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Old Norse grammar

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  • Edgar Widlund
    Hi Everyone, I need some advice and information of ON grammar.I am beginning lesson 8 in the Norse course. So far, I have not seen where the course covers
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 1, 2009
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      Hi Everyone,
       
      I need some advice and information of ON grammar.I am beginning lesson 8 in the Norse course.
      So far, I have not seen where the course covers topics like past tense of verbs,subjunctive tense,
      feminine nouns,etc.Is there some information about topics like the foregoing in a concise manner available like a book on topics not covered in the 9 lessons in the course?
       
      After being made aware of the numerous declensions, of various nouns,for instance;It seems all these
      different declensions and endings require a vast vocabulary in order to translate the sagas,or Old Norse
      literature fairly accurate.This may appear a stupid question but how does one deal with the incredible
      amount of all this information ? I guess I can assume a lot of looking up for all these words,items is of course  necessary.To summarize, I wonder how much of a vocabulary one should have before reading tON literature?
       
      Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
       
                                                                       Ed Widlund
       
       
       
                                                               
       

    • Scott
      I had a large Old Norse dictionary and an Old Norse grammar and no background in Old Norse when I tackled Egil Skallagrimsonnar: it was fun. N. Scott Catledge,
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 1, 2009
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        I had a large Old Norse dictionary and an Old Norse grammar and no background in Old Norse

        when I tackled Egil Skallagrimsonnar: it was fun.

         

        N. Scott Catledge, PhD/STD

        Professor Emeritus

        history & languages

         


        From: norse_course@yahoogroups.com [mailto: norse_course@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Edgar Widlund
        Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 8:46 PM
        To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [norse_course] Old Norse grammar

         

         

        Hi Everyone,

         

        I need some advice and information of ON grammar.I am beginning lesson 8 in the Norse course.

        So far, I have not seen where the course covers topics like past tense of verbs,subjunctive tense,

        feminine nouns,etc.Is there some information about topics like the foregoing in a concise manner available like a book on topics not covered in the 9 lessons in the course?

         

        After being made aware of the numerous declensions, of various nouns,for instance;It seems all these

        different declensions and endings require a vast vocabulary in order to translate the sagas,or Old Norse

        literature fairly accurate.This may appear a stupid question but how does one deal with the incredible

        amount of all this information ? I guess I can assume a lot of looking up for all these words,items is of course  necessary.To summarize, I wonder how much of a vocabulary one should have before reading tON literature?

         

        Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

         

                                                                         Ed Widlund

         

         

         

                                                                 

         

         

      • nikolai_sandbeck
        Well if old norse is a hobby for you, you should be able to read and understand a got part of the sags. Still the eddas is too hard becuase it is very poetic
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 1, 2009
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          Well if old norse is a hobby for you, you should be able to read and understand a got part of the sags. Still the eddas is too hard becuase it is very poetic and relies very much on the grammar.

          but if you take the lessons and understand it you should be able to read sagas with the help of a dictionary :b


          --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "Scott" <Scat@...> wrote:
          >
          > I had a large Old Norse dictionary and an Old Norse grammar and no
          > background in Old Norse
          >
          > when I tackled Egil Skallagrimsonnar: it was fun.
          >
          >
          >
          > N. Scott Catledge, PhD/STD
          >
          > Professor Emeritus
          >
          > history & languages
          >
          >
          >
          > _____
          >
          > From: norse_course@yahoogroups.com [mailto:norse_course@yahoogroups.com] On
          > Behalf Of Edgar Widlund
          > Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 8:46 PM
          > To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [norse_course] Old Norse grammar
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Hi Everyone,
          >
          >
          >
          > I need some advice and information of ON grammar.I am beginning lesson 8 in
          > the Norse course.
          >
          > So far, I have not seen where the course covers topics like past tense of
          > verbs,subjunctive tense,
          >
          > feminine nouns,etc.Is there some information about topics like the foregoing
          > in a concise manner available like a book on topics not covered in the 9
          > lessons in the course?
          >
          >
          >
          > After being made aware of the numerous declensions, of various nouns,for
          > instance;It seems all these
          >
          > different declensions and endings require a vast vocabulary in order to
          > translate the sagas,or Old Norse
          >
          > literature fairly accurate.This may appear a stupid question but how does
          > one deal with the incredible
          >
          > amount of all this information ? I guess I can assume a lot of looking up
          > for all these words,items is of course necessary.To summarize, I wonder how
          > much of a vocabulary one should have before reading tON literature?
          >
          >
          >
          > Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
          >
          >
          >
          > Ed Widlund
          >
        • Fred and Grace Hatton
          Hi Ed, I started the way you are going about it. I went through Haukur s online course and then got the dictionary (it is online in an expanded version
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 2, 2009
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            Hi Ed,

