Wen Ge's picture

Wen Ge

PhD Candidate, funded by Volda University College
  • E-mailwen.ge@uib.no
  • Visitor Address
    Harald Hårfagres gate 1
    5007 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7805
    5020 Bergen

I am a PhD research fellow in Scandinavian Linguistics (2022-2026). My PhD education is provided by the University of Bergen and funded by Volda University College. I mainly focus on Norwegian place-name research, but am interested in Norwegian language history and dialects as well. I also aim to contribute to international research cooperation between Norway and other countries, such as within place-name research. 

Academic article
  • Show author(s) (2019). The realisation of traditional local dialectal features in the address names of two Western Norwegian municipalities . Onoma.
Academic lecture
  • Show author(s) (2023). Litt om normeringsarbeid med ​«ord og uttrykk frå Røldalsdialekten» - eit opplæringsperspektiv.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Et blikk på Oluf Ryghs eget eksemplar av 1838-matrikkelen med fokus på uttaleopplysninger om gårdsnavn i Ullensvang.
Masters thesis
  • Show author(s) (2021). Kasusformer av adjektiviske førsteledd i sammensatte stedsnavn fra Ullensvang.
Popular scientific article
  • Show author(s) (2023). Litt om én metodisk utfordring ved bruken av uttaleopplysninger i Norske Gaardnavne. New trends in Nordic Socio-onomastics.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

I am a co-editor for the annual bulletin for Norwegian name research, Nytt om namn nr. 73/74 (2022/2023).

In addition, I contribute to the bulletin with short articles:

- Onomastics Online, ICOS-kongress i 2024 og ICOS-sumarskule i 2023 (international news, pp.56-58, in nr. 73/74)

- Språksamlingane som temanummer i Maal og Minne (review, pp. 85-86, in nr. 73/74)

PhD project (last updated: Nov 2023)

Working title 

Local inherited pronunciations of place-names: tradition, levelling and future in Norway and Denmark (Norwegian title: Lokal nedarva uttale av stadnamn: Overlevering, utjamning og vegen vidare i Noreg og Danmark)


Main supervisor: Peder Gammeltoft (Univ. Bergen)

Co-supervisor: Randi Neteland (Volda Univ. College), Stig Jarle Helset (Volda Univ. College), Ivar Utne (Univ. Bergen)

Subproject 1

Norway is sometimes demonstrated as a dialect paradise due to a high degree of dialect diversity and tolerance (Røyneland 2009). This applies to Norwegian place names and place name standardisation too. For instance, some dialectal features are not allowed in standard orthography, but in place-name standardisation (Språkrådet 2018). However, it has been mentioned in recent years that traditional local dialectal pronunciations of place-names are in decline in Norway, ref. Helleland 2015: 79, Søyland 2016: 40, 43. My project has two aims

1) Primary aim: to study possible changes in pronunciations of place-names in relation to traditional local dialectal pronunciations

2) Secondary aim: to explain various factors for possible changes.

The project has a comparative perspective: I will study place-names from one area in Western Norway (the previous municipality of Ullensvang as defined by the municipality boundary between 1977 and 2020) and one area in Southern Jutland, Denmark (undecided yet). Possible changes in pronunciations of place-names will mainly be investigated through apparent-time-method. Three possible factors for the possible changes will be examined: changes in dialect, place-name standardisation practice and an increasing number of newcomers with little or no knowledge of traditional local dialectal pronunciations of place-names. The findings will be important for place-name standardisation in Norway and Denmark. 


Subproject 2 (under construction)

Subproject 2 is a study of variation in pronounciations of farm names in the previous municipality of Ullensvang (as defined by the municipality boundary between 1977 and 2020, mentioned as Ullensvang henceforth) at the end of the 19th century. The main research material is Oluf Rygh's own copy of 1838-cadastre, which is one of the most important background materials for Norwegian Farm Names .

Norwegian Farm Names (Norwegian: Norske Gaardnavne, abbreviated as NG henceforth) is the chief work on Norwegian farm names, which was compiled on the basis of Oluf Rygh et al.'s materials and was published between 1897 and 1924. NG contains various kinds of information about farm names, such as their etymologies, earlier written forms and pronounciations surveyed at the end of the 19th century. 

