Faroese Dialect Classifications

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper provides a historical overview of Faroese dialect classifications. Debes (1673) distinguished the southern from the northern dialects, separated by Skopunarfjørður. Svabo (1773) mentioned in addition to the northern and southern dialects, the dialect of the capital Tórshavn as being “the most corrupt” dialect. A decade later, Svabo distinguished a fourth dialect in the central part of the islands. In 1823 the dialect situation is shortly commented in a dispute on a translation of the gospel of St Matthew into Faroese, also distinguishing two dialects. Hammershaimb (1854) distinguished three main dialects: the Southern dialect, the dialect of Streymoy and the Northern dialect, but in 1891 he returned to the distinction between north and south. In 1996 and 2022 Petersen proposed a new classification, where he classified the dialect of Vágar as part of a North-Western group.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDialectologia.
EditorsGotzon Aurrekoetxea, Ariane Ensunza, Jožica Škofic and Hans Van de Velde
Place of PublicationBarcelona (Catalunya)
PublisherUniversitat de Barcelona
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Publication series

PublisherUniversitat de Barcelona
Number11 (special issue)
ISSN (Print)2013-2247


  • dialect classification, isoglottic dialectology, Faroese
  • dialektflokking
  • føroyskt


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