Dalecarlian dialects

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Native to Sweden
Region Dalarna County
Ethnicity Dalecarlians (Swedes)
Early forms
Latin (Dalecarlian alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog dale1238[1]

Dalecarlian (dalmål in vernacular and Swedish) is a group of dialects or unofficial languages spoken in Dalarna County, Sweden. In the northernmost corner of the county, i.e. the originally Norwegian parishes of Särna and Idre, a characteristic dialect reminiscent of eastern Norwegian is spoken. Otherwise, the different Dalecarlians can be regarded as Swedes and join the Swedish dialect group (in Gästrikland, Uppland, and northern and eastern Västmanland). But they also show some similarities with the objectives of the other counties bordering Dalarna. One usually distinguishes between the Dalecarlian mountain dialects, which are spoken in south-eastern Dalarna, and Dalecarlian proper.[2]

Geographical distribution of Dalecarlian proper

Very independent are Dalecarlian proper (especially in Älvdalen, Mora and Orsa, to some extent also in Ore, Rättvik and Leksand), as well as western Dalecarlian. Elfdalian is the one of the Dalecarlian dialect that best kept their archaic features. This language already attracted the attention of research early on, as it deviated very significantly from other Swedish dialects. In many respects, it is very archaic. In other respects, it has distinguished itself from the ancient language and developed special features that are rare in other languages. Characteristic of the "Dalecarlian dialect" is a pronounced split in a number of narrowly limited and easily distinguishable local dialects, which often only cover a single village or even part of a village.

For strangers, Dalecarlian is virtually incomprehensible without special studies. However, this does not apply to the same extent about the Rättvik and Leksand dialects. They are more easily understood and can be considered to form a transition from the more archaic dialects. Such transition goals are also the goals of Ål, Bjursås and Gagnef. The Gagnef dialect approaches the western Dalecarlian dialects, which to some extent can also be regarded as transitional dialects, but which in many respects take on a more independent position, especially in the upper parishes. They may show similarities with neighbouring Norwegian dialects.

From Gagnef, the leap is quite large to the Stora Tuna dialect, which belongs to the Dalarna mountain dialects, a relatively uniform and fairly normal Swedish dialect complex that covers the entire southern Dalarna (Stora Kopparberg, Hedemora and Västerbergslagen). The most deviant within this complex are the Svärdsjö and western mountain dialects, which are approaching Hälsingemål and the western Dalecarlian language (over Grangärde and Floda). Mountain dialects are also spoken in the northern part of Västmanland. The mountain dialects connect quite closely with neighbouring Uppsala dialects, perhaps most with Eastern Västmanland's dialects.

In everyday speech, many with Dalecarlian often also refer to regionally coloured "national languages" from Dalarna, that is, a lexical and morphologically "nationally" Swedish with a Dalarna characteristic intonation and prosody. In linguistics, one distinguishes between regionally coloured national languages and genuine dialects, and Dalecarlian is used exclusively for dialects in the latter sense.



  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dalecarlian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Bengt Pamp, Svenska dialekter, Lund 1978, sid. 111


  • Adolf Noreen "Dalmålet. I. Inledning till dalmålet. II. Ordlista öfver dalmålet i Ofvansiljans fögderi" ur Svenska landsmålen IV, Stockholm 1881 + 1882
  • Carl Säve "Dalmålet" 1903
  • Lars Levander "Dalmålet: beskrivning och historia I-II", Uppsala 1925-28
  • Bengt Pamp, "Svenska dialekter", Lund 1978

Further reading

  • Noreen, Adolf (1911). "Dalmålet". Spridda studier. Samling 2 [Scattered studies. Collection 2] (in Swedish). Stockholm. pp. 96–108. 482241.

External links

  • Lyssna på dalmål
  • Leksandsmål Sanfrid Blomquist Klicka på äldre man.
  • Karta över dalmålets olika varianter ur en artikel om älvdalska (PDF)
  • Dalarna: Dalarnas folkspråk, runeberg.org
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