Kalix dialect

Kalix (kölismåle[1] [kjœɭɪsˈmɔːɭɛ]) is a divergent Swedish dialect spoken in the Kalix Municipality along with Sami, Finnish, Meänkieli, and the national standard language Swedish. Like other Scandinavian languages, the Kalix dialect originates in Proto-Norse and dialects of Old Norse, spoken by immigrating Germanic settlers during the Viking Age. It has three grammatical genders, two plural forms of indefinite nouns, and broad usage of definite nouns. Nouns are also inflected differently in dative and accusative case, and there are three forms of expressing genitive. Most verbs are conjugated differently in singular and plural, while most adjectives are not. Some adjectives can though be serially joined with nouns and some have two plural forms. A pleonastic article is also always used before people's and pet's names.[2]

Native toSweden
RegionKalix Municipality
Native speakers
Kalix alphabet (Latin script)
Language codes
ISO 639-3


While Sami cultures have been present around Kalix for several thousand years, the Kalix dialect is a development from Germanic speaking settlers, arriving along the coast of the Scandinavian peninsula. The Kalix river is called 'Gáláseatnu' in the Northern Sami language and "kölis" in Kalix (spelled "Chalis" by Olaus Magnus in 1539). The name similarity strongly suggests that it is of Sami origin, and that the first arriving Germanic speaking settlers thus were in contact with Sami people, already present in the area.

Germanic settlement

Different theories exist as of how exactly the Kalix river valley came to be settled by Germanic speakers. Related Germanic language is also spoken further to the southeast, with areas with mainly Finnic speakers in between. This suggests movement along both sides of the Bothnian Bay, and a relatively peaceful relationship between the three different groups, Germanic, Sami and Finnic, long before all of them fell under state control.

The Germanic settlers spoke a north dialectal development of Proto-Norse, related to, but not equal to the Old Norse spoken by Vikings many hundred kilometers down the Scandinavian coast. Old Norse is rather well preserved in runestones and later also in a Bible translation. But few runic inscriptions have been found north of Svealand, and none at all in what is now the counties of Västerbotten and Norrbotten. This suggests that the farming settlers finally reaching Kalix had little or no contact with Vikings during the Viking age, and most probably already by then had developed different linguistic features, some of which are still preserved in the modern Kalix dialect.


Christianity came to the relatively non-organized and free Germanic settlers, who until then might have been practising variants of Norse mythology. The magnificent Kalix stone church has been dated to the mid-15th century, but it probably had a wooden building as predecessor. The area must anyway have had a substantial population by that time to fill the church. This population probably spoke an early form of the Kalix dialect. Priests began registering all family relationships in the villages, and since this new era we have better knowledge of the local history, also from preserved documents and maps used for taxation. Colonization escalated under the Swedish Empire.

Modern history

The Swedish school came to Kalix in the 1850s, with the goal of teaching everyone to read, write, speak and understand standard Swedish with its grammar. This was a rather peaceful language education, but in the early 1930s parents were told to speak standard Swedish to their children. This praxis has been criticized by later research in multilingualism, and had a huge influence on many small societies like Kalix. The same standardization of language took place in many parts of Sweden.


The oldest preserved manuscripts in the Kalix dialect is an 1879 description of the area,[3] a text which is used as a standard of genuinity. The Kalix dialect was first described by a thesis work[2] by Hulda Rutberg, starting the year 1908 and ventilated at Uppsala University in 1924. The book contains many words and an extensive description of phonology and grammar. The language is also covered in later documentation,[4] and by many recordings from the 1960s.[5] The work of communities such as Föreningen Kalix Bygdemål, founded 1992, has kept collecting words and expressions to an extensive word lexicon,[1][6] and is still active today. Recent projects have made the general public more aware and interested, where young people in Kalix e.g. present the dialec ton the Internet.[7]

Geographic relation to Uralic languages

Kalix is the easternmost river valley traditionally completely settled by Germanic-language speakers, while the nearby Tornio river valley was settled by Finnic language Meänkieli speakers, evidently arriving along the coastline from the southeast. A sharp language border is found between the villages Säivis and Sangis, where the latter traditionally uses the Kalix dialect. To the north, the Northern Sami language has been spoken. Thus, the Kalix dialect has traditionally been literally surrounded by Uralic languages, which however has had remarkably few influences.

