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Scandinavian language history,
place-name studies,

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Personal profile


  • Cand. Mag. (University of Trondheim)
  • Cand. Philol. (University of Trondheim)
  • PhD (University of Edinburgh)

Dr Arne Kruse has worked at Volda University College, the University of Lund, and the University of Wisconsin. He has been employed at the Scandinavian Section at the University of Edinburgh since 1989.

Research Interests

  • Place-name studies; theory and methodology
  • Scandinavian place-names in Scandinavia, Scotland and the North Atlantic area
  • The early Viking Age in Scandinavia, Ireland and the British Isles
  • Scandinavian language and place-names in North America
  • Scandinavian language history, dialectology and in contact situations

I welcome research applications in Scandinavian language history, place-name studies and dialectology, languages in contact, and Viking studies, and I am keen to participate in interdisciplinary projects relating similar subjects.

My research is focused on place-names; in particular how larger patterns of name distribution can be used as a tool to indicate settlement history.
My research interest at the moment is on the early Viking period in Scotland and especially the early Norse place-names in the west of Scotland. Linked to this is my other area of research interest, which is languages and cultures in contact, as seen from onomastic studies but also from historical sources and archaeology. I have a number of publications centered on the Norse in Scotland and the Scandinavians in North America.

I am a founding member of the Hjaltland Network, see web address:

I am an active member of the project ILE: Islay Life Explorer, see web-site:



My research in a nutshell



Languages in contact


  • Norwegian Language 2
  • Scandinavian Languages 2
  • Norwegian Honours, language
  • Scandinavian Language History, Honours Option course
  • Scandinavian Place-Name Studies, Honours Option course
  • Brandes and Ibsen, Honours Option course
  • Nynorsk, Honours Option Course
  • Viking Studies, Honours Option course / MSc course
  • MSc Translation Studies, Norwegian

Administrative Roles

Convener of Scandinavian Studies

Year Abroad Organiser


Roots in a fishing community in Mid-Norway. Studied at Volda University College and Trondheim University with the subjects Scandinavian Studies, History and Geography. Worked one year at Rissa High School before one year as Lector in Norwegian at the University of Lund, two years as Fulbright-Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin, before two years as Researcher and Lecturer at Volda University College. Has since then been employed at the University of Edinburgh as Lecturer/Senior Lecturer.

Research students

Ryan Foster (PhD: Norse place name elements in Britain)

Lin Heggem  (PhD: Celtic-Norse cultural connections)

Ruairidh Tarvert  (PhD: Language contact in Southern Jutland)

Chris Cooijmans  (PhD: Vikings in the Low Countries)

External positions

President, Scottish Society for Northern Studies

23 Nov 201223 Nov 2015

External Examiner, University of Aberdeen

1 Sep 20121 Sep 2016

External Examiner, University of Essex

1 Sep 20121 Sep 2016


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