Auld Norse is a North Germanic leid that wis spoken bi indewllers o Scandinavie an indewllers o thair owerseas settlements in the Viking Age, till aboot 1300.

Cairt, ca. 900: Auld Wast Norse (reid), Auld East Norse (orange), an Auld Gutnish (pink), wi Auld Inglis (yellae) an ither germanic leids forby

The chyngin processes that distinguish Auld Norse frae its aulder form, Proto-Norse, wis maistly concludit aroond the 8t century, an anither transitional period that led up til the modren descendants o Auld Norse (i.e., the modren North Germanic leids) stairtit in the mid- tae late 14t century, wi that endin the leid phase kent as Auld Norse. Thit dates, housomeivver, arenae absolute. For insaumple, a bodie can still fin written Auld Norse weel intae the 15t century.[1]

The first major dialectal distinctions in the leid arose in the Auld East Norse, Auld Wast Norse, an Auld Gutnish byleids. Thare nae clear geographical boundary atween the Eastren an Wastren byleids. Auld East Norse traits wis foun in eastren Norawa an Auld West Norse traits wis foun in wastren Swaden. Maist speakers o Auld Norse byleids spak the Auld East Norse dialect haein springheid in whit is present-day Denmark an Swaden. Auld Gutnish, the mair obscure dialectal branch, is whiles includit in the Old East Norse dialect due tae geographical associations. It skares traits wi baith Auld Wast Norse an Auld East Norse but haed developed on its ain an aw.

The 12t century Icelandic Gray Goose Laws state that Swedes, Norses, Icelanders an Danes spak the same leid, dǫnsk tunga. Speakers o the eastren dialect, spoken in Swaden an Denmark, wad hae said dansk tunga ("Dens tongue") or norrønt mál ("Nordic leid") tae name thair leid. Gradually, Old Norse splintered intae the modren North Germanic leids: Icelandic, Faroese, Norse, Dens an Swadish; but mutual intelligibility hisnae fully sauntit.

In some instances the term Auld Norse mey refer speceifically tae whit is here cawed Auld Wast Norse.[2]

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