Germanic dialect continuum

The Kalix dialect is part of a Germanic and Nordic dialect continuum on the Scandinavian Peninsula, and more locally along the coastline of the Bothnian Bay. The Kalix dialect is very much related to nearby languages/dialects westwards and southwards Råneå, Luleå, Piteå, Skellefteå, Umeå northwards Overkalix etc., basically mutually intelligible with the Kalix dialect as they all are part of a broader Westrobothnian dialect continuum. The Overkalix dialect differs mainly in a few vocal shifts, and the reason why the two areas has developed distinct characteristics is believed to be that the Kalix river makes a geographic formation near the villages Morjärv and Övermorjärv, which has led to a small communication barrier. Eastwards there are several dialects spoken in the archipelago in Finland, especially in Ostrobothnia, which has obvious similarities with the Kalix dialect, making it evident that people have moved in both directions along the coast of the Bothnian bay. Grammatical similarities can also be found as far away as in Troms, at the north border of Scandinavia, not present in standard Swedish nor Norwegian bokmål, which proves Germanic contact by foot between the two coasts. The pleonastic[2] determined article, a "he" or "she" always put before people's names, is a good example.[8]


The Kalix dialect has, according to Rutberg,[2] 18 vowel monophtongs, 10 vowel diphthongs, and 29 consonants. It is also identified by its very common diacritic accent, where a vowel is repeated and stressed twice. Many vowels can be represented by distinct IPA characters, some of which are listed in the table below:

IPA Ex.IPA Ex.Latin Translation
i iːln i:ln the fire
ɪ hɪn hin here
y snyːn sny:n the snow
ʏ ʏvɪ yvi over
e ve:r ve:r weather
ɛ mɛstɛ meste almost
æ ʝæɾ jär is (singular)
ø røː rö: red (singular)
œ now
ʉ hʉl hul was going to
ʊ ʝʊ jo yes/well
a anar anar another
ɑ lɑːk la:k long
ɒ kɒm kom came
ɔ gɔːɳ gå:rn the yard


The Kalix dialect has an extensive inflection, with many characteristics similar to the German language.

Noun gender

Three grammatical genders exist:

  • Feminine: e.g. "ha:ta" (the hand), "nagla" (the nail), "å:dra" (the vein), "sköuldra" (the shoulder), "påp:a" (the father), "måm:a" (the mother), "kjat:a" (the cat). But also "kuno" (the woman), "stuo" (the cottage), "sögo" (the saga).
  • Masculine: e.g. "ståoLn" (the stool), "fåotn" (the foot), "armen" (the arm), "armboan" (the elbow), "tåomen" (the thumb), "måon" (the mouth).
  • Neuter: "öe"/"öge" (the eye), "öre" (the ear), "höure" (the head), "bene" (the leg), "feingre" (the finger), "kni:e" (the knee), "bån:e" (the child).

Basically, words that in their definite form end with an "n" are masculine, an "e" is neuter, and all vowel except "e" are feminine.

General ending for words following the nouns are in feminine "-ar", masculine "-en", neuter "-e" or "-t", and plural "-er". Ex.

  • Feminine: "he jär menar stuo" (it is my cottage) "hö ha:ar eingar på:åp" (she had no dad), "hukar kuno?" (which woman?), "woLar viko" (every week)
  • Masculine: "men ståoL" (my stool), "anworn da" (every second day), "in tuken fåot" (such a foot)
  • Neuter: "i lätet bån" (a little child), "tuke schwammeL" (such bullshit), "i anne å:r" (another year)
  • Plural: "tuker stäinto" (such girls), "huker då:a?" (which days?), "einger feingro" (no fingers)

Definite and indefinite nouns

The definite noun form is used in a broader sense than in other Scandinavian languages, widespread in all dialects spoken in northern Scandinavia.[9] Some examples: "je skå nå:åp i gröut ve bera" – I'll pick some (the)berries, "kunin jåra ät som kåran" – (the)women are not like (the)men. Definiteviness can be divided into four categories depending on the noun's plural form. Examples of usage with the feminine word "i fLa:ask" (a bottle / a flask):

