Scandinavia

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Scandinavia

Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg
Satellite photo of the Fennoscandian Peninsula and Denmark, as well as other areas surrounding the Baltic Sea, in March 2002.
Languages
Demonym(s) Scandinavian
CompositionFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden [3]
Sometimes also:
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg  Faroe Islands
Flag of Aland.svg  Åland Islands [lower-alpha 1]

Nordic territories that are not part of Scandinavia:

Contents

Flag of Norway.svg  Jan Mayen
Flag of Norway.svg  Svalbard
Flag of Greenland.svg  Greenland
Internet TLD

Scandinavia [lower-alpha 2] ( /ˌskændɪˈnviə/ SKAN-dih-NAY-vee-ə) is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. [4] In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries. [5] [6]

In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics, human impact characteristics, and the interaction of humanity and the environment. Geographic regions and sub-regions are mostly described by their imprecisely defined, and sometimes transitory boundaries, except in human geography, where jurisdiction areas such as national borders are defined in law.

Northern Europe northern region of the European continent

Northern Europe is a general term for the geographical region in Europe that is roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54°N. Narrower definitions may be based on other geographical factors such as climate and ecology. A broader definition would include the area north of the Alps. Countries which are central-western, central or central-eastern are not usually considered part of either Northern or Southern Europe.

While part of the Nordic countries, the remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are not in Scandinavia, nor is Greenland, a constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroe Islands are sometimes included. [lower-alpha 1]

Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean

Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. Administratively, the archipelago is not part of any Norwegian county, but forms an unincorporated area administered by a governor appointed by the Norwegian government. Since 2002, Svalbard's main settlement, Longyearbyen, has had an elected local government, somewhat similar to mainland municipalities. Other settlements include the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research station of Ny-Ålesund, and the mining outpost of Sveagruva. Ny-Ålesund is the northernmost settlement in the world with a permanent civilian population. Other settlements are farther north, but are populated only by rotating groups of researchers.

Jan Mayen Norwegian volcanic island situated in the Arctic Ocean

Jan Mayen is a Norwegian volcanic island situated in the Arctic Ocean. It is 55 km (34 mi) long (southwest-northeast) and 373 km2 (144 sq mi) in area, partly covered by glaciers. It has two parts: larger northeast Nord-Jan and smaller Sør-Jan, linked by a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide isthmus. It lies 600 km (370 mi) northeast of Iceland, 500 km (310 mi) east of central Greenland and 1,000 km (620 mi) west of the North Cape, Norway. The island is mountainous, the highest summit being the Beerenberg volcano in the north. The isthmus is the location of the two largest lakes of the island, Sørlaguna, and Nordlaguna. A third lake is called Ullerenglaguna. Jan Mayen was formed by the Jan Mayen hotspot.

Greenland Autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark

Greenland is an autonomous constituent state of the Danish Realm, located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for more than a millennium. The majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors began migrating from the Canadian mainland in the 13th century, gradually settling across the island.

Toponymy

The name Scandinavia originally referred to the former Danish, now Swedish, region of Scania. Scandinavia and Scandinavian entered usage in the late 18th century, being introduced by the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement. [7] The majority of the population of Scandinavia are descended from several North Germanic tribes who originally inhabited the southern part of Scandinavia and spoke a Germanic language that evolved into Old Norse. Icelanders and the Faroese are to a significant extent descended from the Norse and are therefore often seen as Scandinavian. Finland is mainly populated by Finns, with a minority of approximately 5% [8] of Swedish speakers. A small minority of Sami people live in the extreme north of Scandinavia. The Danish, Norwegian and Swedish languages form a dialect continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages—all of which are considered mutually intelligible with one another. Faroese and Icelandic, sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are intelligible in continental Scandinavian languages only to a limited extent. Finnish and Meänkieli are closely related to each other and more distantly to the Sami languages, but are entirely unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Apart from these, German, Yiddish and Romani are recognized minority languages in parts of Scandinavia.

Scania Place in Götaland, Sweden

Scania, also known as Skåne, is the southernmost province (landskap) of Sweden. Within Scania, there are 33 municipalities that are autonomous within the Scania Regional Council. Scania's largest city is Malmö, which is also the third largest in Sweden, as well as the fifth largest in Scandinavia.

Scandinavism An ideology that supports cooperation between the Scandinavian countries and people

Scandinavism, also called Scandinavianism or pan-Scandinavianism, is an ideology that supports various degrees of cooperation among the Scandinavian countries. Scandinavism comprises the literary, linguistic and cultural movement that focuses on promoting a shared Scandinavian past, a shared cultural heritage, a common Scandinavian mythology and a common linguistic root in Old Norse, and which led to the formation of joint periodicals and societies in support of Scandinavian literature and languages. Nordism expands the scope to include Iceland and Finland.