Oluf Rygh's own copy of the 1838-cadastre (mentioned as OR's 1838-cadastre henceforth) is a documentation of Oluf Rygh et al.'s countrywide survey on Norwegian farm names. The fieldwork was motivated by a revision of the 1838-cadastre and was mainly carried out between the end of 1870s and 1886 by Sophus Bugge and Oluf Rygh (Rygh 1898: VII, X). In Oluf Rygh's own copy, extra sheets of paper were added to the 1838-cadastre to make notes on various sorts of information about farm names, such as pronounciations of farm names and information about surveys on the pronounciations (the years of individual surveys, the names and numbers of informants and places that informants came from), ref. Indrebø 1929: 144. OR's 1838-cadastre later became one of the most important background materials for NG. 

A comparison in the information about the pronounciations of the farm names in Ullensvang between NG and OR's 1838-cadastre shows some differences. In addition to the absence of the aforementioned information about the pronounciation surveys in NG, multiple pronounciation variants were documented in OR's 1838-cadastre. Conversely, the variation is barely documented in NG, as it often only shows one variant. Here (in Norwegian) you can have a look at the differences in the pronouciation information between NG and OR's 1838-cadastre.

With names from Ullensvang as the research object, subproject 2 has mainly two aims:

a) to describe variation in the pronounciations of farm names in OR's 1838-cadastre

b) to discuss the use of different pronoucation variants recorded in OR's 1838-cadastre at the end of the 19th century, such as to what extent different variants were used, particularly the one variant recorded in NG. 

Subproject 2 is still under development, therefore there might be several other smaller research questions coming, depending on interests, time, resources etc. I will not study too many things. Possible new research questions can be: 

c) to investigate possible connections between the pronouciation variation at the end of the 19th century that OR's 1838-cadastre shows, and the possible ongoing pronouciation variation that subproject 1 studies. 

d) to explain why there were differences in documenting pronounciations between NG and OR's 1838-cadastre, such as the lack of pronounciaton variation in NG. 



Helleland, Botolv. (2015). Gamle usamansette gardsnamn. Hardanger, 2015, 75-94.

Indrebø, Gustav. (1929). Namnekomissjonen fraa 1878 og samlingane etter Oluf Rygh. Maal og Minne. 129-149.

Rygh, Oluf. (1898). Norske Gaardnavne : Oplysninger samlede til brug ved Matrikelens Revision : Forord og indledning. Kristiania: W.C. Fabritius & Sønners bogtrykkeri.

Røyneland, Unn. (2009). Dialects in Norway: Catching up with the rest of Europe? International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 196–197, 7–30. https://doi.org/10.1515/IJSL.2009.015

Språkrådet. (2018). Utfyllande reglar om skrivemåten av norske stadnamn. https://www.sprakradet.no/Sprakarbeid/Stedsnavn/utfyllande-reglar-om-skr...

Søyland, Aud. (2016). Kvifor målføreformer i vegnamn? Nytt om namn, 63-64, 40–44.


Work experience

As part of my obligatory work during the PhD period (2022 - 2026), I have tasks for both the University of Bergen and Volda University College, such as for Norsk Ordbok a-h (Univ. Bergen) og Språksamlingane (Norwegian Language Collections, Univ. Bergen). Tasks completed so far:

- assistance with organsing digital documents in Norsk stadnamnarkiv (Norwegian Place-name Archive), Univ. Bergen

- assistance with organsing den 17. konferansen om leksikografi i Norden (the 17th Conference on Lexicography in the Nordic Region), Univ. Bergen 


Research assistant for Norsk Ordbok a-h, Univ. Bergen (2021 - 2022, part-time)

Research assistant for Nafnið.isÁrni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Iceland (six weeks in 2020, full-time)



PhD in Scandinavian Linguistics, University of Bergen (Aug 2022 -          )

Viking and Medieval Norse Studies, University of Iceland & University of Oslo (MPhil/MA, 2019 - 2021) 

Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics, University of Edinburgh (MA Hons, 2015 - 2019, with one year's Erasmus exchange at University of Oslo between 2017-2018)



I am a member in the following research organisations: International Council of Onomastic Sciences (including ICOS Young Scholar Network), Nordiska samarbetskommittén för namnforskning (Nordic cooperative committee for onomastic research), New Trends in Nordic Socio-onomastics and Norsk namnelag (Norwegian Name Society).


I am a new editorial board member for Nytt om namn, which is an annual bulletin for Norwegian name research. In addition to the editorial work, I write contributions to the bulletin.


I am also a member of Forskergruppa i sosiolingvistikk og språkendring (Research group in Sociolinguistics and Language Change), Univ. Bergen.