The Swedish language belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family and, with the languages of Denmark, Norway and Iceland, forms the Nordic or North Germanic group. Swedish is currently spoken: in the Kingdom of Sweden (except the northern parts inhabited by Lapps and Finni); in part of Finland (including the Åland Islands); in a short stretch of Estonia and some neighboring islands; in a village in southern Russia: Galsvänskbi (now Gammelsvenskby), i.e. Starošvedskaja on the Dnieper near Cherson. In other times, Swedish was more widespread in Finland, Estonia, Livonia and the neighboring islands and from the second half of the century. IX to the first half of the century. XI was spoken in various parts of Russia (in Novgorod until around 1300). On the other hand, in the southernmost provinces of today’s Sweden (Scania, Blekinge and part of Halland) was spoken Swedish and in some western areas (Bohus, Idre and Särna in Dalecarlia, Jämtland and Härjedalen) Norwegian. Swedish is currently spoken by about 6,215,000 people in Sweden, about 375,000 in Finland (where educated Finnish people also include it), and about 100,000 in Norway, Denmark and other European countries. Taking into account the Swedes born in Sweden but residing outside Europe, which a recent calculation brings to 665,000 (over 2 million Swedish natives) in the United States, 30,000 (out of 100,000 natives) in Canada and 13,000 in other countries, Swedish can be said to be the mother tongue of around 7,400,000 people. If we then take into account, at least in part, those born abroad of Swedish emigrants,
The history of the Swedish language spans two great eras – ancient and modern – which limit the time when the Lutheran reform was introduced in the country (around 1527). In ancient times three periods are usually distinguished: archaic, from the first manifestations of those characters by which Swedish differed from other Nordic languages up to the emergence in Sweden of an indigenous language literature (approximately from the year 800 to 1225); classical, in which an important literature, especially juridical, takes place (around 1225-1375); Finally, the age that marks the passing From the time ancient to modern, and therefore it is said average – Swedish (circa 1375-1525), whose literature consists mainly of translations of writings mostly of religious content. Among the oldest attestations of the Swedish language are the words introduced into the Russian language by the Swedes (Varjaghi) who founded the Russian monarchy (862): almost only personal names, about a hundred, which appear already adapted to the needs of Russian phonetics in documents of the century.. X (eg, Igor from the Swedish ant. Ingwar, Rurik from Reriker, Olga from Hiælgha). Of the numerous Swedish voices that have penetrated the Finnish language at all times, it is not easy to establish the chronology. The direct documents of Old Swedish are epigraphic and literary. Of all the Scandinavian countries, Sweden has the largest number of inscriptions in runic characters (over 2400 are known so far). But those prior to the century. IX, not many and almost all very short, are documents not of Swedish but of “primitive Nordic”, then a common language throughout Scandinavia and a common mother of all Nordic languages, including Swedish. On the other hand, the less ancient inscriptions, contemporary or posterior to the first manuscript texts, add very little to the linguistic knowledge provided by them. On the other hand, the numerous inscriptions of intermediate age because almost only from them we learn to know the archaic or preliterary Swedish, which precisely for this reason is also called runic Swedish. The oldest Swedish royal and ecclesiastical writings were written in Latin and only occasionally retain a few words in the language of the country, mostly names of places and people. A literature in the Swedish language began only in the 10th century. XIII. The oldest surviving texts are a fragment of the oldest drafting of Västgötalag, which is believed to be written around 1250, and a complete copy of the same law, written shortly after 1280. The other manuscripts date from 1300 onwards. Diplomas have also become an important source for the history of the language since, towards the middle of the century. XIV, Swedish begins to replace Latin in them. The documentation of modern Swedish begins with the translation of the New Testament (1526) and with the other writings of Olaus Petri (1493-1552), whose importance in the linguistic history of Sweden is comparable to that of Luther in the linguistic history of Germany. But the most famous literary monument of the century. XVI is the complete version of the Bible (1541), commonly known as the Bible of Gustavo I. In the XVI-XVII centuries the Swedish language undergoes a rapid evolution, partly veiled by spelling that often stiffens into outdated forms. Overall, it can be said that around 1700 the ancient inflectional system almost disappeared. Since that time, the lexicon has profoundly changed, but the grammar has undergone relatively few innovations. The spelling reform of 1906 made writing more consistent with phonetic reality. The national language (riksspråk), which is written by all and which use speakers and actors, differs greatly, not only in pronunciation but also in grammar, from the language used in the conversation of educated people (rikstalspråk). Furthermore, while the written language is the same throughout Sweden, the spoken language is partly influenced by the local dialect in the provinces.