            I started the way you are going about it. I went through Haukur's online
            course and then got the dictionary (it is online in an expanded
            version -http://www.northvegr.org/vigfusson/index002.php ) and I have
            Gordon's book, plus the Magnusson and Palson Njall translation and just dove
            in.

            At first it took a couple of hours to look up all the words in the segments
            we translated, but now about three years later, it usually only takes twenty
            minutes or so. The hardest thing for me to learn was the vowel shifts and I
            still don't have a firm grasp of them - - much less declensions.

            Grace

            Fred and Grace Hatton
            Hawley Pa
          • nikolai_sandbeck
            the online version takes ages to go through. i made a pdf version of it where you can click on first letter and scroll down to the word. I uploaded it in our
            Message 5 of 13 , Sep 2, 2009
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              the online version takes ages to go through. i made a pdf version of it where you can click on first letter and scroll down to the word.

              I uploaded it in our forum and can be found inder "files" if you can't fint it try this link.

              Freindly greetings Hrafn

              http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MFCeSv1KTLRoMohcjGoKR21p_xfY7ZeLNgZupOMb5PY6oMHY9Oi90M1DWiu4A0ZYHT4B23eDSvbQGsC8daZfBhlCVKmyEZLTmc3ak6nE/Zoega.pdf

              --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "Fred and Grace Hatton" <hatton@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Ed,
              >
              > I started the way you are going about it. I went through Haukur's online
              > course and then got the dictionary (it is online in an expanded
              > version -http://www.northvegr.org/vigfusson/index002.php ) and I have
              > Gordon's book, plus the Magnusson and Palson Njall translation and just dove
              > in.
              >
              > At first it took a couple of hours to look up all the words in the segments
              > we translated, but now about three years later, it usually only takes twenty
              > minutes or so. The hardest thing for me to learn was the vowel shifts and I
              > still don't have a firm grasp of them - - much less declensions.
              >
              > Grace
              >
              > Fred and Grace Hatton
              > Hawley Pa
              >
            • Patti (Wilson)
              I support your comments Grace - we seem to use the same approach and to use the same books - to say nothing of the same sort of problem with which we have
              Message 6 of 13 , Sep 2, 2009
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                I support your comments Grace - we seem to use the same approach
                and to use the same books - to say nothing of the same sort of problem
                with which we have difficulties, I am beginning to look more for a vowel
                shift when I get stuck in "Search Mode" it is more than just useful
                Kveðja
                Patricia
                 
                -------Original Message-------
                 
                Date: 02/09/2009 11:58:00
                Subject: [norse_course] Old Norse grammar
                 
                Hi Ed,
                 
                I started the way you are going about it.  I went through Haukur's online
                course and then got the dictionary (it is online in an expanded
                Gordon's book, plus the Magnusson and Palson Njall translation and just dove
                in.
                 
                At first it took a couple of hours to look up all the words in the segments
                we translated, but now about three years later, it usually only takes twenty
                minutes or so.  The hardest thing for me to learn was the vowel shifts and I
                still don't have a firm grasp of them - - much less declensions.
                 
                Grace
                 
                Fred and Grace Hatton
                Hawley Pa
                 
                 
                 
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              • Scott
                Actually, my hobby is not Old Norse but anthroponymy-and the sagas are packed with names. N. Scott Catledge, PhD/STD _____ From: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
                Message 7 of 13 , Sep 2, 2009
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                  Actually, my hobby is not Old Norse but anthroponymy—and the sagas are packed with names.

