Ivar Berg

Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Language and Literature

+47 73596793 Dragvoll, Edvard Bulls veg 1, Bygg 3*3508

Background and activities


I studied history and Scandinavian studies at NTNU, and in January 2013 defended my PhD thesis Eit seinmellomalderleg skrivemiljø: Nidaros erkesete 1458–1537 ['A late medieval scribal community: Nidaros archdiocese 1458–1537']. Since Feb 2013 I am postdoctoral research fellow at ISL, NTNU.

Research interests:

I am interested in the history of language, especially Old Norse and how this evolved into Modern Norwegian during the Late Middle Ages. This includes an interest in philological and methodological problems with written sources in historical linguistics. My ph.d. thesis lies within the field known as historical sociolinguistics, where insights of modern sociolinguistics are applied on written material from the past. I am also interested in the history of linguistics and philology.


I have previously taught NORD1106 (Old Norse and language history) and NORD2201 (Old Norse).

Research project

I have a personal research fellowship from the Norwegian Research Council to work on the project Old Norse: The philological construction and new perspectives. The purpose of the project is
1) to explore how ideology and research paradigms in 19th century linguistics, marked by a strong historical drive, led to the establishment of an idealised image of Old Norse which is skewed in several ways, and
2) to use modern ideas of linguistic variation in order to give a more complete
understanding of some of the variation within what is commonly labelled Old
, through
a) the use of sources which were peripheral to the first generation of Old
Norse scholars (who were generally most interested in saga manuscripts).
b) asking questions which were irrelevant in older research paradigms, e.g. related to variation (written/spoken language, stilistic/regional variation) rather than searching for the «real, oldest, ursprüngliche» languange.

Middle Norwegian

I also work on Middle Norwegian (ca. 1350--1550). I am particularly interested in morphological developments, and also the absolute dating of linguistic changes which are assumed to have happened in the Late Middle Ages. I have put together a bibliography for the period (in Norwegian) and will welcome additions in order to make it as complete as possible.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

  • Berg, Ivar. (2014) Om normalisert norrønt. Arkiv för nordisk filologi. vol. 129.
  • Berg, Ivar. (2013) [Melding av] Agnete Nesse: Innføring i norsk språkhistorie. Oslo: Cappelen Damm akademisk 2013, 229 s. Norsk lingvistisk tidsskrift. vol. 31 (2).


  • Berg, Ivar; Dalen, Arnold; Seim, Karin J Fjellhammer. (2013) Runestudiar. Festskrift til Jan Ragnar Hagland. Akademika forlag. 2013. ISBN 978-82321-0215-0.

Part of book/report

  • Berg, Ivar. (2014) Mellomnorsk bibliografi 1350--1525. Endre-boka. Postfestumskrift til Endre Mørck.
  • Berg, Ivar. (2014) Rural Literacy in Sixteenth Century Norway. Vernacular Literacies - Past, Present and Future.
  • Berg, Ivar. (2013) Variation in a Norwegian sixteenth-century scribal community. Scribes as agents of language change.
  • Berg, Ivar. (2011) Mellom norsk og dansk: Skriftspråk og talemål ikring 1500. Norsk språkhistorie i eldre nynorsk tid (1525-1814) : minneskrift for Kjartan Ottosson.


  • Berg, Ivar; Hagland, Jan Ragnar. (2013) Eit seinmellomalderleg skrivemiljø: Nidaros erkesete 1458-1537. 2013. ISBN 978-82-471-4089-5.

Postal address

Department of Language and Literature Norwegian University of Science and Technology 7491 Trondheim Norway