Old Norse North Germanic language

Old Norse was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th centuries.

Terminology and use

"Scandinavia" refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden. [9] Some sources argue for the inclusion of the Faroe Islands, Finland and Iceland, [lower-alpha 1] [10] [11] [12] [13] though that broader region is usually[ dubious ] known by the countries concerned as Norden (Finnish : Pohjoismaat, Icelandic : Norðurlöndin, Faroese : Norðurlond), or the Nordic countries. [6]

Finnish language language arising and mostly spoken in Finland

Finnish is a Finnic language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. Finnish is one of the two official languages of Finland ; Finnish is also an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both Standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a Finnish dialect, are spoken. The Kven language, a dialect of Finnish, is spoken in Northern Norway by a minority group of Finnish descent.

Icelandic language North Germanic language mainly spoken in Iceland

Icelandic is a North Germanic language spoken in Iceland. Along with Faroese, Norn, and Western Norwegian it formerly constituted West Nordic; while Danish, Eastern Norwegian and Swedish constituted East Nordic. Modern Norwegian Bokmål is influenced by both groups, leading the Nordic languages to be divided into mainland Scandinavian languages and Insular Nordic. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages until the Portuguese settlement in the Azores.

Faroese is a North Germanic language spoken as a first language by about 72,000 people, around 49,000 of whom reside on the Faroe Islands and 23,000 in other areas, mainly Denmark. It is one of five languages descended from Old West Norse spoken in the Middle Ages, the others being Norwegian, Icelandic, and the extinct Norn and Greenlandic Norse. Faroese and Icelandic, its closest extant relative, are not mutually intelligible in speech, but the written languages resemble each other quite closely, largely owing to Faroese's etymological orthography.

Scandinavia originally referred vaguely to Scania, a formerly Danish region that became Swedish in the 17th century. Original meaning of Scandinavia.svg
Scandinavia originally referred vaguely to Scania, a formerly Danish region that became Swedish in the 17th century.
Scandinavia according to the local definition
The extended usage in English, which includes Iceland and the Faroe Islands, the Aland Islands and Finland Map of Scandinavia.png
  Scandinavia according to the local definition
  The extended usage in English, which includes Iceland and the Faroe Islands, the Åland Islands and Finland

The use of "Scandinavia" as a convenient general term for Denmark, Norway and Sweden is fairly recent. According to some historians, it was adopted and introduced in the eighteenth century, at a time when the ideas about a common heritage started to appear and develop into early literary and linguistic Scandinavism. [7] Before this time, the term "Scandinavia" was familiar mainly to classical scholars through Pliny the Elder's writings and was used vaguely for Scania and the southern region of the peninsula. [7]

Pliny the Elder Roman military commander and writer

Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, a naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of emperor Vespasian.

As a political term, Scandinavia was first used by students agitating for pan-Scandinavianism in the 1830s. [7] The popular usage of the term in Sweden, Denmark and Norway as a unifying concept became established in the nineteenth century through poems such as Hans Christian Andersen's "I am a Scandinavian" of 1839. After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism. In a letter describing the poem to a friend, he wrote: "All at once I understood how related the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians are, and with this feeling I wrote the poem immediately after my return: 'We are one people, we are called Scandinavians!'". [14]

Hans Christian Andersen Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet

Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children: his stories express themes that transcend age and nationality.

The clearest example of the use of Scandinavia is Finland, based largely on the fact that most of modern-day Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom for hundreds of years, thus to much of the world associating Finland with all of Scandinavia. However, the creation of a Finnish identity is unique in the region in that it was formed in relation to two different imperial models, the Swedish [15] and the Russian, [16] [17] as described by the University of Jyväskylä based editorial board of the Finnish journal Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History. [18] [19]

Societal and tourism promotional organizations

Various promotional agencies of the Nordic countries in the United States (such as The American-Scandinavian Foundation, established in 1910 by the Danish American industrialist Niels Poulsen) serve to promote market and tourism interests in the region. Today, the five Nordic heads of state act as the organization's patrons and according to the official statement by the organization its mission is "to promote the Nordic region as a whole while increasing the visibility of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in New York City and the United States". [20] The official tourist boards of Scandinavia sometimes cooperate under one umbrella, such as the Scandinavian Tourist Board. [21] The cooperation was introduced for the Asian market in 1986, when the Swedish national tourist board joined the Danish national tourist board to coordinate intergovernmental promotion of the two countries. Norway's government entered one year later. All five Nordic governments participate in the joint promotional efforts in the United States through the Scandinavian Tourist Board of North America. [22]

Use of "Nordic countries" vs. "Scandinavia"

While the term "Scandinavia" is commonly used for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the term "Nordic countries" is used unambiguously for Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, including their associated territories (Svalbard,[ citation needed ] Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands). [6] Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries. Furthermore, the term Fennoscandia refers to Scandinavia, Finland and Karelia, excluding Denmark and overseas territories, but the usage of this term is restricted to geology when speaking of the Fennoscandian Shield (Baltic Shield).

