Name research and runeology
Research takes place within a wide field of subjects of place-names, personal names, especially Danish place names and personal names, and runeology:
Name research is primarily linguistic in character, and emphasis is put on language history as well as semantics and grammar. Place names can also be an invaluable source for historians as well as archaeologists, and some amount of place-name research is conducted in cooperation with these research fields.
Place names include all types of names. A significant part of the research effort is oriented towards publication of place names and personal names, first and foremost in the series Danmarks Stednavne (The Place Names of Denmark). Here the reader finds source material as well as analyses of individual names. The main focus is on older place names, which are mentioned before 1800, but some of the published volumes include all matter of place names while others only include settlement names and certain natural names, or settlement names alone.indicating places: town names, farm names, house names, mill names, street names, lake names, river names, field names etc.
Research is conducted into the origin and meaning of names as well as their use – both past and present. Several studies of naming practices in Denmark have been conducted regarding, among other things, the relationship with faith and religion, the emergence of family names and the basis of the social and regional anchoring of first names and nicknames.
Personal names include all types of names identifying people: first names, middle names, surnames, pet names, nicknames, pseudonyms etc.
In recent years, work with the etymology of personal names has resulted in a number of popular scientific reference books containing information about the origin and spread of the most common first names. This is the subject which attracts the most queries from the general public.
Since the 1990's name researchers have provided research and teaching in runology at the University of Copenhagen, and several congresses about runological research have been arranged in cooperation with the Runological Laboratory at the National Museum.
The library contains a large collection of runological literature, just as the Arnamagnæan Collection contains several manuscripts written in runic script or with runic annotations.
Types of runic script
Runic script is ordered according to three periods:
- Older runic runes using the elder futhark, also known as the 24 character futhark, which was in use ca. ca. 150–650 AD.
- Viking Age runes using the younger futhark, also known as the 16 character futhark, which was in use ca. 725–1075 AD.
- Medieval runes with an expanded younger futhark, which was in use ca. 1100–1400 AD.
There are additionally newer runes dating from the Renaissance until modern day.
The research is conducted by the Name research and runology research group. The research group functions as the secretariat for the Danish Place Name Commission and counsel the Danish authorities and the public on issues relating to place names, personal names and runes.
The department houses various large collections of material pertaining to names, but the collections of place-names and personal names constitute the largest part of the collection along with the map collection.
|Dalberg, Line||PhD Fellow||+45 353-36462|
|Eggert, Birgit||Associate professor||+45 353-28563|
|Fellows-Jensen, Gillian Myra||Associate professor emeritus|
|Jakobsen, Johnny Grandjean Gøgsig||Associate professor||+45 353-28722|
|Kællerød, Lars-Jakob Harding||Research assistant||+45 353-32318|
|Nielsen, Michael Lerche||Associate professor||+45 353-28566|
|Olesen, Rikke Steenholt||Associate professor||+45 353-28564|