This course is discontinued

NOR1220 – The Norwegian Language Community - A Sociolinguistic Laboratory

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Before 1814, Norway and Denmark constituted a single state for about four hundred years, with Danish as the only official language. National liberation in Norway had the linguistic effect that two somewhat different official language variants emerged, both claiming to be Norwegian and to represent the same Norwegian nation. This is a situation which is probably almost unparalleled in the world.
However, the language situation in Norway is also different in other respects: Although there are standards for both the written varieties of Norwegian, it is debated whether there is a generally accepted spoken standard, and local dialects are often spoken in social settings where this would be unthinkable in most other European countries.

Learning outcome

A main emphasis will be on understanding the historical background for the modern Norwegian language situation and the resulting practical consequences for daily life in the country, particularly in the school system and administration. Another focus will be on the struggle between the two written varieties, which is also closely intertwined with social and political issues.
An additional emphasis will be put on showing how the language situation in Norway has placed the Norwegians in a favorable position for understanding the Scandinavian neighbor languages Danish and Swedish.


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Minimum 5, maksimum 30 students


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.


The course extends over the entire semester with 2 hours of lectures and seminars per week. Teaching takes place throughout the semester.
An obligatory assignment, either a written assignment of approx 5 pages or an oral presentation, will be given halfway through the semester. This has to be approved before the student can sit for the final exam consisting of a 4 hour school exam.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


4 hour school exam.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

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Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language