Ivar Aasen

Norwegian linguist and poet, dubbed the father of Nynorsk (1813 – 1896)

Ivar Andreas Aasen (5 August 1813 – 23 September 1896) was a Norwegian philologist and lexicographer.[1] He is best known for creating a new variant of the Norwegian language based on the way people in Norway spoke.[2] His aim was to replace Danish as the official written language in Norway. He wanted a new written language that sounded more like the spoken Norwegian of ordinary people. Danish had become the official written language during Norway's union with Denmark (1400s-1814).[3] It was only mastered by a few middle and upper class Norwegians.

Aasen in 1871


  1. Rubén Chacón Beltrán, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Madrid: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, 2013), p. 134
  2. Oskar Bandle; et al., The Nordic Languages : an International Handbook of the History of the North Germanic Languages (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2005), p. 1829
  3. The Languages and Linguistics of Europe: A Comprehensive Guide, eds. Bernd Kortmann; Johan van der Auwera (Berlin; New York: De Gruyter Mouton, 2011), p. 370