First of all the name of the Allfather is Óðinn - with a long 'o'. :-)
> It's not really an exception, but one of those general rules that modify
> everything with a certain pattern. I think it may even be covered in one
> of the lessons for this course, even though it's not complete. (I don't
> remember where I encountered it.)
True. This is in the incomplete lesson 8. But the discussion there is
short and (as I read it now) seems partly misleading.
> First of all, Oðinn (nominative singular) is stem Oðin + ending -n.
> The -n replaces -r because of a rule about stems ending in -n, -l, -s.
> So the dative would seem to be Oðini. Except that hits another rule,
> which as a non-specialist I just see as "patterns like '-ðini' sound awkward".
That's not a bad rule. Havard worded it a more formal way.
Here are some singular declensions (nom. acc. dat. gen.):
Hamall (a proper name)
himinn (sky, heaven)
As for the lines from Hávamál:
geiri undaðr [with] a spear wounded
ok gefinn Óðni and given [to] Óðinn
sjálfr mér sjálfum myself [to] me myself
I put within brackets the meaning denoted by the datives.
geiri: instrumental dative (as in latin: ablativus instrumentalis)
Óðni: dative proper
mér: dative proper
sjálfum: dative proper
What I mean here by 'dative proper' is that this dative denotes
someone on the receiving end of 'gefa; give'. I think the latin word
'dativus' is derived from the verb 'do' which means 'I give'. The Icelandic
name of the case is 'þágufall; acceptance case'. Remember, though, that
the Icelandic dative plays the roles of both the latin dative and the