The Icelandic Language, by Stefán Karlsson
‘Tungan’, the work translated here, first appeared as a chapter in Íslensk þjóðmenning, vol. VI (Reykjavík: Þjóðsaga, 1989), 1–54, and has since been republished, with minor alterations and additions in Stafkrókar (2000), 19–75. In its original form this work was, of course, intended for Icelandic readers, in whom knowledge of the pronunciation of Modern Icelandic could easily be assumed. In this version additional information about Icelandic pronunciation has been provided, and English translations of words and phrases in languages other than English that are referred to in the text have been added; Icelandic words have been parsed where it seemed helpful to do so.
The book surveys the main developments in the history of the Icelandic language and the major changes in orthography from one period to another, covering the sound system of the earliest Icelandic, developments in the vocalic system and numerous combinative changes, major changes in inflexion and vocabulary and lexical changes.