Interrogated and first grade, for example, many children write “b” instead of “d,” and may sometimes confuse “p,” “q,” and “g. Teachers see these errors all the time, and gradually work to help kids fix them. But as a caring parent, should you worry? The stakes are high. DO these letter problems signal something deeper, such sidesaddle? To sort out the hype, we turned to two pros: Linda Selves, Executive Director of the New York branch of the International Dyslexia Association, and Eileen Marjoram, PhD. A past Board President of that organization, a professor of special education, and a teacher and tutor in private practice with dyslexic children for more than thirty years. Here’s what they have to say when it comes to three common fears about Wesleyan, and identifying it in kindergarten and first grade children: Myth You’ll know its dyslexia when a kid flips letters or misspells a lot. Fact: While some dyslexic people may do this, it’s not the main problem! Dyslexia, explains Selves, “is a neurologically based learning disability” in which “people have difficulty associating sounds with letters. Lots of kids who write “b” for “d,” or reverse other letters, are just making rookie mistakes; what’s more serious is when they cannot hear the “b” in “bear,” and think, instead, that it may be a “d” or “p. ” Backwards letters alone re not cause for worry, according to the experts. In kindergarten, explains Marjoram, dyslexic kids will have trouble in several related areas. Taken together, these Signs indicate that a child is not making the all-important connection between letters, sounds, and word meaning. Instead of worrying yourself sick about reversed letters, “l would look further,” says Marjoram.
If by the end of a full year of good instruction in kindergarten, a child can’t do all or most of the following, then it’s time to be concerned: easily name all the letters of the alphabet, with most sounds detect rhyming words ear initial sounds, like the “c” in cat. Identify basic sight words like “is” or ‘the” recognize “environmental print” like the word “stop” on a roadside sign Myth #2: You can’t really diagnose dyslexia until a kid is seven or eight. Fact: Kindergarten is not too early to evaluate a child. In fact, says Selves, “Early intervention is key….
The longer you wait, the more the problem grows. ” Children quickly realize when something is wrong. Its all too easy for them to conclude, “l can’t read so I must be really dumb,” Selves says. If your kindergarten does display most of the signs above, both Selves and Marjoram emphasize that you should seek an evaluation with a qualified specialist, either through your school or through independent experts such as those certified by the International Dyslexia Association. Don’t let your school convince you to wait. Early intervention makes a huge difference.
Http:// c mm/ magazine nee/article/ Kinder Stories, Poems, and Literature from the Viking Age 13th century Icelandic manuscript Our knowledge of the Viking people comes from several sources. One valuable source is the literature from the period. Norse people loved stories, and some of the stories and poems they themselves wrote, and that their ascendants wrote still survive. Stories about the Norse were also written by their contemporaries, including both their trading partners (such as the Arabs) and the victims of their raids (such as the Christian clerics who kept the historical records in Europe).
This section describes written records the Viking-age people left behind. Language The Norse spoke Old Norse, which they called downs tuna (the Danish tongue). With minor variations, this language was spoken throughout the Norse lands during the Viking period. Old Norse is one of ten branches that cake up the Indo-European family of languages which have been spoken throughout Europe and southern Asia for the last 3000 years. Old Norse is the root language from which the modern Scandinavian languages descended, and is a close relative of modern English, Dutch, and German.
During the period from 550050 AD, rapid linguistic changes occurred, which separated the Norse from other Germanic people on the European continent to the south and west. During the Viking age, language was no barrier to communication across the Norse lands; from Greenland to the Baltic, nearly the same language was spoken throughout. However, there is evidence that, despite the common language, a man’s homeland could be identified by his speech.
Some scholars today would go further and say that by the start of the Norse era, significant differences already existed between East Norse (Sweden and Denmark) and West Norse (Norway and the Atlantic settlements such as Iceland) dialects. Writing and Runes The footwork runic “alphabet” (so called for the sounds of the first six letters in the runic row) was in wide use throughout northern Europe from roughly the 3rd to the 12th century. At first, 24 letters were used, but in the 9th century, he footwork alphabet was simplified to 16 letters, beginning in Denmark, then rapidly spreading throughout the region.
