Re: [tied] Affects of immigrant communities in language change

From: tgpedersen@...
Message: 8342
Date: 2001-08-06

> Dear Hakan,
> Thanks for enhancing my understanding. One last question
about the
> Baltic islands and I will leave you in peace for now. Is there
evidence that
> Gotland was occupied independently and had a language or dialect
> significantly different from their contemporaries on the mainland
and that
> they were eventually conquered and assimilated after a long
period of
> independence?
> Best regards, John Piscopo
> PO Box 137
> Western Springs, IL 60558-0137
> (708)246-7111
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of

--- In cybalist@..., Håkan Lindgren <h5@...> wrote:
> Dear John,
> Your letters are very kind and your questions are interesting. I
can only say that I'm not able to answer them - they are far beyond
me as I am neither a linguist nor a historian. I'm just on this list
because I'm interested in learning about language history. I would
like to hear the answers to these questions myself.
> If I understand your last question correctly, you're asking if
Gotland was populated independently from Sweden and later was
conquered by Swedes and its population assimilated by Swedish-
speaking people. I don't know if that has happened, but that doesn't
mean it didn't happen. All I know is that there are archaeological
traces of people living here long before there was anything that
could be called Germanic languages. Some of them have left beautiful
rock carvings (1000 BC) on the Swedish west coast. They must have
belonged to some other, possibly extinct, language family, but who
they were and what they spoke is unknown. Nobody knows (as far as I'm
able to tell) what happened when the Germanic tribes arrived here -
if the original population was conquered or assimilated peacefully.
If you find any answers to your questions, please post them on the
> All the best,
> Hakan
Those who study the development of the North Germanic languages
usually divide them into West, East and Gutnic; the latter being the
language of Gotland. It has some unique features (Old Norse au, öy,
ei preserved, unlike East Nordic (Danish and Swedish)).