In addition to the mainland Scandinavian countries of:

The Nordic countries also consist of:

Whereas the term "Scandinavia" is relatively straightforward as traditionally relating to the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden there exists some ambiguity as regards the ethnic aspect of the concept in the modern era. Traditionally, the term refers specifically to the majority peoples of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, their states, their Germanic languages and their culture. In the modern era, the term will often include minority peoples such as the Sami and Meänkieli speakers in a political and to some extent cultural sense as they are citizens of Scandinavian countries and speak Scandinavian languages either as their first or second language. However, Scandinavian is still also seen as an ethnic term for the Germanic majority peoples of Scandinavia and as such the inclusion of Sami and Finnish speakers can be seen as controversial within these groups.

The original areas inhabited (during the Bronze Age) by the peoples now known as Scandinavians included what is now Northern Germany (particularly Schleswig-Holstein), all of Denmark, southern Sweden and the southern coast of Norway while namesake Scania found itself in the centre. Nordic Bronze Age.png
The original areas inhabited (during the Bronze Age) by the peoples now known as Scandinavians included what is now Northern Germany (particularly Schleswig-Holstein), all of Denmark, southern Sweden and the southern coast of Norway while namesake Scania found itself in the centre.

Scandinavia and Scania (Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden) are thought to go back to the proto-Germanic compound *Skaðin-awjō, which appears later in Old English as Scedenig and in Old Norse as Skáney. [23] The earliest identified source for the name Scandinavia is Pliny the Elder's Natural History , dated to the first century A.D.

Various references to the region can also be found in Pytheas, Pomponius Mela, Tacitus, Ptolemy, Procopius and Jordanes, usually in the form of Scandza. It is believed that the name used by Pliny may be of West Germanic origin, originally denoting Scania. [24] According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *skaðan- and meaning "danger" or "damage" (English: "scathing", German: Schaden, Dutch: schade). [25] The second segment of the name has been reconstructed as *awjō, meaning "land on the water" or "island". The name Scandinavia would then mean "dangerous island", which is considered to refer to the treacherous sandbanks surrounding Scania. [25] Skanör in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem (skan) combined with -ör, which means "sandbanks".

In the reconstructed Germanic root *Skaðin-awjō (the edh represented in Latin by t or d), the first segment is sometimes considered more uncertain than the second segment. The American Heritage Dictionary [26] derives the second segment from proto-Indo-European *akwa-, "water", in the sense of "watery land".

The Old Norse goddess name Skaði , along with Sca(n)dinavia and Skáney, may be related to Gothic skadus, Old English sceadu, Old Saxon scado and Old High German scato (meaning "shadow"). Scholar John McKinnell comments that this etymology suggests that the goddess Skaði may have once been a personification of the geographical region of Scandinavia or associated with the underworld. [27]

Pliny the Elder's descriptions

Pliny's descriptions of Scatinavia and surrounding areas are not always easy to decipher. Writing in the capacity of a Roman admiral, he introduces the northern region by declaring to his Roman readers that there are 23 islands "Romanis armis cognitae" ("known to Roman arms") in this area. According to Pliny, the "clarissima" ("most famous") of the region's islands is Scatinavia, of unknown size. There live the Hilleviones. The belief that Scandinavia was an island became widespread among classical authors during the first century and dominated descriptions of Scandinavia in classical texts during the centuries that followed.

Pliny begins his description of the route to Scatinavia by referring to the mountain of Saevo (mons Saevo ibi), the Codanus Bay (Codanus sinus) and the Cimbrian promontory. [28] The geographical features have been identified in various ways. By some scholars, "Saevo" is thought to be the mountainous Norwegian coast at the entrance to Skagerrak and the Cimbrian peninsula is thought to be Skagen, the north tip of Jutland, Denmark. As described, Saevo and Scatinavia can also be the same place.

Pliny mentions Scandinavia one more time: in Book VIII he says that the animal called achlis (given in the accusative, achlin, which is not Latin) was born on the island of Scandinavia. [29] The animal grazes, has a big upper lip and some mythical attributes.