Many variations of the footwork rune row were used; one of the Danish variants is shown above. In the same way that a modern reader of English would recognize all these glyphs as representing an upper case a Viking-age reader would recognize the many ways a rune might be represented. The runes consist of straight lines, typically in the form of a vertical (a stave) with diagonal branches (twigs). The lack of any curves makes the runes easy to carve into wood, bone, or stone, which were the normal writing materials mongo the Norse.
Runes are found carved graffiti-like into historical buildings and statuary not just in northern Europe, but all across the continent, clearly showing the extent to which the Norse roamed over Europe. The marble lion shown in the sketch to the left is from outside Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, where some unknown Norse traveler carved runic graffiti into the shoulder of the beast. Judging from the number of inscriptions found on stones in Nordic lands that were clearly intended to be seen and read, and from the number of everyday objects inscribed with runes, it is possible that such of the Norse population could read runes.
Many of the inscriptions are in the form of memorial stones, such as those illustrated below on this page. These stones are highly public memorials. There’s scarcely any reason to erect them if most of the population could not read them. Many everyday objects are found inscribed with the owner’s name, or the maker’s name, or other messages. Runic inscriptions have been found ranging from trade and legal documents such as bills of sale, all the way to coarse lavatory scribbling. Some runic inscriptions are clearly just for fun; a comb was found inscribed “l am a comb”.
Some inscriptions may have been the equivalent of “Post-It’ notes; one wooden Ernestine from Bergen is inscribed: “Cathy says come home”. Additional evidence of widespread literacy comes from the old Icelandic literature. In an episode from Importations (chi 34), it was not considered the least bit remarkable that a poor, unnamed Icelandic from the northern quarter was able to read the inscription on a buried treasure chest. In chapter 18 of Vigilant saga, Striker¶g’s father HLempel left a rune stick on the path where Vigorous and Transit were sure to find it as they rode to the ship that loud take them away from Iceland.
On the stick were Striker g’s words saying she wanted to marry no other man but Vigilantly. There was no question that V(giggling would be able to read the message. >our challenged Klaus to a wrestling match via a message on a rune stick in chapter 12 of Savorsla saga. Interestingly, just two chapters later, Klaus and Gar(s found runes carved on a ship naming the skipper, which Klaus was unable to read. He demanded that Grim read them. Wooden writing tablets provide additional evidence of the widespread use of runic writing among ordinary people.
The tablet shown in the photos is a odder reproduction. The historic tablets are about 20-CACM high (about 8-12 in) and were filled with blackened wax within their raised borders. A pointed iron stylus was used to write in the wax (top right). The reproduction stylus in the photos is set in an antler which allows a nice grip and which can be used to smooth the wax and erase unwanted writing (bottom right). The wooden surface of historical tablets from the Norse era bear marks where the stylus broke through the wax, and the marks show that the runic alphabet Was being used.
These tablets are more commonly found in rural areas, ether than in towns, suggesting that even remote farm dwellers could read and write runes. On the other hand, objects have been found inscribed with runes which appear to be utter nonsense, or filled with errors. Perhaps it made perfect sense to the craftsman who made the object. Or perhaps, realizing that the object he just made needed to decorated with runes, but not knowing the footwork, the artisan simply made up something rune-like. The medium of choice for runic inscriptions was probably a stick or scrap of wood, which explains why few runic inscriptions are found today.
Extraordinary conditions re required for the preservation of these wood scraps over the centuries since the Norse era. The runic writing shown to the right is one of a number of wooden merchant’s markers excavated in Bergen. It indicates the owner’s name, and was meant to be stuck in or tied to a pile of merchandise. It can be difficult to transcribe and translate runic writings. One difficulty is that there are more sounds in the language than there are runes to represent them. Thus a single character could represent one of several sounds.
Another difficulty is the variations in the various footwork alphabets that were in use ring the period. Further, archaic or otherwise unknown words were used in runic inscriptions. Runes were frequently incorporated into the isomorphic designs (left) favored by the Norse. Additionally, every effort was made to reduce the space required to inscribe the message and the number of runes that needed to be carved. So, for example, if a rune repeated, only the first rune was carved and the second discarded. Generally, there were no breaks between words or between sentences. Runes could be written left to right or right to left.
