Ivar Aasen

Ivar Andreas Aasen ( August 5, 1813 * in Ørsta, fylke Møre og Romsdal, † September 23, 1896 in Christiania ) was a Norwegian linguist and poet.


He was the youngest of eight siblings, your parents were poor tenant farmers. His mother Guri died when he was three years old. When his father died in 1826, his brother Jon took over the economy. Ivar had to do a lot of field work. In three kilometers away was the generally accessible library of Sivert Aarflot. 1831 Aasen primary school teacher in his hometown. Thus he had the opportunity in Volda to visit the then cultural center, where was an even larger library. Two years later he entered the household of the pastor HC Thoresen on Herøy that in all subjects (including Latin) thoroughly instructed him. In 1835 he was a tutor for the six children of the captain Ludvig Daae in Solnør in the community Skodje in Ålesund. Here he remained seven years. During this time he acquired many skills in Latin, German, English, grammar, literature, geography, history and botany. Particularly intense was his interest in botany - he had a collection of 500 plants - and with grammar. 1840 moved to the minister PV Aasen your stronghold in Molde, 1841 Bishop Jacob Neumann in Bergen. In 1840 he went to Trondheim and went to several research trips. Then he came to Christiania (now Oslo), where he received a life-long scholarship that earned him the salary of a professor. The office itself he refused.


The botanist

Ivar Aasen was dedicated botanist. He had 506 plants in his collection, which he had collected from 1837 to 1839 in Sunnmøre. Originally, he was more than important botanist known. His plant collection was one of the greatest in the first half of the 19th century. This is valuable about the collection is that it is an inventory for a well-defined territory, namely Ørskog and Skodje. Despite the insufficient literature to determine the plant, he succeeded they fit into the system of Linnaeus. 1841 gave Aasen this employment on account of the Fellowship in the Norwegian language. But the interest never went out. As he wrote in 1860 an article Plantenavne Norske (Norwegian names).

The linguist

In 1836 he made ​​the plan to a Norwegian written language in a short essay "Om VORT Skriftsprog " ( About writing language). In 1837 he published a dictionary of his native dialect of Sunnmøre. A few years later he wrote a grammar of the language in Sunnmøre. These he took with his plant collection to Bishop Jacob Neumann, who showed great interest in the grammar and published parts of his work in 1841 in Bergens Tidende pin. The bishop made ​​contact with Frederik Moltke Bugge in Trondheim, the President of the Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskab. In Trondheim, he received a research grant for the study of Norwegian dialects. To this end, he traveled for four years until 1847 the entire country. 1848 followed according to its appreciation for the Norse a ranking of dialects according to their similarity with the Norrøn. Then the dialects in Hardanger, Voss and Sogn took the top position; here is because even today the core area of Nynorsk. The few letters and the diary (both first published 1957-1960 ), he wrote in Danish, few in his own language, the Landsmål. He wrote several small books. The longest written by him in Landsmål text is Heimsyn: egg snøgg Umsjaaing concocted t Skapningen above Menneskja: tilmaatad fyre Ungdomen ( view of the world: A brief overview of the creation and the people who set up for the Youth, 1875). It is 96 pages long and was hardly read.

The language reformer

His efforts to Norwegian language were influenced by Henrik Wergeland and were initially an experiment with a new form of the Norwegian written language: Samtale mellem to Bonder ( conversation between two farmers ) of 1849, which published the conservative newspaper Morgenbladet. This was preceded by Det norske 1848 Folkesprogs Grammatikk ( The grammar of the language of the Norwegian people ). 1850 appeared Det Norske Folkesprogs ordbog ( The dictionary of the language of the Norwegian people ). The work included more than 25000 words. The great historian Peter Andreas Munch described it as a national masterpiece. The first text in Landsmål was prover af Landsmaalet i Norge ( samples of Landsmål in Norway, 1853). In 1873 he published his revised Ordbog Norsk (Norwegian dictionary ).