                   

                  N. Scott Catledge, PhD/STD

                   


                  From: norse_course@yahoogroups.com [mailto: norse_course@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of nikolai_sandbeck
                  Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 2:15 AM
                  To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [norse_course] Re: Old Norse grammar

                   

                   

                  Well if old norse is a hobby for you, you should be able to read and understand a got part of the sags. St ill the eddas is too hard becuase it is very poetic and relies very much on the grammar.

                  but if you take the lessons and understand it you should be able to read sagas with the help of a dictionary :b

                  --- In norse_course@ yahoogroups. com, "Scott" <Scat@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > I had a large Old Norse dictionary and an Old Norse grammar and no
                  > background in Old Norse
                  >
                  > when I tackled Egil Skallagrimsonnar: it was fun.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > N. Scott Catledge, PhD/STD
                  >
                  > Professor Emeritus
                  >
                  > history & languages
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > _____
                  >
                  > From: norse_course@ yahoogroups. com
                  [mailto:norse_course@ yahoogroups. com] On
                  > Behalf Of Edgar Widlund
                  > Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 8:46 PM
                  > To: norse_course@ yahoogroups. com
                  > Subject: [norse_course] Old Norse grammar
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi Everyone,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I need some advice and information of ON grammar.I am beginning lesson 8
                  in
                  > the Norse course.
                  >
                  > So far, I have not seen where the course covers topics like past tense of
                  > verbs,subjunctive tense,
                  >
                  > feminine nouns,etc.Is there some information about topics like the
                  foregoing
                  > in a concise manner available like a book on topics not covered in the 9
                  > lessons in the course?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > After being made aware of the numerous declensions, of various nouns,for
                  > instance;It seems all these
                  >
                  > different declensions and endings require a vast vocabulary in order to
                  > translate the sagas,or Old Norse
                  >
                  > literature fairly accurate.This may appear a stupid question but how does
                  > one deal with the incredible
                  >
                  > amount of all this information ? I guess I can assume a lot of looking up
                  > for all these words,items is of course necessary.To summarize, I wonder
                  how
                  > much of a vocabulary one should have before reading tON literature?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Ed Widlund
                  >

                • CalecM@aol.com
                  Ed Let me give you different perspective. I ve been studying ON for something measurable in weeks. However, it is far from my first foreign language.
                  Message 8 of 13 , Sep 2, 2009
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                    Ed
                       Let me give you different perspective.  I've been studying ON for something measurable in weeks.  However, it is far from my first foreign language.  (French, Italian and Japanese).  You will not learn ON the same as you would learn Swedish or Swahili.  You will not become "fluent" in it because you will not use it as a communicative system with another human being.  Rather, you will most likely sit in the middle of a pile of books and laptops, which you will use to decode or decipher the text.  As time goes on, you will rely on the reference materials less and less, as you remember more and more.  But the ON language in your brain will consist mostly of this.  It will not be connected to memories of personal, physical experiences you have had.  It will lack the positive reinforcement of successfully communicating with another human being.  (If you're familiar with Piagetian Constructivist learning theory, this will make more sense.)  If you have studied other second languages, think back:  some of the language you know best is tied to the moment you learned it.  Somebody on a bus, a key line in a movie, etc.  You're not likely to get that studying ON texts.  Doesn't mean your experience won't be fun, informative, successful, satisfying--but it will be different.
                     
                    One man's opinion--your mileage may vary!
                     
                       Alec MacLean
                  • nikolai_sandbeck
                    I use old norse when i talk to my icelandic friends, and it works fine for me, Of course it is higly influenced by icelandic, but as more and more i work with
                    Message 9 of 13 , Sep 3, 2009
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                      I use old norse when i talk to my icelandic friends, and it works fine for me, Of course it is higly influenced by icelandic, but as more and more i work with old norse, as more old norse it becomes.
                      to make it sound like a living language i use modern icelandic pronounchiation discribed in "A new introduction to Old Norse".
                      and talk, write with icelanders and i watch movies and hear music in icelandic. but my words, spelling, grammar, syntax and the way of expression is old norse.

