Organisation och personal

Alessandro Palumbo

doktorand vid Institutionen för nordiska språk

018-471 1288
Engelska parken, Thunbergsv 3 L
Box 527
751 20 UPPSALA

Kort presentation

Detta stycke finns inte på svenska, därför visas den engelska versionen.

Doctoral student since 2014, writing a dissertation in runology about the development of the runic alphabet and orthography in late medieval Swedish inscriptions (see below under "Research/Forskning").

Spring term 2018:

Thesis defense: 28 April, 10.15-13.00, Ihresalen, Engelska parken.

Mina kurser


Detta stycke finns inte på svenska, därför visas den engelska versionen.

Academic background

  • PhD student at the Department of Scandinavian Languages, Uppsala University, January 2014–
  • Research fellow in the project "Reading and interpreting runic inscriptions: the theory and method of runology", at Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo, spring term 2014
  • BS, Bridging Teacher Education Programme, Uppsala University, December 2013
  • Collaborator in the project "Heliga Birgittas uppenbarelser på fornsvenska", Centre for Medieval Studies at Stockholm University and Department of Scandinavian Languages at Uppsala University, November–December 2012
  • MA, Master Programme in Swedish, Uppsala University, July 2012.
  • Trainee at Svenskt Diplomatarium at the Swedish National Archives, Stockholm, September 2011
  • BA, Foreign Languages and Literatures, German and Swedish, Università di Napoli L'Orientale, February 2010


Presentations at universities, research institutions and conferences

  • The Influence of Latin on the Swedish Runic Orthography. Historical Spelling Variation: The Role of External Variables. Annual conference of the CEES and 61st Kreutzwald Days conference. University of Tartu and the Estonian Literary Museum, December 7-8, 2017.
  • a- och æ-runor en kvistig fråga. Runråd, 12th full-day colloquium in runic studies, Uppsala, March 30, 2017.
  • Among demons and Ave Marias: runes and the supernatural on medieval amulets. North and Magic, Università di Napoli L'Orientale, November 30 - December 1, 2016.
  • Le rune: cosa sono e a cosa servono. Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia, November 24, 2016.
  • Huvudsats eller bisats? Tvetydiga subjektslösa satser i svenska runinskrifter. Svenska språkets historia 14, University of Vaasa, 9-10 June, 2016.
  • Medeltida runformer i Åbo. Runråd, 11th full-day colloquium in runic studies, University of Turku, April 18, 2016.
  • Rune vichinghe e rune medievali: continuità e riforma. Università degli studi di Napoli "L'Orientale", November 17, 2015.
  • Runic (Re)Forms in Late Medieval Sweden. International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 6-9, 2015.
  • Utilizzi e funzioni delle iscrizioni runiche svedesi: necrologi, testamenti o professioni di fede? Università degli studi di Napoli "L'Orientale", December 2, 2014.
  • Graphonomical analysis of runic graphs and the use of runic forms in medieval Gotland. The 8th International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions, Nyköping, September 1–6, 2014.
  • Grafonomi och runor. The 27th Meeting of Field Runologists, Oslo, April 4-6, 2014.
  • Establishing graph-types and graph-type variants in Swedish medieval runic inscriptions. Graphonomy Workshop at Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo, February 17, 2014.


Departmental service


Research project

The primary aim of my dissertation is to study the development of Swedish runic writing during the Middle Ages in terms of runic shapes and orthography. After the Viking Age, the runic alphabet was still in use in many regions of Sweden. During that time, the introduction of Latin and of the Roman alphabet influenced the runic script and contributed to considerable changes in the runic writing practices. Firstly, the Viking-Age fuþark was expanded from 16 runes to around 30: new runes were created, at the same time as some Viking-Age runes were retained but with different sound values. This implied also that old spelling practices changed significantly.

My dissertation comprises three related investigations. A preparatory investigation surveys the runic shapes employed during the Middle Ages in Sweden: the runic graphs are typologically divided into graph-types and their variants. The second investigation aims to identify the graphematic distinctions used and developed during the Middle Ages, the chronological and geographical patterns evident in the use of the system of runic writing as well as the phonological conclusions which can be drawn from the graphematic analysis. The third and final section focuses on the use of certain long-branch and short-twig runes from a palaeographic perspective.

Supervisors: Henrik Williams, Ulla Stroh-Wollin

Research interests

  • Runology
  • Historical graphemics and phonology
  • Digital Palaeography
  • Scandinavian philology


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