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Undergraduate course

Old Norse Manuscript Texts

  • ECTS credits5
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeNOFI108
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageNorwegian. Danish, Swedish and English may also be used to a certain extent.
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The aim of this course is to develop the students' ability to read Old Norse texts on a broader spectrum and at a more advanced level in comparison to NOFI101.

The syllabus for NOFI108 consists of texts in unnormalized orthography, including both the Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian forms of the language. In addition to offering practise in reading and analysing texts in unnormalized orthography, the course will also give students a basic introduction to scripts and philological research methods.

Learning Outcomes


After successfully completing this course, students will have:

- Basic knowledge of the Old Norse primary texts and how one can get access to these in various types of editions in both physical and digital archives.

- Basic knowledge of philological research methods.

- A good understanding of the rich variety in Old Norse orthography.

- A good understanding of the regional differences in Old Norse, both the divide between Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian, and the differences between the different Old Norwegian dialects.


- The ability to look up Old Norse primary texts in standard editions and archives.

- The ability to read Old Norse written in unnormalized orthography.

- The ability to normalize Old Norse written in unnormalized orthography.

- The ability to analyse and comment on regional differences in Old Norse unnormalized orthography.

General Competence

- The ability to understand sources from the Middle Ages that have variable orthography.

- The ability to connect unnormalized texts to grammatical and lexical standards in related languages.

Required Previous Knowledge


Students must have a good knowledge of the Norwegian language.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

NOFI108 overlaps almost completely with parts of the previously taught course NOFI102, so that those who have previously taken the course NOFI102 will not be awarded credits for NOFI108.

Access to the Course

The course is open to all students with the right to study at UiB.

Teaching and learning methods


The teaching will be held in the first third of the semester.

The teaching is planned with the intention that the students participate actively, and it is therefore expected that they carry out the assignments (written and/or oral) that will be set as a part of the teaching.

If less than five students are registered for a course, the department might reduce the teaching, please see the department¿s guidelines regarding this on Mitt UiB. Regarding a course where this is a possibility, the students will get information about this at the beginning of the semester, and before the deadline regarding semester registration 1st February/1st September.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Obligatory attendance at at least 75% of the scheduled lectures.

The compulsory requirements are valid for the given semester and the following semester.

Forms of Assessment

Portfolio examination.

The portfolio examination consists of two assignments on topics related to the course. For example, it could be an assignment where the student is asked to normalize an unnormalized text and comment on this work. Each assignment should be approx. 3 pages (6000 characters incl. spaces). The assignments must be handed in within the last week of teaching.

The student is allowed to write the assignments in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English or German.

There will be given one total grade for the portfolio examination.

Grading Scale

Grade Scale A-F.

Reading List


A. Primary Texts

1. Unnormalized Old Norwegian texts: approx. 15 pages

2. Unnormalized Old Icelandic texts: approx. 15 pages

B. Secondary Texts

1. Scripts and archives, e.g. chapter 1 by Jon Gunnar Jørgensen in Handbok i norrøn filologi, ed. Odd Einar Haugen, Bergen: Fagbokforlaget (2013).

2. Textual critique and philology, e.g. chapter 2 by Odd Einar Haugen in Handbok i norrøn filologi.

3. Old Norwegian and Icelandic languages, focusing on phonology and morphology, e.g. chapter 12 by Jan Ragnar Hagland in Handbok i norrøn filologi.

The department will announce the complete syllabus. There is the opportunity to change parts of the literature on the syllabus in consultation with the lecturer. In this case, the candidate must contact the course lecturer as soon as possible, and hand in and have the syllabus list approved within the advertised deadline.

Course Evaluation

Evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assurance system.


Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies.

E-mail: advice@lle.uib.no

Exam information