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How did the Icelandic language start?

When Iceland was first settled in the 9th century, most of the settlers came from Norway, some of whom took slaves from Ireland en route. During the first centuries, the same language was spoken in Norway and Iceland, so there was little difference and the vocabulary was mostly Norse, with the exception of a f...


How many words are there in Icelandic?

It is impossible to say exactly how many words there are in Icelandic. Words are made every day, some of which may only be used once. These are usually compound words that are made because some event or object has to be instantly described, and there are no suitable existing words to choose from. Such words, whic...


Are portmanteau words frequent in Icelandic?

Portmanteau words are quite rare in Icelandic, and that kind of word formation is not a part of the regular way of making new words for the Icelandic vocabulary. I have asked quite many people, e.g. the lexicographers at the lexicographical department of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies and some ...


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