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Russenorsk language

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(Redirected from Russenorsk)

Russenorsk (or "Russonorsk") was a pidgin language combining elements of Russian and Norwegian, created by traders and whalers from northern Norway and the Russian Kola peninsula.

As is common in the development of pidgins and trade languages, the interaction of seamen, fishermen, and traders with no common language necessitated the creation of some minimal form of communication. Like all pidgins, Russenorsk was not a complex system of communication. It had a rudimentary grammar and a restricted vocabulary mostly composed of words essential to Arctic fishing and trade (fish, weather, etc.) and did not particularly deal with "minutiae" irrelevant to the situation, e.g. existentialism, music, etc.

Classification

Some scholars do not classify Russenorsk as a pidgin. For example, Frederik Kortlandt (professor of linguistics at Leiden University) argues (http://www.kortlandt.nl/publications/art197e.pdf) that Russenorsk was essentially a variant of Norwegian with Russian loan words.

History

The history of Russenorsk is mainly limited to 18th and 19th centuries. The Russian revolution of 1917 brought about an end to its use; it is reported that the last Norwegian-Russian trade occurred in 1923, marking the last use of Russenorsk.

Bibliography

  • Broch, I. & Jahr, E. H. 1984. Russenorsk: Et pidginspråk i Norge (2. utgave), Oslo: Novus.
  • Lunden, S. S. 1978. Tracing the ancestry of Russenorsk. Slavia Orientalis 27/2, 213-217.
  • Peterson, R. E. 1980. Russenorsk: A little known aspect of Russian-Norwegian relations, Studies in language 4/2, 249-256.de:Russenorsk

eo:Rusenorsko no:Russenorsk sv:Russenorsk

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