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RE: [norse_course] Hello and a Question

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  • Lewis, Raymond J.
    Third time is a charm (or so I m told). To see how you re doing, check out the very short Grammar Reference for nouns and adjectives at the Homepage:
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 13, 2003
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      Third time is a charm (or so I'm told). To see how you're doing,
      check out the very short Grammar Reference for nouns and adjectives
      at the Homepage: http://www.hi.is/~haukurth/norse/. There is always
      the possibility that the noun or adjective you're using may be
      irregular - but the grammar is a good starting point (and everyone
      will love you for using it).

      Raymond

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Stephen Fryer
      To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: 8/12/2003 9:31 PM
      Subject: [norse_course] Hello and a Question

      I am new here and new to Old Norse, though not to learning "arcane
      languages."

      I was hoping that someone could check that I am understanding the use of

      indefinite and definite adjectives properly.

      indefinite: ormr langr a long worm
      definite: ormrinn langi the long worm
      also definite: Eirikr langi long Eric or Eric the long

      Have I got that right?

      --
      Stephen Fryer
      Lund Computer Services

      **************************************************
      The more answers I find, the more questions I have
      **************************************************
    • Haukur Thorgeirsson
      ... Yeah, just about. But there are more possibilities: langr ormr ormr inn langi inn langi ormr And proper names don t always take the definite form. These
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 14, 2003
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        > indefinite: ormr langr a long worm
        > definite: ormrinn langi the long worm
        > also definite: Eirikr langi long Eric or Eric the long
        >
        > Have I got that right?

        Yeah, just about. But there are more possibilities:

        langr ormr
        ormr inn langi
        inn langi ormr

        And proper names don't always take the definite form.
        These are all attested:

        Eiríkr rauði
        Illugi inn rauði
        Þorsteinn rauðr

        Kveðja,
        Haukur
      • Stephen Fryer
        Heil! ... Ok spyr ek: What are the relative frequencies of noun-adjective and adjective-noun word order? ... Ok segi ek: That just looks like a difference in
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 15, 2003
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          Heil!

          Haukr segir:

          > Yeah, just about. But there are more possibilities:
          >
          > langr ormr

          Ok spyr ek: What are the relative frequencies of noun-adjective and
          adjective-noun word order?

          > ormr inn langi

          Ok segi ek: That just looks like a difference in word division, which is
          somewhat arbitrary (or lacking) in the manuscripts.

          > inn langi ormr

          Ok spyr ek: How frequently does the article ('inn') come before the noun?

          > And proper names don't always take the definite form.
          > These are all attested:
          >
          > Eiríkr rauði
          > Illugi inn rauði
          > Þorsteinn rauðr

          Ok spyr ek: What are the relative frequencies of these forms?

          Ok segi ek: As a beginner, I want to use the more common word orders, etc.

          Kveðja,

          --
          Stephen Fryer
          Lund Computer Services

          **************************************************
          The more answers I find, the more questions I have
          **************************************************
        • Haukur Thorgeirsson
          [on ormrinn langi vs. ormr inn langi ] ... Vel mælir þú. That s quite correct. Word division in the mss and word division in normalized text isn t always
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 15, 2003
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            [on "ormrinn langi" vs. "ormr inn langi"]

            > Ok segi ek: That just looks like a difference in word division, which is
            > somewhat arbitrary (or lacking) in the manuscripts.

            Vel mælir þú. That's quite correct. Word division in the mss and
            word division in normalized text isn't always the same thing.


            > Ok spyr ek: What are the relative frequencies of noun-adjective and
            > adjective-noun word order?
            > Ok spyr ek: How frequently does the article ('inn') come before the noun?
            > Ok spyr ek: What are the relative frequencies of these [name] forms?

            Vel spyrr þú. Kann ek eigi svá vel svara.

            I think adjective-noun is rather more common in Old Norse. I think that the
            preceding article is more common than the succeeding one where it is allowed.
            Remember that you can only have the article preceding the noun when there's
            an adjective in between. I haven't got a clue on the proper names; my hunch
            is that the "Þorsteinn rauðr" type may be the least common.