                      as more i work with old norse, as more pure it becomes



                      --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, CalecM@... wrote:
                      >
                      > Ed
                      > Let me give you different perspective. I've been studying ON for
                      > something measurable in weeks. However, it is far from my first foreign
                      > language. (French, Italian and Japanese). You will not learn ON the same as you
                      > would learn Swedish or Swahili. You will not become "fluent" in it because
                      > you will not use it as a communicative system with another human being.
                      > Rather, you will most likely sit in the middle of a pile of books and
                      > laptops, which you will use to decode or decipher the text. As time goes on, you
                      > will rely on the reference materials less and less, as you remember more
                      > and more. But the ON language in your brain will consist mostly of this.
                      > It will not be connected to memories of personal, physical experiences you
                      > have had. It will lack the positive reinforcement of successfully
                      > communicating with another human being. (If you're familiar with Piagetian
                      > Constructivist learning theory, this will make more sense.) If you have studied
                      > other second languages, think back: some of the language you know best is
                      > tied to the moment you learned it. Somebody on a bus, a key line in a movie,
                      > etc. You're not likely to get that studying ON texts. Doesn't mean your
                      > experience won't be fun, informative, successful, satisfying--but it will
                      > be different.
                      >
                      > One man's opinion--your mileage may vary!
                      >
                      > Alec MacLean
                      >
                    • Edgar Widlund
                      Hi Alec, Thanks for your advice. From what you said made me remember how it was studying French which I am very familiar with.I even was able to pass a test in
                      Message 10 of 13 , Sep 3, 2009
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                        Hi Alec,

                        Thanks for your advice. From what you said made me remember how it was
                        studying French
                        which I am very familiar with.I even was able to pass a test in the
                        army and was credited with a proficiency
                        in french.Thanks again for your pointing me to the right perspective.


                        Ed Widlund

                        On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 2:21 AM, <CalecM@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > ________________________________
                        >
                        > Ed
                        >    Let me give you different perspective.  I've been studying ON for
                        > something measurable in weeks.  However, it is far from my first foreign
                        > language.  (French, Italian and Japanese).  You will not learn ON the same
                        > as you would learn Swedish or Swahili.  You will not become "fluent" in it
                        > because you will not use it as a communicative system with another human
                        > being.  Rather, you will most likely sit in the middle of a pile of books
                        > and laptops, which you will use to decode or decipher the text.  As time
                        > goes on, you will rely on the reference materials less and less, as you
                        > remember more and more.  But the ON language in your brain will consist
                        > mostly of this.  It will not be connected to memories of personal, physical
                        > experiences you have had.  It will lack the positive reinforcement of
                        > successfully communicating with another human being.  (If you're familiar
                        > with Piagetian Constructivist learning theory, this will make more sense.)
                        > If you have studied other second languages, think back:  some of the
                        > language you know best is tied to the moment you learned it.  Somebody on a
                        > bus, a key line in a movie, etc.  You're not likely to get that studying ON
                        > texts.  Doesn't mean your experience won't be fun, informative, successful,
                        > satisfying--but it will be different.
                        >
                        > One man's opinion--your mileage may vary!
                        >
                        >    Alec MacLean
                        >
                      • Scott
                        Is Modern Icelandic mutually unintelligible with Old Norse? -not that I speak Old Norse, just asking. N. Scott Catledge, PhD/STD Professor Emeritus history &
                        Message 11 of 13 , Sep 3, 2009
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                          Is Modern Icelandic mutually unintelligible with Old Norse? –not that I speak Old
                          Norse, just asking.

                           

                          N. Scott Catledge, PhD/STD

                          Professor Emeritus

                          history & languages

                           


                          From: norse_course@yahoogroups.com [mailto:norse_course@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Edgar Widlund
                          Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 10:39 AM
                          To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [norse_course] Old Norse grammar

                           

                           

                          Hi Alec,

                          Thanks for your advice. From what you said made me remember how it was
                          studying French
                          which I am very familiar with.I even was able to pass a test in the
                          army and was credited with a proficiency
                          in french.Thanks again for your pointing me to the right perspective.