The “facing” of the runes makes it clear which way to read. For inscriptions longer than one line, alternating lines were frequently written in opposite directions, first leftwards, then rightwards. Sometimes, the lines bent around at the end, so that one line reads left to right and the next line right to left and upside down. The effect is shown with English text using Roman letters to the right. Some rune stones (such as the Rk stone shown to the left) have text crammed onto every surface of the stone, with lines reading upwards, downwards, leftwards, and rightwards.
Further, runes could be coded into other figures, called cryptic runes. The intent is not always clear. Perhaps it was meant to highlight a portion of the text, or to show off the skill of the person carving the runes. And perhaps it was meant to hide the meaning of the text to those who did not now how the runes were encoded. One example of cryptic runes are skips;near (ship runes), where the twigs adorn the stem and stern of the ship. The number of twigs in a figure indicated two numbers. The rune was coded by these two numbers.
The first represented a particular TTT (grouping of runes within the footwork), and the second indicated which rune in the grouping was meant. Shown to he right are two figures from a series of cryptic runes in an Icelandic manuscript. Portion of rune stone with several same-stave runes Same-stave rune with missing portion restored Same-stave rune separated into individual runes Transcription into Roman letters Another example of cryptic runes is same-stave runes, in which all of the twigs branch from a single stave.
The composite image to the left shows an example of this kind of runic inscription. The left image shows a small portion Of the Sёender Kirby Stone in Denmark that uses same-stave runes for a portion of its message. The stave of interest in this example is the second room the left. The stone was damaged in this region, and a portion of this stave is missing. This part of the stone is shown in the second image, with a speculative reconstruction of the missing portion. The individual runes are shown in the next column, and the transcription into the Roman alphabet in the final column.
The complete message is >Orr vigil run, or “Door hallow the runes”. Another form of cryptic runes is visible at the top of the R¶k stone, above left. With the coming of Christianity, and its educated clergy reading and writing Latin, runes were displaced by the Roman alphabet (modified to it the needs of the various northern European languages), written with pen and ink on vellum. However, runes continued to be used for many centuries, since the materials for runic writing were always readily at hand: everyone carried a knife, and a stick could be picked up from anywhere.
The Viking-age people did not develop a written culture until the arrival of the church. In the Viking age, runes were used for short notes only. The Viking culture was oral, and long works were remembered using poetry. Runes certainly could have been used for longer messages in the same way as Roman characters, but hey were not. Perhaps the Norse people saw no need to preserve long works in written form, even though everything was in place to do so. Only a single rune stone containing a complete poem survives, although many stones contain individual verses.
In chapter 78 of Sells saga, >regular asked her father Gill to compose a memorial poem, telling him she would carve the verses into a rune stick (rises ; kefir). Whether that was common practice or not is conjectural. The Rk stone is an extraordinary rune stone over four meters high (13 feet) and is covered on all five sides with runic inscriptions. The front (and the beginning of the inscription) is shown to the left, and the reverse is shown in the photo above left. Many of the rune stones, particularly later ones, are memorial stones, which commemorated the dead and may have served as declarations of inheritance.
The purpose of the Rook stone is subject to debate, but may well be a memorial Stone, as well. Poetry Surviving poems show a wide range of topics and tones: respectful and reverent; boastful and proud; witty and humorous; threatening and defiant; vile and obscene. However, scurrilous or satirical poems were banned cause of the injury they caused to the subject and to his reputation. Poems, being a divine gift from in (the highest of the gods), were thought to have special power. Poems had the power to bestow honor on a worthy man and to remove honor from a wretch.
A skillful poet could earn a valuable reward from a generous king, or save his head from an angry king, by creating a well composed poem. Poems praising a woman were banned, both because of the publicity and the possible effect it might have on her reputation, but also because of possible spell binding effects the poem might have. (Surviving love memos suggest the ban was regularly ignored. ) On hearing certain kinds of poetry (for instance, poetry implying that a man was womanish), a man was at liberty to kill the person reciting the poem. The proscribed types of poetry are described in the medieval Icelandic lowbrow Gar;g;s (K 238).
