researchers visiting Spring Grove to study
visitors and residents to Spring Grove
acknowledge the ethnic history of the town - the
first Norwegian settlement in Minnesota.
Even though the town
was officially established more than 150 years
ago in1852, snippets of the original settlers'
language can still be heard now and again on the
street, in a restaurant, at the church or in the
Saturday, Sept. 11, several members of the
Norwegian Ridge and Spring Grove area
descendents will be speaking with researchers
from Norway who will be recording and
interviewing the volunteers and learning about
the Norwegian language that they were taught by
their parents or grandparents.
of the Earth Heritage Center is hosting this
event. This group has worked in coordinating the
efforts of the visiting Norwegian researchers
with the local volunteers.
The Norwegian dialects
that are still spoken in Spring Grove are from
the 19th century and are no longer spoken
regularly in Norway.
This event is a special
opportunity to document the history of the area;
as well as provide an insight to the visiting
Norwegians on how their language has changed
throughout the last century.
learned of this opportunity through the local
Sons of Norway chapter. Lee Grippen, active
member of the Sons of Norway, learned of the
researchers investigating immigrant languages in
the United States and realized what a unique
opportunity this would be for Spring Grove and
relayed the information to the Giants.
speakers are our residents and neighbors, maybe
relatives, who learned an earlier Norsk dialect
from first, second, third generation immigrants;
forelders - bestemor, bestefar, oldemor,"
explained Jill Storlie, Giants of the Earth
volunteers are meeting for conversation,
interviews and recording and more volunteers are
welcomed and encouraged to join the
may contact Storlie at (563) 419-0986 or (507)
So far, 14
volunteers will be speaking with the
researchers. They include Norris Storlie,
Milford Landsom, Emma Landsom, Geneva Tweeten,
Truman Omodt, Marlin Omoth, Richard Storlie,
Georgia Rosendahl, David Storlie, Nels and Helen
Gulbranson, James Wilhelmson, Owen Hegge, Harold
Olerud and Carol Gaustad.
Goals of this
research include learning about the speakers'
Norsk language - how fluent are they, how often
do they speak Norwegian, how is their language
compared to Norwegian spoken in Norway as well
as to other places in the United States.
learned the language from their relatives, not
from taking classes at a college or living in
Norway; it is a unique glimpse into the survival
of the language.
professors that are coming from Norway to do the
interviews include Janne Bondi Johannessen,
prof., Univ. of Oslo; Kristin Eide, prof.,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology,
Trondheim; Arnstein Hjelde, associate prof.,
Høgskolen i Østfold; Signe Lake, research
assistant, Univ. of Oslo; Beate Taranrød,
student, Univ. of Oslo; and Marit Westergaard,
prof., University of Tromsø; along with a
student from University of Wisconsin-Madison,
Sept. 12, the public is invited to coffee-time
at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring Grove
following the 9:15 a.m. service. The Norwegian
researchers plan to attend the service to see
what an American Lutheran church service is like
plus they will be staying for coffee and would
be happy to speak with people.
It will be an informal
meet and greet - a chance to learn more about
their work, about life in Norway, and just a
friendly way to make connections across the
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