”Det her på stedet almindelige hverdagssprog […] forvilder begynderen” – Om eit tidleg morsmålslæreverk som kjelde til kunnskap om språkforhold i Trondheim omkring 1800


  • Stian Hårstad


This article discusses a teacher’s guide book that was published in Trondheim (Norway) in 1813 with the explicit purpose to help local pupils avoid ‘provincialisms’ in their writing. As an appendix to selected grammatical and orthographical accounts, the author Henrik A. Angell, a young high school teacher, included a list of examples from ’the common vernacular’ to demonstrate which features might typically ’bewilder the novice’. First, this material is examined with respect to its potential as documentation of the early 1800s Trondheim dialect. An overall conclusion is that although Angell’s records provide several interesting insights into the local linguistic conditions of the period, his reporting is rather inaccurate or questionable. The article argues that these shortcomings to some extent might be understood as an effect of Angell’s social position in the language community. Furthermore, Angell’s publication is put in a larger historical context, indicating that it can be regarded as the outcome of a classic purist movement which was prevalent in the Dano-Norwegian Realm around 1800.