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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages & Cultures - Scandinavian Stud

Undergraduate Course: Nordic Languages: Diversity and Historical Developments (ELCS08039)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is an introduction to the historical development of the Nordic languages. There will be a particular focus on the key similarities and differences between the mainland Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish), but the course will also provide a brief introduction to other languages used in the Nordic region.
Course description Beginning with a broad historical overview, this course will explain the background to why Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are so close to each other. The course will establish a model to approach the differences between these languages in a systematic way, with their interrelationships being analysed through the study of modern text samples. We will focus especially on the modern situation, including the influence from English, and the obstacles that exist for mutual comprehension between the Scandinavian languages.

In addition to detailed study of the similarities and differences between the mainland languages, the course will also contextualise the broader sociolinguistic situation of the Nordic countries by offering insights into other languages used in the region, including Faroese, Finnish, Greenlandic, Icelandic, the Sámi languages and sign languages.

By the end of the course, you will be able to identify key similarities and differences between the three mainland Scandinavian languages and explain historical reasons for these connections or divergences. In addition, you will be able to discuss key sociolinguistic points in relation to the situation of a selection of other Nordic languages, including the current main challenges to linguistic diversity, in particular as faced by indigenous and minority languages.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Danish 1 (ELCS08033) OR Norwegian 1 (ELCS08028) OR Swedish 1 (ELCS08027) OR Foundation Danish Language 1 (ELCS07009) OR Foundation Swedish Language 1 (ELCS07007) OR Foundation Icelandic Language 1 (ELCS07010)
Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Communicating across the Scandinavian Languages (ELCS08041)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For pre-requisites students must have passed the courses as detailed or have an equivalent level of knowledge of a Scandinavian Language.
For co-requisites students must be enrolled or already have passed the course detailed
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents should have Danish/Norwegian/Swedish language skills at CEFR level A2 or above; entry to this course may be subject to a language test on arrival and is at the discretion of the course organiser.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Week 10
Course Essay 1: 1,000 words 60% (Learn Turnitin)
Exam weeks
Course Essay 2: 600 words 40% (Learn Turnitin)
Feedback Text commentaries will be submitted online and will receive feedback within fifteen working days. Students will be able to view feedback on their exam scripts.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Contextualise and critique key characteristics of a variety of sociolinguistic situations in the Nordic region, including indigenous and minority languages;
  2. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the history of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, as well as the structural relationship between these languages;
  3. Analyse texts in the three mainland Scandinavian languages in a systematic manner using appropriate linguistic vocabulary and terminology, illustrating knowledge of the characteristic linguistic features of each of these languages;
  4. Present key information and analysis in different formats (text commentary and exam essays);
  5. Demonstrate relevant knowledge of the scope, defining features and main areas of the subject.
Reading List
A compendium of textual samples will be provided. Other essential texts may change each year depending on tutor availability, and may include chapters from the works listed below.

- Haugen, Einar (1976). The Scandinavian Languages: An Introduction to their History (London: Faber).
- Stampe Sletten, Iben (ed.) (2004). Nordens sprog med rødder og fødder (København: Nordisk Ministerråd). [Danish edition]
- Stampe Sletten, Iben (ed.) (2004). Nordens språk med rötter och fötter (Köpenhamn: Nordiska ministerrådet). [Swedish edition]
- Stampe Sletten, Iben (ed.) (2004). Nordens språk med røtter og føtter (København: Nordisk Ministerråd). [Norwegian edition]
- Stampe Sletten, Iben (ed.) (2004). Norðurlandamálin með rótum og fótum (Kaupmannahöfn: Norræna ráðherranefndin). [Icelandic edition]
- Vikør, Lars S. (2001). The Nordic Languages: Their Status and Interrelations, 3rd edn (Oslo: Novus).

Further reading:
- Bandle, Oscar, et al. (eds) (2002-05). The Nordic Languages: An International Handbook of the History of the North Germanic Languages, 2 vols (Berlin: De Gruyter).
- Karker, Allan, Birgitta Lindgren and Ståle Løland (eds) (1997). Nordens språk (Oslo: Novus).
- Kulonen, Ulla-Maija, et al. (eds) (2005). The Saami: A Cultural Encyclopaedia (Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura).
- Lindgren, Birgitta, et al. (1994). Skandinavisk ordbok. (Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget).
- Quist, Pia, and Bente Ailin Svendsen (2010). Multilingual Urban Scandinavia: New Linguistic Practices (Bristol: Multilingual Matters).
- Steven, Kenneth (2016). Beneath the Ice: In Search of the Sami (Glasgow: Saraband, 2016)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - You will develop your ability to undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts and issues in relation to linguistic diversity in the Nordic region.
- You will learn to use a range of approaches to formulate and critically evaluate evidence-based responses to problems and issues in relation to the similarities and differences between the mainland Scandinavian languages.
- You will develop your ability to convey complex information to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes, in a structured and coherent way.
Course organiserMs Julie Larsen
Tel: (0131 6)51 1363
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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