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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Jón Ólafsson from Grunnavík: Cultivation of Language in his early Writings (1727–1737)
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Author: Matteo Tarsi
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Institution: University of Iceland
Linguistic Field: History of Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Icelandic
Abstract: This article discusses Jón Ólafsson from Grunnavík (1705–1779), a prominent spokesperson for purism and language cultivation in eighteenth-century Iceland. Jón’s attitude towards his mother tongue is investigated here by discussing several representative texts that he wrote: his youthful translation of Barthold Feind’s Cosmographia (1727, AM 958 4to); a Latin lecture on the Icelandic language (written no later than 1730, AM 1013 4to, ff. 68r–76r); the introduction to Jón’s orthographic treatise (ca. 1733, AM 435 fol.); a purist wordlist (ca. 1736, AM 1013 4to, f. 37v); and Hagþenkir, a treatise on education (1737, JS 83 fol.). After a short introduction, there follows a brief overview of Jón Ólafsson’s life, learning, and scholarly publications. The next section examines Jón’s attitude towards his mother tongue as reflected in the aforementioned texts. In the concluding section, the issue of language cultivation in - eighteenth-century Iceland is addressed. In particular, it is argued that in Jón’s foster father, Páll Vídalín (1667–1727), there exists a link between Jón Ólafsson and the ‘father’ of Icelandic purism, Arngrímur Jónsson the Learned (1568–1648).
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Language & History 60(3), pp. 180-189
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