  • Enumerating indefinite, equal to singular or differs on accent only: "je ha:ar to fLa:ask" (I had two flasks), "i döusin fLa:ask" (a dozen flasks), "je ha fLe:r fLa:ask än di:" (I have more flasks than you), "ma:ak fLa:ask" (many flasks).
  • Non-enumerating indefinite, "-o" ending: "he jär naer/einger/in del fLasko ini tjälaro" (there are some/no/some flasks in the cellar), "aar fLasko" (other flasks), "tuker fLasko" (such flasks), "he jär la:ka fLasko ini tjälaro" (there are long flasks in the cellar).
  • Definite usage, "-en" ending: "he jär mytji fLasken ini tjälaro" (there are a lot of flasks in the cellar), "å:åll fLasken jåra bå:årt" (all flasks are gone), "höundratale å fLasken" (hundreds of flasks), "he var fLasken ållostans" (there were flasks everywhere), "whiskeyfLasken" (wiskey flasks), "we hå:å la:kfLasken å röundfLasken" (we have long flasks and round flasks), "di ha:ar snört fLasken ållostans" (they had thrown flasks everywhere).
  • Definite "-en": "ta ve de fLasken då do gja öut" (take the flasks with you when you go out)

For masculine nouns, the four forms are e.g. "in bi:l" (a car) "to bi:il" (two cars) "naer bi:lo" (some cars), "mytji bi:lan" (many cars), and "bi:lan" (the cars). Neuter definitive plural ending is "-a". Non-enumerative words e.g. "i höus" (a house), "i gåLv" (a floor) are exceptions lacking the "-o" form.


Dative is separated from the Accusative and Nominative case, e.g. feminine: "Din jär SkåoLa, je siti ini skå:oLn" (there is the school, I am sitting in the school), masculine: "je sei tjälarn, he lik na ini tjälaro" (I see the basement, it's something in the basement).

Several forms of Genitive cases exists, e.g. "Je ha ons Enok bi:l" (I have Enok's car), "je fick bre:ve än Anna" (I got Anna's letter), "kLåk:a gran:o" (The neighbor’s clock).


Verbs are conjugated in singular and plural, unlike modern standard Swedish: "hån jär" (he is) but "di jåra" (they are), "hö löut se" (she leans herself) but "di lö:ut se" (they lean themselves), "je far" (I go) but "we fåra" (we go), "je vil" (I want) but "di vili" (they want). But there are irregular verbs which does not differ, e.g. "je liot fåra" (I have to go) / "we liot fåra" (we have to go).


Most Adjectives are equal in singular and plural, similar to English but distinct from many other Scandinavian languages, e.g.: "dö:rn jär ipi" (the door is open) and "doran jåra ipi" (the doors are open), "bå:ne jär vötchin" (the child is awake) and "bå:na jåra vötchin" (the children are awake), "do jär wälkymin heit" (she is welcome here) and "di jåra wälkymin heit" (they are welcome here).

Other adjectives differs in singular and plural, and have two plural forms, e.g. "flaska jär rö:" (the flask is red), "rö:a flasko, so jåra rö:ö" (red flasks, that are red).

Adjectives can also be joined with nouns, e.g. "råLkafötren" (dirty feet), or serially joined, e.g. "lilvåckerstäinta" (the little beautiful girl).

Pleonastic article

The pleonastic article is widespread among languages in the area, as far north as Troms.[8] A "he" / "him" or "she" / "her" is always put before people's names, pet's names, and words like e.g. father and mother. e.g. "on far å na måor" (mom and dad). The pleonastic article differs in many aspects, by both grammatical gender and case, e.g. "en Erik dji matn åt o Lars" (Eric gives food to Lars), "a Brit skå tåLa ve en Anna" (Brit will talk to Anna).