Norse poetry does not have the regular rhythm and end-rhyme that one conventionally associates with poetry, but rather uses alliteration and irregular stress which falls on the most significant words in each line. Norse poetry can be divided into three classes, depending on form and content. Rune poems were usually inscribed on monuments and serve to praise an individual. They are brief and usually have a simple meter and style. Decide poems describe the Norse gods and ancient Norse heroes and their exploits. Decide poetry also has relatively simple meter and style.
The stories are exciting, packed with action, and frequently contain valuable object lessons. Little can be said about the development of decide poetry, but it was probably in place and in use at the start of the Viking age. Classic poems typically praise the deeds of notable people, and they were usually written during the lifetime of the person being raised. While some of the surviving classic poetry dates from the medieval period, many of the poems are believed to date from the Viking age. The Rk ironstone shown above on this page records one stanza of classic poetry and dates from the middle of the 9th century.
The Israeli ironstone shown to the right is the only classic verse in the elaborate dry;takeTTT meter known to have been written down in the Viking age. It dates from roughly the year 1 000 and is located in Land in Sweden. While the decide poetry is uniformly anonymous, much of the surviving classic poetry is credited to a particular tote at a particular place and time. The classic poems have complicated meters, strict patterns of alliteration, and ornate metaphoric language, with wordplay to delight the sophisticated listener. The poems usually celebrate the exploits of a particular king or leader.
Since, in the Viking age, exaggeration was considered to be mockery, and since mockery’ was considered a lethal insult, these poems are thought to be reliable testimony to the events, even though (in some cases) they weren’t committed to writing for centuries after their composition. Unfortunately, the factual information in such poetry tends to be limited. Classic poetry uses a variety of circumlocutions, such as kenning’s. A kenning uses a phrase as a metaphor to represent an idea. The usual form is a noun, qualified by another noun in the genitive case. For instance sweat of the sword is used to mean blood, or horse of the sea to mean ship.
Some of the kenning’s can only be understood by someone with an extensive knowledge of the culture and of the great stories. For example, flame of the Rhine is used to mean gold but would probably be understood only by someone who is familiar with the Vlasagna saga in which the great gold treasure of the Vlulus NCAR ended up t the bottom of the river Rhine. Kenning can have multiple levels. For example, a poet might use a kenning for gold, and then use that phrase in place of the word “gold” in yet another kenning, such as flame of the sea- stead’s path.
Sea-stead’s (ship) path is water, so flame of the water refers to gold. Some kenning’s depend on hyperbole. Enemy of gold refers to a man who does not like gold and gives it away: a generous man. Some kenning’s take the form of puns, such as using sky of the eel to represent ice in identifying someone as an Icelandic. The form of Norse poetry is complicated beyond the wordplay of the innings. The need to fit strict rules of alliteration and rhyming and rhythm result in verses in which multiple ideas are being formed simultaneously. (This concept is illustrated on the classic stanza page. Because Icelandic is a highly inflected language (word forms change depending on their usage in a sentence), it’s possible to jumble the word order yet retain the meaning of a sentence. Norse visual arts share this property (left). Exceedingly complicated forms are used all over a figure to create a single unified image. It’s been suggested that this similarity between poetry and visual arts derives from the name underlying sensibility, some innate appreciation of the baroque form in Norse culture. Because of its complexity and wordplay, wonder whether classic poetry could be understood by a listener hearing a verse for the first time.
There are examples in the stories that support this belief, such as chapter 18 fog(slab saga. B¶rids overheard a verse spoken by her brother, Gillis, in which he took credit for the killing of her husband, Programs. Not until she returned home did brd(s interpret the verse and understand its meaning. I may be overstating my case. At least one scholar of classic otter has told me that he believes the verses were easily understood by a listener in the saga age. Additionally, in an oral culture, it would be important to recall poetry without error.