Ivar Aasen to time was expected for the norrøne time provides a common language for the whole country. Later research showed, however, that there were many dialects even then. Many words, the Ivar Aasen had rejected as Danismen, turned out to be old and original Norwegian words.

Its effect

Ivar Aasen was of the view that the language is all the more real and better, the archaic it was what the embossed Herder national romantic spirit of the upper class very came to meet. But others said it was unsuitable for playing modern thought. Peter Andreas Munch wrote of the grammar, it is a work of national importance, to which the whole nation could be proud. It unravel the Norwegian nationality of the people more clearly than any other work, which had appeared. About the dictionary, he wrote that it was a national monument, its author owe any Norwegian Patriot greatest thanks.

Aasen was initially celebrated by the upper class; his books sold very well. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson strove for the new language. It soon found themselves writers who wrote in this language. But none of them saw it as more than a starting point. In 1858 there were three authors of texts in Landsmål, but each in their own conception of language. The texts did not have the same language, and so no one could understand the not reasonably ruled the Norrøn. 1858 Aasen was asked by a newspaper, the Icelandic saga Fridtjofs translate. He did this in his personal Landsmål. The newspaper issued him with regard to their readers then no more orders. After 1860, the national romanticism declined markedly. His books no longer sold, yes, you refrained even from time to time to announce it and discuss. The newspaper in which he had published Fridtjofs saga, switched sides and went to the language reform Knud Knudsen on his opponent, as did several writers, including Bjørnson, which was the language too difficult. Others ( as the historian Munch) it was later not archaic enough because Aasen had refused to use grammatical forms that had survived in only a few or no dialect. Although other poets used Landsmål, but Ivar Aasen's displeasure very clear about Arne Garborg.

He was neither an organizer nor could he promote his ideas. The Nynorsk movement has emerged largely without his involvement. The subsequent spelling reform took its grammatical principles, not all, but they turned the modern dialects and simplifications in the direction of to Bokmål. For science, history of dialectology Aasen is an outstanding and far too little appreciated figure. His grammars and dictionaries were written in a time that preceded the triggered by the neogrammarians Boom local grammatical publications far.

Research and memorials

Since 2000 there Ørsta the Ivar Aasen - tunet ( www.aasentunet.no ) as a large-scale documentation and adventure center with museum and library.

At the Høgskule in Volda near Ørsta there is Ivar Aasen - Instituttet for språk above litteratur; it is used for research and study purposes.

In Ivar Aasen hage (garden ) within the campus Blindern University of Oslo is one Aasen bust, made ​​by the sculptor Dyre Vaa. A further monument shows him sitting in a traffic rondel in Ørsta.

Ivar Aasen's grave lies in the cemetery Var Frelsers Gravlund in Oslo.

The Norwegian Post In 1963, on his 150th birthday out two stamps (50 and 90 øre ) with the portrait Aasen.

List of Publications ( selection)

  • Fem Viser i Sondre Søndmørs Almuesprog (1842 )
  • Det norske Folkesprogs grammar (1848 ) Latest edition 1996, ISBN 82-7661-043-9 82-7661-044-7 and
  • Ordbog over det norske Folkesprog ( 1850)
  • Søndmørsk Grammar ( 1851)
  • Prover af Landsmaalet i Norge ( 1853)
  • En liden Læsebog i gammel Norsk ( 1854)
  • Ervingen (1855, new version 1873)
  • Norske Ordsprog ( 1856-1881 ) 4th edition, 1989, ISBN 82-90451-20-2
  • Symra ( 1863-1875 )
  • Norsk grammar (1864 ) Revised edition by Det norske Folkesprogs grammar. Last issue 1965
  • Norsk Ordbog (1873 ) Revised edition of Ordbog over det norske Folkesprog. Latest edition 2003, ISBN 82-521-5928-1
  • Heimsyn (1875 )
  • Norsk Maalbunad (1876, published 1925)
  • Bidrag til VORT folkesprogs history ( 1951 edition )