The name "Scandia", later used as a synonym for Scandinavia, also appears in Pliny's Naturalis Historia (Natural History), but is used for a group of Northern European islands which he locates north of Britannia. "Scandia" thus does not appear to be denoting the island Scadinavia in Pliny's text. The idea that "Scadinavia" may have been one of the "Scandiae" islands was instead introduced by Ptolemy (c. 90 – c. 168 AD), a mathematician, geographer and astrologer of Roman Egypt. He used the name "Skandia" for the biggest, most easterly of the three "Scandiai" islands, which according to him were all located east of Jutland. [25]

Neither Pliny's nor Ptolemy's lists of Scandinavian tribes include the Suiones mentioned by Tacitus. Some early Swedish scholars of the Swedish Hyperborean school [30] and of the 19th-century romantic nationalism period proceeded to synthesize the different versions by inserting references to the Suiones, arguing that they must have been referred to in the original texts and obscured over time by spelling mistakes or various alterations. [31] [32]

Germanic reconstruction

The Latin names in Pliny's text gave rise to different forms in medieval Germanic texts. In Jordanes' history of the Goths (AD 551), the form Scandza is the name used for their original home, separated by sea from the land of Europe (chapter 1, 4). [33] Where Jordanes meant to locate this quasi-legendary island is still a hotly debated issue, both in scholarly discussions and in the nationalistic discourse of various European countries. [34] [35] The form Scadinavia as the original home of the Langobards appears in Paulus Diaconus' Historia Langobardorum, [36] but in other versions of Historia Langobardorum appear the forms Scadan, Scandanan, Scadanan and Scatenauge. [37] Frankish sources used Sconaowe and Aethelweard, an Anglo-Saxon historian, used Scani. [38] [39] In Beowulf , the forms Scedenige and Scedeland are used while the Alfredian translation of Orosius and Wulfstan's travel accounts used the Old English Sconeg. [39]

Sami etymology

The earliest Sami yoik texts written down refer to the world as Skadesi-suolo (north Sami) and Skađsuâl (east Sami), meaning "Skaði's island". Svennung considers the Sami name to have been introduced as a loan word from the North Germanic languages; [40] "Skaði" is the giant stepmother of Freyr and Freyja in Norse mythology. It has been suggested that Skaði to some extent is modeled on a Sami woman. The name for Skade's father Thjazi is known in Sami as Čáhci, "the waterman"; and her son with Odin, Saeming, can be interpreted as a descendant of Saam the Sami population. [41] [42] Older joik texts give evidence of the old Sami belief about living on an island and state that the wolf is known as suolu gievra, meaning "the strong one on the island". The Sami place name Sulliidčielbma means "the island's threshold" and Suoločielgi means "the island's back".

In recent substrate studies, Sami linguists have examined the initial cluster sk- in words used in Sami and concluded that sk- is a phonotactic structure of alien origin. [43]

Other etymologies

Another possibility is that all or part of the segments of the name came from the Mesolithic people inhabiting the region. [44] In modernity, Scandinavia is a peninsula, but between approximately 10,300 and 9,500 years ago the southern part of Scandinavia was an island separated from the northern peninsula, with water exiting the Baltic Sea through the area where Stockholm is now located. [45]

Some Basque scholars have presented the idea that the segment sk that appears in *Skaðinawjō is connected to the name for the Euzko peoples, akin to Basques, that populated Paleolithic Europe. According to some of these intellects, Scandinavian people share particular genetic markers with the Basque people. [44]

Geography

Galdhopiggen is the highest point in Scandinavia and is a part of the Scandinavian Mountains. GaldhopiggenFromFannaraki.jpg
Galdhøpiggen is the highest point in Scandinavia and is a part of the Scandinavian Mountains.

The geography of Scandinavia is extremely varied. Notable are the Norwegian fjords, the Scandinavian Mountains, the flat, low areas in Denmark and the archipelagos of Sweden and Norway. Sweden has many lakes and moraines, legacies of the ice age, which ended about ten millennia ago.

The southern and by far most populous regions of Scandinavia have a temperate climate. Scandinavia extends north of the Arctic Circle, but has relatively mild weather for its latitude due to the Gulf Stream. Many of the Scandinavian mountains have an alpine tundra climate.

The climate varies from north to south and from west to east: a marine west coast climate (Cfb) typical of western Europe dominates in Denmark, southernmost part of Sweden and along the west coast of Norway reaching north to 65°N, with orographic lift giving more mm/year precipitation (<5000 mm) in some areas in western Norway. The central part – from Oslo to Stockholm – has a humid continental climate (Dfb), which gradually gives way to subarctic climate (Dfc) further north and cool marine west coast climate (Cfc) along the northwestern coast. [46] A small area along the northern coast east of the North Cape has tundra climate (Et) as a result of a lack of summer warmth. The Scandinavian Mountains block the mild and moist air coming from the southwest, thus northern Sweden and the Finnmarksvidda plateau in Norway receive little precipitation and have cold winters. Large areas in the Scandinavian mountains have alpine tundra climate.