Because of the complexities of Norse verse, a defect in a recalled verse would be immediately apparent, since the rhyme, rhythm, or alliteration would no longer work. Any erroneous substitution would stand out. Thus, the complexity of the verse acted as a mnemonic aid to help recall the verse and to identify errors. This built-in error detection was one of the reasons that information conveyed by poetry during the Viking age as thought to be more reliable than information in prose. The 12th century authors who first wrote the histories and stories of Iceland viewed the words of poets to be more authoritative than other oral sources.
Some modern scholars disagree, and they suggest that in oral form, even poetry is unlikely to remain unchanged over long periods of time. Literature Many of the important poems were composed in the 9th through 12th century. These were part Of the oral tradition, and were kept alive by repetition as they were passed from one generation to another. Poetry was likely a major form of entertainment for the Norse. Poets were held in high regard, not only for their ability to improvise poetic entertainment on the spot, but also because they were the repository of the shared cultural experience.
They were the vessel through which the culture was passed from generation to generation. Once committed to poetry, a thought was expected to last “as long as the land is inhabited” or “as long as the Norse language is spoken”. Story-telling was a popular entertainment wherever people gathered. Faster RA saga says in chapter 23 that >origami Narrations told a story while sitting on his chair in front of his booth at the Ping. People sat all around him, listening to his tale. When an unexpected downpour forced everyone to leave and seek shelter, Poorr took advantage of the opportunity and killed Door(Mr..
Beginning in the 12th century, educated men in Iceland, where the oral tradition was strongest, began to write down the important stories. Iceland Was unique among European countries at this time in having a population comprised of a large number of relatively free, land- owning farmers. These men had the means to commission the creation of books in their own language, rather than in Latin as was the rule throughout he rest of Europe. The oral story-telling tradition of the Islanders also favored writings in the vernacular.
A wide variety of material was written down in the Icelandic language. One of the first books to be written in the northern lands was the Icelandic law codes, begun in the year 11 17. Prior to this time, the law codes were remembered and recited orally by the law speaker at the Piping. A short time later, a history of Iceland was written known as [slandering;k (the Book of Islanders) by Air FRRI (the learned) around the year 1 130. Scholars wrote books describing how to use Roman letters to represent the sounds of the Icelandic language.
The First Grammatical Treatise was followed by three others. The genealogy and history of Icelandic settlers were written down in Land;MBA;k (the Book of Settlement)s. European literature was translated into Icelandic, including stories of the lives of saints, and learned books on topics including astronomy, natural history, and geography. Travel books were written by Icelandic visitors to Europe. New stories were written to commemorate the exploits of kings or other great leaders. Some of these books were in the form f histories, such as Homemaking’s, a history of the kings of Norway.
Others described contemporary events, such as the sagas of the lives of Icelandic bishops, untangling saga, a compilation of sagas describing the events in the turbulent times when the sons of Stuart brarson were changing the political landscape Of the Iceland. Islanders also wrote down the stories of their ancestors. These [sleddingguru (Sagas of Islanders, also called family sagas) remain compelling and entertaining reading today. They are a unique and new form of story-telling unlike anything that preceded them. Most of these sagas are thought to have been composed between 1200 and 1400.
These stories tell of the tales of farmers and chieftains living in Iceland from the 9th through the 12th century. Many of them follow families for generation after generation, from the settlement era to the commonwealth period in Iceland’s history. They are distinctive in that they tell heroic tales not about heroes, but about just plain folks: the early Islanders. Although distorted by the time that separates the events depicted and the writing of the stories, the family sagas present one of the best pictures we have of Norse society. We know the names of only a very few of the writers of these works.
It was not customary to put the author’s name on the manuscript. However, one author who can be identified with some certainty is Snorer Sturgeon (1 179-1241). A 20th century sculpture of Snorer by Vigilant is shown to the left. Snorer feared that the tradition of composing poetry to commemorate great men and great events was dying. For this, and other reasons, he wrote the Sonora dead, a four part textbook on writing classic poetry. The book summarizes (necessary for the poet to understand the innings), teaches the language of poetry, and presents examples of the various verse forms.