Writing systems, orthography

In early scientific literature, a phonetic alphabet landsmålsalfabetet (LMA), developed by Johan August Lundell was used to write Kalix dialect, while the most widely used informal form of writing is based on the Latin alphabet with a few added symbols (Kalix variant), including letters å, ä, ö, capitalized L or bolded l, apostrophe ´ or colon : for marking long or diacritic accents, etc.[1] Since no formal standard has been developed, slight differences can be found among different writers. Recent language projects have used the Kalix Alphabet,[10] a simplified form of the IPA, compatible with modern Internet technology, making pronunciation more accurate. The community has not yet agreed on an official writing standard. While early scientific LMA writing is the most accurate system for dwelling into Scandinavian language phonetics, it has been used as a reference for the development of an IPA-based script.


  1. ^ a b c ÅOLLEIST OPA KÖLISMÅLE, Föreningen Kalix Bygdemål.
  2. ^ a b c d Folkmålet i Nederkalix och Töre socknar av Hulda Rutberg, 1924, (174 pages)
  3. ^ KALIXforskarNYTT, no.3-2002, Kalixbygdens Forskarförening
  4. ^ Dahlstedt & Ågren, Övre Norrlands bygdemål: berättelser på bygdemål med förklaringar och en dialektöversikt, utg. av Vetenskapliga biblioteket i Umeå 1954
  5. ^ Institutet för språk och folkminnen
  6. ^ Kalixmålet, sådant det talades på 1990-talet, Föreningen Kalix Bygdemål.
  7. ^ The Kalix Language .org – An online Kalix language course that includes lessons covering pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.
  8. ^ a b An introduction to Norwegian dialects, Olaf Husby (red), Tapir Akademic Press, Trondheim 2008
  9. ^ Dahl, Östen (2010). Grammaticalization in the North: Noun Phrase Morphosyntax in Scandinavian Vernaculars. Stockholm: Institutionen för lingvistik vid Stockholms universitet. ISBN 978-91-978304-1-6. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  10. ^ The Kalix Alphabet

Kalix (Kalix dialect: Kôlis, pronounced [ˈcʰ(j)ɞɽɪs], phonemically /kɞɽis/; Finnish: Kainuu; Meänkieli: Kainus) is a locality and the seat of the Kalix Municipality in Norrbotten County, Sweden. The name Kalix is believed to originate from the Sami word Gáláseatnu, or "Kalasätno", meaning "The cold river" the ancient name of the Kalix River. It had 7,299 inhabitants in 2005, out of 17,300 inhabitants in the municipality of Kalix.

Kalix Municipality

Kalix Municipality (Swedish: Kalix kommun, Finnish: Kainuun kunta) is a municipality in Norrbotten County in northern Sweden. Its seat is located in Kalix.

In 1924 Töre Municipality was detached from Nederkalix Municipality, forming a municipality of its own. In 1967 the two units were reunified, and the present municipality was created.

Kalix River

The Kalix River (in Kalix dialect: kölisälva, Swedish: proper Kalix älv or in everyday language Kalixälven, Northern Sami: Gáláseatnu, In Meänkieli the lower part of the river is called Kaihnuunväylä, while the upper part is called Kaalasväylä) is one of the four major rivers of Norrland, northern Sweden, that are untouched by water power constructions. It is 461 kilometres long, flowing up to the Kebnekaise mountain range in Kiruna Municipality. In the southeast it flows through Lappland; and to the south through Norrbotten County, discharging in the Gulf of Bothnia south-east of Kalix.

The Kalix River is the third river by length in Norrbotten, with the Torne River being 522 km and the Lule River being only slightly longer at 460.81 km

Major contributaries are Tvärån, Ängesån and Tärendö River, which is a bifurcation river taking water from Torne River.

Its largest waterfall is Jokkfall, in Överkalix Municipality.

Kiruna dialect

The Kiruna dialect (Swedish: kirunamål, kirunesiska) is a dialect of Swedish spoken in the northern city of Kiruna and the surrounding municipality.

The pure Kiruna dialect is strongly influenced by Finnish and Meänkieli, presumably as a result of immigration from the east. Northern Sami, the original language of the area, has left comparatively little impact on the dialect. In addition, the Kiruna dialect bears a patchwork of small influences from numerous other dialects and languages from the south, including Varmlandic, Jamtlandic, Westrobothnian, Scanian, Danish, Västgötska and Angermanlandic. This is because Kiruna had become a prominent settler town by the end of the 19th century, with immigrants flocking to it from across the country.