The warmest temperature ever recorded in Scandinavia is 38.0 °C in Målilla (Sweden). [47] The coldest temperature ever recorded is −52.6 °C in Vuoggatjålme (Sweden). [48] The coldest month was February 1985 in Vittangi (Sweden) with a mean of −27.2 °C. [48]

Southwesterly winds further warmed by foehn wind can give warm temperatures in narrow Norwegian fjords in winter. Tafjord has recorded 17.9 °C in January and Sunndal 18.9 °C in February.

Languages in Scandinavia

Two language groups have coexisted on the Scandinavian peninsula since prehistory—the North Germanic languages (Scandinavian languages) and the Sami languages. [49] Due to later migrations, Finnish, Yiddish and Romani have also been spoken for over a hundred years. Denmark also has a minority of German-speakers. More recent migrations has added even more languages. Apart from Sami and the languages of minority groups speaking a variant of the majority language of a neighboring state, the following minority languages in Scandinavia are protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: Yiddish, Romani Chib, Romanes and Romani.

North Germanic languages

Continental Scandinavian languages:
Danish
Norwegian
Swedish
Insular Scandinavian languages:
Faroese
Icelandic Nordiska sprak.PNG
Continental Scandinavian languages:
  Danish
  Norwegian
  Swedish
Insular Scandinavian languages:
  Faroese
  Icelandic

The North Germanic languages of Scandinavia are traditionally divided into an East Scandinavian branch (Danish and Swedish) and a West Scandinavian branch (Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese), [50] [51] but because of changes appearing in the languages since 1600 the East Scandinavian and West Scandinavian branches are now usually reconfigured into Insular Scandinavian (ö-nordisk/øy-nordisk) featuring Icelandic and Faroese [52] and Continental Scandinavian (Skandinavisk), comprising Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. [53]

The modern division is based on the degree of mutual comprehensibility between the languages in the two branches. [54] The populations of the Scandinavian countries, with common Scandinavian roots in language, can—at least with some training—understand each other's standard languages as they appear in print and are heard on radio and television.

The reason Danish, Swedish and the two official written versions of Norwegian (Nynorsk and Bokmål) are traditionally viewed as different languages, rather than dialects of one common language, is that each is a well-established standard language in its respective country.

Danish, Swedish and Norwegian have since medieval times been influenced to varying degrees by Middle Low German and standard German. That influence came from not just proximity but also that Denmark and later Denmark-Norway ruling over the German speaking region of Holstein, and in Sweden with its close trade with the Hanseatic League.

Norwegians are accustomed to variation and may perceive Danish and Swedish only as slightly more distant dialects. This is because they have two official written standards, in addition to the habit of strongly holding on to local dialects. The people of Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark have the greatest difficulty in understanding other Scandinavian languages. [55] In the Faroe Islands and Iceland, learning Danish is mandatory. This causes Faroese people as well as Icelandic people to become bilingual in two very distinct North Germanic languages, making it relatively easy for them to understand the other two Mainland Scandinavian languages. [56] [57]

Although Iceland was under the political control of Denmark until a much later date (1918), very little influence and borrowing from Danish has occurred in the Icelandic language. [58] Icelandic remained the preferred language among the ruling classes in Iceland. Danish was not used for official communications, most of the royal officials were of Icelandic descent and the language of the church and law courts remained Icelandic. [59]

Finnish

Historically verified distribution of the Sami languages (legend) Sami languages large 2.png
Historically verified distribution of the Sami languages (legend)

The Scandinavian languages are (as a language family) unrelated to Finnish, Estonian and Sami languages, which as Uralic languages are distantly related to Hungarian. Owing to the close proximity, there is still a great deal of borrowing from the Swedish and Norwegian languages in the Finnish and Sami languages. [60] The long history of linguistic influence of Swedish on Finnish is also due to the fact that Finnish, the language of the majority in Finland, was treated as a minority language while Finland was part of Sweden. Finnish-speakers had to learn Swedish in order to advance to higher positions. [61] Swedish spoken in today's Finland includes a lot of words that are borrowed from Finnish, whereas the written language remains closer to that of Sweden.

