms were "Valdris" and "Valders". Spelling was not decided upon for sure until the early 1900's.
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Last updated: December 26, 2016
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