Languages

Norwegian, Wisconsin

Fact corner

Introduction

Between 1825 and 1925, more than 800,000 Norwegians immigrated to North America—about one-third of Norway's population with the majority immigrating to the USA, and lesser numbers immigrating to the Dominion of Canada. With the exception of Ireland, no single country contributed a larger percentage of its population to the United States than Norway.

The first Norwegian immigrants in Wisconsin arrived in 1839, settling on land near Lake Muskego in Waukesha County. The next year, land agents from the Muskego settlement identified a fertile region further west in eastern Dane County and known as the Koshkonong Prairie. Several Muskego settlers decided to relocate. In the 1840s several hundred Norwegians decided to emigrate to the Koshkonong region, which included the communities of Deerfield, Cambridge, McFarland, Cottage Grove, and Stoughton. It eventually became the largest Norwegian-American community in the United States.

This population first absorved English loanwords to their daily use until they switched entirely to English. The mixed language with Norwegian grammar and strong English influence in vocabulary is called Norwegian, Wisconsin.

The Verb

Verbs do not inflect for person or number. They inflect for the present tense, past tense, imperative and indicative mood. Other tenses are formed by combinations of auxiliary verbs with infinitives or past participle.

All verbs can be classified either as regular or irregular. Verbs with English origin are inflected like regular verbs.

Sample verb: ket´ja

Infinitiveket´ja
Imperativeket´ja!
Presentket´jar
Pastket´ja
Past participleket´ja

Click verbs to conjugate them in the table above!

References

  • Haugen, Einar. The Norwegian language in America. Philadelphia. 1953.

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