Finland is officially bilingual, with Finnish and Swedish having mostly the same status at national level. Finland's majority population are Finns, whose mother tongue is either Finnish (approximately 95%), Swedish or both. The Swedish-speakers live mainly on the coastline starting from approximately the city of Porvoo (in the Gulf of Finland) up to the city of Kokkola (in the Bay of Bothnia). The Åland Islands, an autonomous province of Finland situated in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden, are entirely Swedish-speaking. Children are taught the other official language at school: for Swedish-speakers this is Finnish (usually from the 3rd grade), while for Finnish-speakers it is Swedish (usually from the 3rd, 5th or 7th grade).[ citation needed ]

Finnish speakers constitute a language minority in Sweden and Norway. Meänkieli and Kven are Finnish dialects spoken in Swedish Lapland and Norwegian Lapland.

Sami languages

The Sami languages are indigenous minority languages in Scandinavia. [62] They belong to their own branch of the Uralic language family and are unrelated to the North Germanic languages other than by limited grammatical (particularly lexical) characteristics resulting from prolonged contact. [60] Sami is divided into several languages or dialects. [63] Consonant gradation is a feature in both Finnish and northern Sami dialects, but it is not present in south Sami, which is considered to have a different language history. According to the Sami Information Centre of the Sami Parliament in Sweden, southern Sami may have originated in an earlier migration from the south into the Scandinavian peninsula. [60]

History

Scandinavism--a Norwegian, a Dane and a Swede. This image is considered emblematic of Scandinavism and is widely used in Scandinavian school books Skandinavism.jpg
Scandinavism—a Norwegian, a Dane and a Swede. This image is considered emblematic of Scandinavism and is widely used in Scandinavian school books

During a period of Christianization and state formation in the 10th–13th centuries, numerous Germanic petty kingdoms and chiefdoms were unified into three kingdoms:

The three Scandinavian kingdoms joined in 1387 in the Kalmar Union under Queen Margaret I of Denmark. Sweden left the union in 1523 under King Gustav Vasa. In the aftermath of Sweden's secession from the Kalmar Union, civil war broke out in Denmark and Norway—the Protestant Reformation followed. When things had settled, the Norwegian Privy Council was abolished—it assembled for the last time in 1537. A personal union, entered into by the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway in 1536, lasted until 1814. Three sovereign successor states have subsequently emerged from this unequal union: Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

The borders between the three countries got the shape they have had since in the middle of the seventeenth century: In the 1645 Treaty of Brömsebro, Denmark–Norway ceded the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland, Härjedalen and Idre and Särna, as well as the Baltic Sea islands of Gotland and Ösel (in Estonia) to Sweden. The Treaty of Roskilde, signed in 1658, forced Denmark–Norway to cede the Danish provinces Scania, Blekinge, Halland, Bornholm and the Norwegian provinces of Båhuslen and Trøndelag to Sweden. The 1660 Treaty of Copenhagen forced Sweden to return Bornholm and Trøndelag to Denmark–Norway, and to give up its recent claims to the island Funen. [65]

In the east, Finland, was a fully incorporated part of Sweden since medieval times until the Napoleonic wars, when it was ceded to Russia. Despite many wars over the years since the formation of the three kingdoms, Scandinavia has been politically and culturally close.

Scandinavian unions

The Kalmar Union (c. 1400) Kalmar Union ca. 1400.svg
The Kalmar Union (c.1400)

Denmark–Norway as a historiographical name refers to the former political union consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The corresponding adjective and demonym is Dano-Norwegian. During Danish rule, Norway kept its separate laws, coinage and army as well as some institutions such as a royal chancellor. Norway's old royal line had died out with the death of Olav IV [66] in 1387, but Norway's remaining a hereditary kingdom became an important factor for the Oldenburg dynasty of Denmark–Norway in its struggles to win elections as kings of Denmark.

The Treaty of Kiel (14 January 1814) formally dissolved the Dano-Norwegian union and ceded the territory of Norway proper to the King of Sweden, but Denmark retained Norway's overseas possessions. However, widespread Norwegian resistance to the prospect of a union with Sweden induced the governor of Norway, crown prince Christian Frederick (later Christian VIII of Denmark), to call a constituent assembly at Eidsvoll in April 1814. The assembly drew up a liberal constitution and elected Christian Frederick to the throne of Norway. Following a Swedish invasion during the summer, the peace conditions of the Convention of Moss (14 August 1814) specified that king Christian Frederik had to resign, but Norway would keep its independence and its constitution within a personal union with Sweden. Christian Frederik formally abdicated on 10 August 1814 and returned to Denmark. The Norwegian parliament Storting elected king Charles XIII of Sweden as king of Norway on 4 November.

The Storting dissolved the union between Sweden and Norway in 1905, after which the Norwegians elected Prince Charles of Denmark as king of Norway: he reigned as Haakon VII.