The Swedish language has the characteristic grammatical structure of the Nordic languages and is particularly similar to Danish. As in Danish, so in modern Swedish the declension has almost disappeared. The three “genders”, which are still distinct in the 3rd person pronoun, are reduced to two in the name due to the fusion of masc. and fem. in the “common genre”. There exists, but not in all names, the formal distinction between sing. and plur. expressed by endings (plur. – or, – ar, – er, – r, – n) and in several nouns also, or only, by change of the root vowel. Of the ancient cases, the acc. and the dat. they are no longer distinguished from the nom., while the gen. (sing. and plur.) adds the ending – s. Swedish also has the double form and construction of the given article typical of the Nordic languages. The article suffices the noun and has the forms – en or – n in the sing. gen. com., – et or -t, in sing. neuter, and – en, – na, – a (in the spoken language: – ena or – na) in the plural; but if the noun is preceded by an adjective, the article den (sing. gen. com.), det (sing. neutral), de (plur.), and at the same time, unlike what happens in Danish, the name retains the article suffix. The art. indeterminate, which has no plural, sounds en (gen. com.), ett (neuter). Examples: gossen “the boy”, huset “the house”; en gosse “a boy”, ett hus “a house”; den lilla gossen “the little boy” det gamla huset “the old house”. The double declension of the adjective, characteristic of Germanic languages, survives, but the exponents are reduced to the “weak” declension(sometimes – tt) in the sing. neutral and – a in the plur. of both genera (the sing. gen. com. has no sign). In the personal pronoun there is an “objective case” (with acc. And dat. Functions) distinct from the nominative. In the verb Swedish maintains the Germanic distinction between “weak” conjugation (impf. Formed with – te, – de or – dde and with a vowel almost always equal to that of the present) and “strong” (impf. without a suffix and with a vowel different from that of the present); however, one of the three weak classes absorbs more than 80% of all Swedish verbs. The mechanism of conjugation is very simple. In the spoken language each time has a unique form for the whole paradigm; in the elevated style the present of all verbs and the impf. some strong verbs have a form for the sing. and two forms of plur. (one for the 1st and 3rd, the other for the 2nd person). The future is usually expressed by means of the present; but it can also be formed by connecting the present of komma “to come” to infinity through the conjunction att, or with the present of skola “duty” certainly followed by infinity. Very restricted is the use of the subjunctive, which, moreover, in the weak veibi is no longer distinguished from the indicative. The passive is formed by adding – s to the corresponding active items, or peripherally with part. pass and the verb bliva “to become” or vara“to be”. The first type, which in some verbs has the value of deponent, derives from the ancient middle-passive formed by the affixing of certain pronominal forms to the active verb. Swedish has an expiratory or dynamic accent in which four degrees can be distinguished (fortissimo, semiforte, lene, lenissimo), but also has tonal differences for which two musical accents are distinguished, acute and grave (also called accent I and II respectively.). Differences in quantity are also felt in Swedish. For Sweden travel information, please check zipcodesexplorer.com.
The existence of dialects can already be recognized in archaic Swedish, at least from the middle of the century. XI, although the runic alphabet used at the time, in which the same letter can represent several sounds, is not very suitable for revealing the true state of the language. In the classical age the dialectal differences become more tangible with the adoption of the Latin script; but on the other hand the tendency, which soon asserted itself, to create a national language and the influence exerted by the literally more productive regions attenuate the documentation of the various dialects. There is a dialect that presents characters so singular as to lead us to consider it as a language in itself: Gutnium or dialect of the island of Gotland, whose history is documented by an abundant epigraphy (over 200 runic inscriptions from the 10th to the 16th century) and by a certain number of manuscripts (the oldest, a calendar from 1328 known only from a copy of 1626, is the only known Swedish example of non-epigraphic runic script). We are poorly informed about the history of the Swedish dialects spoken in the countries east of the Baltic; however a code written in the years 1487-91 and many diplomas of the period 1420-90 reveal some peculiarities of Swedish of Finland. Modern dialects are usually classified into five main groups: Norrländska (Norwegian), Sveamålen (Svearike dialects), Götamålen (Götarike dialects, excluding the southernmost part), Sydsvenska (southern Swedish, in the former Danish provinces of Scania, Blekinge and part of Halland), Gotländska (island of Gotland). The territorial limits of the first three groups only partially correspond to those of the respective regions. The Swedish dialects of Finland and Estonia are also linked to the second group. The fourth includes dialects originally Danish, modified by Swedish influence; therefore it is also called “East Danish”. Even in its present form, Gothic differs markedly from all other Swedish speakers.