Michael P. Barnes

Michael P. Barnes, Professor emeritus of Scandinavian Studies at UCL. Specialisations: history of the Scandinavian languages, comparative Scandinavian linguistics, Faroese, runes and runic inscriptions.


Contributions to nordics.info

An example of an official body: The Language Secretariat of Greenland, Oqaasilesiffik https://oqaasileriffik.gl/en/

2019.02.21 | The Quick Read, Michael P. Barnes, Culture, Literature, Nation building

Official bodies overseeing the Nordic languages

There has been much more official involvement with the Nordic languages than with English. That is true even of the well-established Danish, Icelandic and Swedish standards. Each language exists under the watchful eye of a language ‘committee’, ‘board’ or ‘council’, for the most part state-sponsored, semi-autonomous bodies. A wide spectrum of…

A section of Jørn Rønnau's bench entitled 'Bænk finder sted' (The bench exists) commissioned to celebrate Danish author Svend Åge Madsen's 60th birthday. The Royal Library, Aarhus, Denmark.

2019.02.21 | Article, Michael P. Barnes, Culture

Linguistic variety in the Nordics

Quick overview: In Denmark the principal language is Danish, with about 5,750,000 speakers (in 2018), but varieties of German are spoken in northern Slesvig by some 20,000 people, and Denmark is also host to 10,000 or more Faroe Islanders, whose native language is Faroese. Sweden has approximately 10,000,000 speakers of Swedish; in addition there…