Political

The influence of Scandinavism as a Scandinavist political movement was in the middle of the nineteenth century between the First Schleswig War (1848–1850) and the Second Schleswig War (1864).

The Swedish king also proposed a unification of Denmark, Norway and Sweden into a single united kingdom. The background for the proposal was the tumultuous events during the Napoleonic Wars in the beginning of the century. This war resulted in Finland (formerly the eastern third of Sweden) becoming the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 and Norway (de jure in union with Denmark since 1387, although de facto treated as a province) becoming independent in 1814, but thereafter swiftly forced to accept a personal union with Sweden. The dependent territories Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, historically part of Norway, remained with Denmark in accordance with the Treaty of Kiel. Sweden and Norway were thus united under the Swedish monarch, but Finland's inclusion in the Russian Empire excluded any possibility for a political union between Finland and any of the other Nordic countries.

The end of the Scandinavian political movement came when Denmark was denied the military support promised from Sweden and Norway to annex the (Danish) Duchy of Schleswig, which together with the (German) Duchy of Holstein had been in personal union with Denmark. The Second war of Schleswig followed in 1864, a brief but disastrous war between Denmark and Prussia (supported by Austria). Schleswig-Holstein was conquered by Prussia and after Prussia's success in the Franco-Prussian War a Prussian-led German Empire was created and a new power-balance of the Baltic sea countries was established. Scandinavian Monetary Union, established in 1873, lasted until World War I.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 "Scandinavia". Encyclopædia Britannica . 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009. Scandinavia, historically Scandia, part of northern Europe, generally held to consist of the two countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Norway and Sweden, with the addition of Denmark. Some authorities argue for the inclusion of Finland on geologic and economic grounds and of Iceland and the Faroe Islands on the grounds that their inhabitants speak Scandinavian languages related to those of Norway and Sweden and also have similar cultures.
  2. Danish, Swedish and archaic (Dano-)Norwegian: Skandinavien, Norwegian, Faroese and Finnish: Skandinavia, Icelandic: Skandinavía, Sami: Skadesi-suolu/Skađsuâl

Related Research Articles

Norse may refer to:

Scandinavian Peninsula peninsula in Northern Europe, which covers Norway, Sweden and most of northern Finland

The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula of Eurasia located in Northern Europe, which roughly comprises the mainland of Sweden, the mainland of Norway, and the northwestern area of Finland.

North Germanic languages Branch of Germanic languages spoken predominantly in the Nordic countries

The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is sometimes referred to as the "Nordic languages", a direct translation of the most common term used among Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish scholars and laypeople.

Norsemen historical ethnolinguistic group of people originating in Scandinavia

The Norsemen were a group of Germanic people who inhabited Scandinavia and spoke what is now called the Old Norse language between c. 800 and 1300 AD. The language belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages and is the predecessor of the modern Germanic languages of Scandinavia. In the late eighth century Norsemen embarked on a massive expansion in all directions. This was the start of the Viking Age.

Swedes (Germanic tribe)

The Swedes (Swedish: svear; Old Norse: svíar / suar were a North Germanic tribe who inhabited Svealand in central Sweden and one of the progenitor groups of modern Swedes, along with Geats and Gutes.

Nordic folk music includes a number of traditions in Northern European, especially Scandinavian, countries. The Nordic countries are generally taken to include Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The Nordic Council, an international organization, also includes the autonomous territories of Åland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Historically, the term Nordic was also applied to Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Scandza region & island described by historian Jordanes

The Gothic-Byzantine historian Jordanes described Scandza as a "great island" in his work Getica, written in Constantinople around 551 AD. This island was located in the Arctic regions of the sea that surrounded the world. He discussed the area in order to set the stage for his treatment of the Goths' migration to Gothiscandza, the island at the mouth of the Vistula river. Composed of information from several sources, his account contains several accurate descriptions of the mouth of the Vistula. It is possible that Jordanes was describing Scandinavia. Prominent Swedish archaeologist, Göran Burenhult, regards Jordanes' account as a unique glimpse into the tribes of Scandinavia in the 6th century.

Scanian dialect dialect

Scanian is a closely related group of South Swedish dialects spoken in the province of Scania in southern Sweden. Scanian formed part of the old Scandinavian dialect continuum and are by most historical linguists considered to be an East Danish dialect group, but due to the modern-era influence from Standard Swedish in the region and because traditional dialectology in the Scandinavian countries normally has not considered isoglosses that cut across state borders, the Scanian dialects have normally been treated as a South Swedish dialect group in Swedish dialect research. However, many of the early Scandinavian linguists, including Adolf Noreen and G. Sjöstedt, classified it as "South Scandinavian", and some linguists, such as Elias Wessén, also considered Old Scanian a separate language, classified apart from both Old Danish and Old Swedish.

