Norwegian: Ødegaard (pronunciation)

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by EternoBGV, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. EternoBGV Member


    I'd like to know how to pronounce aa in the name Ødegaard. I've looked up Norwegian phonology on English Wikipedia. It states that Norwegian has both /oː/ and /ɔ/ sounds, with å (= aa ?) representing /ɔ/. However, on the article about Johan Nygaardsvold they give the pronunciation of the name as [ˈnyːɡrsvɔl], while giving the pronunciation of Jostein Gaarder as [ˈɡɔːrdər] (with long /ɔ/), so I'm confused now. Does the pronunciation of aa have anything to do with the word stress?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. NorwegianNYC

    NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Ødegaard is pronounced [øɡo:r]
  3. Svenke

    Svenke Senior Member

    The ø is long. Otherwise correct.
  4. pellefygert

    pellefygert Member

    I think the question was if there is a difference between aa and å. And the answer is no. It is the same sound. Å is the modern spelling (since 1917, apparently), but aa is still used in names and such.


    Edit: Oh, I see there may be more to it than that. Personally, I am not able to detect the diference between the ɔ and the o: sounds, exept that the o: is long (because of the ":" ). Whether the å (or aa) should be long would depend on the word stress. The "gaard" in all these names are essentially the same word, but its placement within the names make for different stress. Hope this makes some sense. Maybe someone can elaborate.


    Edit2: You know what? There's a good chance I don't know what I'm talking about, or that this is more complicated. Will try to return with better explanation if nobody beats me to it.

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  5. EternoBGV Member

    Thank you again for all your help. :)
  6. myšlenka Senior Member

    As far as I know, this is correct. The grapheme /å/ (earlier /aa/) represents the vowel [o:] in most cases. The pronunciation of Ødegaard and Nygaardsvold follows straightforwardly from this.
    Norwegian syllables with primary stress can be realized in two different ways: 1) long vowel + no consonant. 2) short vowel + consonant. This means that the pronunciation of Gaarder should be ['gɔɾ.dəɾ], because the presence of the consonant /r/ in the syllable makes a long vowel impossible. So yes, word stress plays a role :)
    This also means that the pronuncation given on Jostein Gaarder in the English Wikipedia entry contains one small mistake.
  7. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    All the answers given here were about the length of the vowel. What about the rounding vs, not rounding (as both symbols have been used).
  8. myšlenka Senior Member

    Both ɔ and o are rounded.

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