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Bokmal or Nynorsk in Norwegian mathematical writings.

  1. Feb 28, 2009 #1

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    What variant of norwegian language was (and perhaps still in use) used in the norwegians mathematicians writings?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Feb 28, 2009 #2

    arildno

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    Until the 1950's, academic Norwegian was overwhelmingly Riksmål ("the tongue of the realm"), which in its written form is quite strongly influenced by Danish orthographic rules. I have no reason to suspect that mathematics texts were dominated to any lesser extent by Riksmål.

    The modernized riksmål is called "bokmål" ("the tongue of the book") and is by far the most used language (90%+); but those wishing to publish in Neo-Norwegian can do so without problems.

    Furthermore, for writings that are to be used in general education policies (say for high schools, introductory university courses and so on), the authors are required by law to prepare their work in both languages.
     
  4. Feb 28, 2009 #3

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    Are there any books for Ryksal, for learning its grammar and vocabulary?

    I want to read the original stuff by people like Sophus Lie and Abel and others.
     
  5. Feb 28, 2009 #4

    arildno

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    Riksmål compared to Bokmål is not much more different than 19th century English to 20th century English in terms of comprehensibility. That is, totally comprehensible, differing in a few minor ways of spelling.

    Some of the largest differences are:

    The word "after" is in Riksmål "efter", whereas it is written "etter" in Bokmål.
    The word "language", is "sprog" in Riksmål (and in Danish), it is "språk" in Bokmål.

    d's in Danish/Riksmål are sometimes t's in Bokmål, and g's in Danish/Riksmål are sometimes substituted by a k.

    That's about all.

    (By the way, Riksmål is alive and well, it is my own dialect, although it has become somewhat watered down over the years.)
     
  6. Feb 28, 2009 #5

    arildno

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    Abel wrote most of his works in German and French, and so, I think, Sophus Lie did.

    Norwegian/Danish is such a tiny language group that scientists of stature rarely use it in their professional works.

    The only one I definitely know wrote his most famous work in Norwegian/Danish, is Caspar Wessel, whose work: "Om directionens analytiske betegning" from 1797 is the first in the world to formalize the idea of the complex plane in a rigorous manner, a decade or so prior to Argand's work.
     
  7. Feb 28, 2009 #6

    alxm

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    Yes, just as a parenthesis, I think you could say that any highly-educated Scandinavian from the 18th century up until the postwar era would be expected to be proficient in at least two languages out of French/German/English.

    It's illustrated rather well if you look at the history of the Swedish "Acta Mathematica". It was initially all French and German, with English increasingly gaining ground over the 20th century until present, where it's pretty much all English articles.
     
  8. Mar 1, 2009 #7

    arildno

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    Hmm..I've just skimmed the MacTutor biography on Sophus Lie, and it seems that he wrote at least one of his major works, "On a class of geometric transformations", in Norwegian.

    You won't have any problems reading it if you know how to read bokmål (or even nynorsk)
     
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