Faroe Islanders ethnic group

Faroese people or Faroe Islanders are a North Germanic ethnic group and nation native to the Faroe Islands. The Faroese are of mixed Norse and Gaelic origins. About 21,000 Faroese live in neighbouring countries, particularly in Denmark, Iceland and Norway. Most Faroese are citizens of the Kingdom of Denmark, in which the Faroe Islands are a constituent nation. The Faroese language is one of the North Germanic languages and is closely related to Icelandic and to western Norwegian varieties.

History of Scandinavia aspect of history

The history of Scandinavia is the history of the geographical region of Scandinavia and its peoples. The region is in northern Europe, and consists of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Finland and Iceland are at times, especially in English-speaking contexts, considered part of Scandinavia.

Scandinavian Americans US citizens of Scandinavian descent

Scandinavian Americans are Americans of Nordic, or part-Nordic ancestry, defined in this article to include Danish Americans, Faroese Americans, Finnish Americans, Greenlandic Americans, Icelandic Americans, Norwegian Americans, Sami Americans, and Swedish Americans. Also included are persons who reported 'Northern European' ancestry or 'Scandinavian' ancestry. According to 2010 census data, there are approximately 11,890,524 people of Scandinavian ancestry in the United States.

Scandinavian literature or Nordic literature is the literature in the languages of the Nordic countries of Northern Europe. The Nordic countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Scandinavia's associated autonomous territories. The majority of these nations and regions use North Germanic languages. Although majority of Finns speak Uralic languages, Finnish history and literature are clearly interrelated with those of both Sweden and Norway who have shared control of various areas and who have substantial Sami populations/influences.

Scandinavian studies field of study

Scandinavian studies is an interdisciplinary academic field of area studies, mainly in the United States and Germany, that covers topics related to Scandinavia and the Nordic countries, including languages, literatures, histories, cultures and societies. The term Scandinavia mainly refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, although the term Scandinavian in an ethnic, cultural and linguistic sense also refers to the peoples and languages of the Faroe Islands and Iceland, and the Scandinavian-speaking minority in Finland. Scandinavian studies does not exist as a separate field within Scandinavia or the Nordic countries themselves, as its scope would be considered far too broad to be treated meaningfully within a single discipline. The closest related field in Scandinavia would be the more narrow discipline of Nordic linguistics, which covers North Germanic languages. A major focus of Scandinavian studies is the teaching of Scandinavian languages, especially the three large languages Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

History of Icelandic

The history of the Icelandic language began in the 9th century when the settlement of Iceland, mostly by Norwegians, brought a dialect of Old Norse to the island.

Sámi languages group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in northern Europe

Sami languages are a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in Northern Europe. There are, depending on the nature and terms of division, ten or more Sami languages. Several names are used for the Sami languages: Saami, Sámi, Saame, Samic, Saamic, as well as the exonyms Lappish and Lappic. The last two, along with the term Lapp, are now often considered pejorative.

Nordic countries Geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic

The Nordic countries or the Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as Norden. The term includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands—which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark—and the Åland Islands and Svalbard and Jan Mayen archipelagos that belong to Finland and Norway respectively, whereas the Norwegian Antarctic territories are often not considered a part of the Nordic countries, due to their geographical location. Several regions in Europe, such as the Northern Isles of Scotland, share cultural or ethnic ties with Nordic nations, but are not considered to be Nordic countries. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; other groups are indigenous minorities such as the Greenlandic Inuit and the Sami people, and recent immigrants and their descendants. The native languages Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese are all North Germanic languages rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish, Greenlandic and several Sami languages. The main religion is Lutheran Christianity. The Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, history, religion, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure. The Nordic countries have a long history of political unions and other close relations, but do not form a separate entity today. The Scandinavist movement sought to unite Denmark, Norway and Sweden into one country in the 19th century, with the indepedence of Finland in the early 20th century, and Iceland in the mid 20th century, this movement expanded into the modern organised Nordic cooperation which includes the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Especially in English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, but that term more properly refers to the three monarchies of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Geologically, the Scandinavian Peninsula comprises the mainland of Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland.

North Germanic peoples

North Germanic peoples, sometimes called Scandinavians, Nordic peoples and in a medieval context Norsemen, are a Germanic ethnolinguistic group of the Nordic countries. They are identified by their cultural similarities, common ancestry and common use of the Proto-Norse language from around 200 AD, a language that around 800 AD became the Old Norse language, which in turn later became the North Germanic languages of today.

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