                          Ed Widlund

                          On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 2:21 AM, <CalecM@...> wrote:

                          >
                          >
                          > ____________ _________ _________ __
                          >
                          > Ed
                          >    Let me give you different perspective.  I've been
                          studying ON for
                          > something measurable in weeks.  However, it is far from my first
                          foreign
                          > language.  (French, Italian and Japanese).  You will not learn
                          ON the same
                          > as you would learn Swedish or Swahili.  You will not become
                          "fluent" in it
                          > because you will not use it as a communicative system with another human
                          > being.  Rather, you will most likely sit in the middle of a pile of
                          books
                          > and laptops, which you will use to decode or decipher the text.  As
                          time
                          > goes on, you will rely on the reference materials less and less, as you
                          > remember more and more.  But the ON language in your brain will
                          consist
                          > mostly of this.  It will not be connected to memories of personal,
                          physical
                          > experiences you have had.  It will lack the positive reinforcement of
                          > successfully communicating with another human being.  (If you're
                          familiar
                          > with Piagetian Constructivist learning theory, this will make more sense.)
                          > If you have studied other second languages, think back:  some of the
                          > language you know best is tied to the moment you learned it. 
                          Somebody on a
                          > bus, a key line in a movie, etc.  You're not likely to get that
                          studying ON
                          > texts.  Doesn't mean your experience won' t be fun,
                          informative, successful,
                          > satisfying-- but it will be different.
                          >
                          > One man's opinion--your mileage may vary!
                          >
                          >    Alec MacLean
                          >

                        • Brian M. Scott
                          ... There have been some pretty extensive sound changes. There have also been semantic shifts, not to mention a good deal of new lexicon. In the personal
                          Message 12 of 13 , Sep 5, 2009
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                            At 5:32:54 PM on Thursday, September 3, 2009, Scott wrote:

                            > Is Modern Icelandic mutually unintelligible with Old
                            > Norse?

                            There have been some pretty extensive sound changes. There
                            have also been semantic shifts, not to mention a good deal
                            of new lexicon. In the personal pronouns the dual has
                            replaced the plural in the first and second persons. There
                            have been some changes in the endings of the mediopassive
                            and subjunctive. I'm pretty sure that there have been some
                            changes in sentence-level syntax as well, but I don't know
                            enough to say just what they are, and I doubt that they're a
                            very formidable obstacle to understanding.

                            My best guess is that a fluent speaker of modern Icelandic
                            wouldn't have too much trouble with classical ON once he got
                            used to the sound changes. To make matters a bit easier, in
                            many cases the modern spelling actually points to the older
                            sound; <au>, <y>, and <ý> are good examples of this. I
                            suspect that comprehension in the other direction would be
                            harder but possible, especially if the modern speaker made a
                            real effort to be cooperative.

                            Brian
                          • Scott
                            Thanks! You have affirmed my hypothesis—it was only a guess until your reply. As far as “comprehension in the other direction”, I doubt that very many
                            Message 13 of 13 , Sep 7, 2009
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                              Thanks!  You have affirmed my hypothesis—it was only a guess until your

                              reply.  As far as “comprehension in the other direction”, I doubt that very

                              many persons speak Old Norse—I know from experience that few speak

                              Koine Greek—and their speech is often incorrect: one instructor persisted

                              in confusing luo and louo because the [y] sound was not in his aural corpus

                              nor in that of any professor in the Greek Department—the largest Koine

                              Greek in the world.

                              Missed you at KWHSS this weekend.  

                               

                              Scott

                               


                              From: norse_course@yahoogroups.com [mailto: norse_course@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Brian M. Scott
                              Sent: Saturday, September 05, 2009 7:13 PM
                              To: Scott
                              Subject: Re[2]: [norse_course] Old Norse grammar

                               

                               

                              At 5:32:54 PM on Thursday, September 3, 2009, Scott wrote:

                              > Is Modern Icelandic mutually unintelligible with Old
                              > Norse?

                              There have been some pretty extensive sound changes. There
                              have also been semantic shifts, not to mention a good deal
                              of new lexicon. In the personal pronouns the dual has
                              replaced the plural in the first and second persons. There
                              have been some changes in the endings of the mediopassive
                              and subjunctive. I'm pretty sure that there have been some
                              changes in sentence-level syntax as well, but I don't know
                              enough to say just what they are, and I doubt that they're a
                              very formidable obstacle to understanding.

                              My best guess is that a fluent speaker of modern Icelandic
                              wouldn't have too much trouble with classical ON once he got
                              used to the sound changes. To make matters a bit easier, in
                              many cases the modern spelling actually points to the older
                              sound; <au>, <y>, and <ý> are good examples of this. I
                              suspect that comprehension in the other direction would be
                              harder but possible, especially if the modern speaker made a
                              real effort to be cooperative.

                              Brian

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