Languages

Modern Gutnish

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Introduction

Modern Gutnish is the old language of the island of Gotland (in present day Sweden). It was used both as a spoken and written language until late medieval times. Today it still exists as a spoken language, but is to some degree mixed with Swedish, Danish and German. It is an open issue whether modern Gutnish is to be considered an independent language or merely a Scandinavian dialect. It derives however its origin from Old Gutnish, which by no dispute is a separate branch of the Old Norse language family.

The knowledge in Gutnish is pretty weak both with the Gotlanders (Gutar) and the Swedes. Gutnish is spoken mainly in the south-east parts of the island and in some parts of Fårö. Gutnish exists in two variants, Laumal (mainland Gotland) and Faroymal on Fårö. The Faroymal is considered most archaic of the two forms. Gutnish is not to be confused with Gotlandic, which is the local form of Swedish spoken by most Gotlanders today.

The Modern Gutnish verb

Verbs are conjugated by tense and mood:

  • Present, Past, Prefect, Pluperfect
  • Indicative, Imperative

Verbs are divided into strong verbs and weak verbs. Strong verbs form the past tense with a vowel shift and weak verbs with a -d suffix.

Sample verb: varä

  • Infinitive: varä
  • Past participle: vart
INDICATIVE IMPERATIVE
Present Past Perfect Pluperfect
jär var har vart hadd vart var! (Sg/Pl.2)

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