Department of Scandinavian Research > Research
The Arnamagnæan Institute
The institute was originally formed in 1956 as an independent institute under the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen, with the aim of furthering the academic research into the Arnamagnæan manuscript collection, which the Icelandic philologist and historian Árni Magnússon had bequeathed to the university upon his death in 1730.
In 1965 the Danish parliament passed legislation which decreed that a sigfnicant part of the collection, just over half, should be returned to Iceland. The transfer started in April 1971 and lasted until the summer of 1997. This part of the collection is now housed in the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies at the University of Iceland.
Research at the Arnamagnæan Institute is primarily focused on Old Norse (principally Old Icelandic and Norwegian, but also Old Danish and Old Swedish), manuscript studies, in addition to modern Icelandic and Faroese. The staff of the Institute also assist the many scholars who visit the Institute in order to work with the manuscript collection.
The general purpose of the Dialectology Section is the study of the spoken variants of Danish. Objects under study are traditional dialects as well as contemporary dialects and regional and social variants of spoken Danish.
Spoken Danish is approached through a number of predominantly variationist linguistic disciplines. These range from dialectology to sociolinguistics, from spoken interaction analysis to lexicography, from grammar to language history.
In the 1970s and 1980s sociolinguistics made its way into the research
of the Section. A number of surveys were carried out in different parts
of the country, when possible incorporating methods and knowledge from
dialectology. Urban speech was introduced as a new research area.
Since then, sociolinguistics have been a major research area of the Section. Recently, studies in multi-ethnic and adolescent speech and urban life have received an increased interests by members of staff of the Section. And in 2005 the LANCHART research centre was established in connection with the department.
Research in place-names and personal names at the Section is conducted within a wide field of subjects. Research is done into the phenomenon of names as such, the origin and meaning of names and furthermore into the use of names - both at the present time and in the past.
Name research is primarily lingustic in character, and emphasis is put
on language history as well as semantics and grammar. Place-names may
also be an invaluable source for historians as well as archaeologists,
and some amount of place-name research is undertaken in cooperation
with these research fields.
A significant part of the research effort is oriented towards publication of place-names and personal names, first and foremost in the series Danmarks Stednavne.
Since the 1990's the Department of Scandiavian Research has taken care of research and teaching in runology at the University of Copenhagen, and in cooperation with the Runological Laboratory at the National Museum several congresses about runological research have been arranged.
Runological research at the department has especially been occupied with Viking Age and medieval inscriptions. Three PhD-dissertations have been written over the past decade, and a considerable series of articles about Danish, Norwegian and Swedish inscriptions have been published, among these articles concerning newly found inscriptions.
In 2003 the project Danske Runeindskrifter (Danish Runic Inscriptions) was started in cooperation with the National Museum of Denmark. The project has established a comprehensive database of all runic inscriptions in Denmark, as well as in the former Danish territories of Southern Schleswig (now German), Halland, Skåne and Blekinge (now Swedish).