A characteristic trait of the dialect is the word jo ("yes", especially after a negative question or in quick conversation), pronounced approximately as [↓ɕuː] (found in many places in northern Norrland). This is not always used, however, and is only pronounced with ingressive airflow. Another distinctive trait of the Kiruna dialect is a heavy alveolar trill.

The Kiruna dialect is fairly commonly spoken in comparison to more endangered North Swedish dialects such as the genuine dialects of Norrbotten and Westrobothnia Lower Luleå dialect and the Lower Kalix dialect. Unlike these dialects, the Kiruna dialect does not drop word endings. The Kiruna dialect is not a genuine dialect but standard Swedish with mixed regional influences, this is in contrast to the genuine Nordic dialects spoken in the coast of Norrbotten (Piteå, Luleå and Kalix) that form a part of the Westrobothnian dialect continuum that differ from standard Swedish to the extent of not being mutually intelligible without prior knowledge.

List of European rivers with alternative names

Many rivers in Europe have alternative names in different languages. Some rivers have also undergone name changes for political or other reasons. This article attempts to give all known alternative names for all major European rivers. It also includes some lesser rivers that are important because of their location or history.

This article does not offer any opinion about what the "original", "official", "real", or "correct" name of any river is or was. Rivers are listed alphabetically by their current best-known name in English. The English version is followed by variants in other languages, in alphabetical order by name, and then by any historical variants and former names.

Foreign names that are the same as their English equivalents may be listed, to provide an answer to the question "What is that name in...?".

List of Germanic languages

The Germanic languages include some 58 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects that originated in Europe; this language family is a part of the Indo-European language family. Each subfamily in this list contains subgroups and individual languages.

The standard division of Germanic is into three branches,

East Germanic languages

North Germanic languages

West Germanic languagesThey all descend from Proto-Germanic, and ultimately from Proto-Indo-European.

South Germanic languages, an attempt to classify some of the West Germanic languages into a separate group, is rejected by the overwhelming majority of scholars.

† denotes extinct languages.

Norrland dialects

Norrland dialects (Swedish: norrländska mål) is one of the six major dialect groupings of the Swedish language. It comprises the dialects in most of Norrland, except those of Gästrikland and southern Hälsingland, where Svealand Swedish is spoken. Local dialects from Härjedalen and northwest Jämtland (specifically Frostviken in Strömsund Municipality), which traditionally are counted as variants of the Norwegian dialect of Trøndersk, are also excluded, while Jämtland dialects and other dialects of the region are considered to be true Norrland dialects.The border between Norrland dialects and Svealand Swedish runs through Hälsingland, such that the northern Hälsingland dialects are regarded as Norrland dialects and the southern ones as Svealand Swedish; an alternative delineation follows the southern border of Medelpad.The old northern border of the Swedish language in coastal Norrbotten largely followed the eastern and northern borders of Lower and Upper Kalix parishes in modern Kalix Municipality. From there, a vaguely defined linguistic border ran through Lappmarken from the northernmost point of Upper Kalix parish in an arc to the south of Porjus, then followed the Lule River to the border with Norway.


Westrobothnian (Bondska) is a number of closely related non-standardized Scandinavian dialects spoken natively along the coast of the historical province of Westrobothnia in co-existence with Finnish, Sami and in recent centuries, the national standard language Swedish. Westrobothnian is the northernmost dialect group of the North Germanic languages in Sweden and borders the traditional Sami-speaking Lapland to the west and Finnish-speaking Torne Valley to the north. Like all Scandinavian, the different varieties of Westrobothnian originate in Proto-Norse and dialects of Old Norse, spoken by immigrating Germanic settlers during the Viking Age.

Westrobothnian has three grammatical genders in most dialects, two plural forms of indefinite nouns, and broad usage of definite nouns. Nouns are also inflected differently in the dative and accusative case. Some adjectives can be serially joined with nouns and some have two plural forms. A pleonastic article is always used before names when referring to someone. In the vocative, a name may instead be declined similarly to how words for near kin decline in the vocative.

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