            We can do a little test if you like. Let's do a "frequency analysis" of
            the first chapter of Heimskringla - even though that's a way too small sample :)

            "Kringla heimsins, sú er mannfólkit byggvir, er mjök vágskorin. Ganga höf
            stór úr útsjánum inn í jörðina. Er þat kunnigt at haf gengr frá Nörvasundum
            ok allt út til Jórsalalands. Af hafinu gengr langr hafsbotn til landnorðrs
            er heitir Svartahaf. Sá skilr heimsþriðjungana. Heitir fyrir austan Asía en
            fyrir vestan kalla sumir Evrópu en sumir Eneu. En norðan at Svartahafi gengr
            Svíþjóð in mikla eða in kalda. Svíþjóð ina miklu kalla sumir menn eigi minni
            en Serkland it mikla, sumir jafna henni við Bláland it mikla. Inn nyrðri
            hlutr Svíþjóðar liggr óbyggðr af frosti ok kulda, svá sem inn syðri hlutr
            Blálands er auðr af sólarbruna. Í Svíþjóð eru stórhéruð mörg. Þar eru ok margs
            konar þjóðir ok margar tungur. Þar eru risar ok þar eru dvergar, þar eru blámenn
            ok þar eru margs konar undarligar þjóðir. Þar eru ok dýr ok drekar furðuliga stórir.
            Úr norðri frá fjöllum þeim er fyrir útan eru byggð alla fellr á um Svíþjóð, sú er
            at réttu heitir Tanaís. Hon var forðum kölluð Tanakvísl eða Vanakvísl. Hon kømr
            til sjávar inn í Svartahaf. Í Vanakvíslum var þá kallað Vanaland eða Vanaheimr.
            Sú á skilr heimsþriðjungana. Heitir fyrir austan Asía en fyrir vestan Evrópa."


            *Noun-adjective*

            höf stór
            drekar [furðuliga] stórir


            *Adjective-noun*

            langr hafsbotn
            margar tungur
            byggð öll
            undarligar þjóðir


            *Noun-article-adjective*
            Svíþjóð in mikla
            Svíþjóð in kalda
            Serkland it mikla
            Bláland it mikla


            *Article-adjective-noun*
            inn nyrðri hlutr
            inn syðri hlutr

            This slightly supports my contention that adjective-noun is more
            common than noun-adjective. But obviously both are perfectly normal.


            The typical modern Icelandic forms are:

            langur hafsbotn
            langi hafsbotninn

            The following forms, while perfectly understandable, are probably
            confined to literary usage:

            hafsbotn langur
            hinn langi hafsbotn

            The latter is more common in the other Scandinavian languages;
            in Faroese we would have:

            tann langi havsbotnur (assuming 'havsbotnur' is a word)


            > Ok segi ek: As a beginner, I want to use the more common word orders, etc.

            Vel mælir þú ok hyggiliga.

            Kveðja,
            Haukr
          • sjuler
            ... To use a contemporary popular word, I must say thatHaukur is a bit biased here. In Swedish, the form isn t hinn langi hafsbotn / tann langi havsbotnur
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 15, 2003
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              --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, Haukur Thorgeirsson
              <haukurth@h...> wrote:

              >
              > The typical modern Icelandic forms are:
              >
              > langur hafsbotn
              > langi hafsbotninn
              >
              > The following forms, while perfectly understandable, are probably
              > confined to literary usage:
              >
              > hafsbotn langur
              > hinn langi hafsbotn
              >
              > The latter is more common in the other Scandinavian languages;
              > in Faroese we would have:
              >
              > tann langi havsbotnur (assuming 'havsbotnur' is a word)
              >

              To use a contemporary popular word, I must say thatHaukur is a bit
              biased here. In Swedish, the form isn't

              "hinn langi hafsbotn"/"tann langi havsbotnur"

              but rather

              "den långa havsbottn-en", (my hyphenation)

              i.e., in Swedish one uses both the pronoun 'den' (cognate with
              Faroese 'tann') and the definite article 'en' (cognate with
              Icelandic 'hinn').

              Dialectally things are more complicated. In Northern Sweden we don't
              like the pronoun 'den' (actually, we don't have it in the pure
              dialects) so we would do like this instead (using standard Swedish
              spelling):

              "långhavsbottnen"

              which would be "langhafsbotninn" in Old Norse standardized spelling.
              A funny thing is that Old Norse "hinn langi" (the long one),
              Swedish "den långe", would become "langinn"/"lången" (ON/Swe st sp)
              in Northern Swedish.

              /Sjuler
            • Terje Ellefsen
              It s very similar in Norwegian also. Terje. ... _________________________________________________________________ Help STOP SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 15, 2003
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                It's very similar in Norwegian also.

                Terje.


                >From: "sjuler" <sjuler@...>
                >Reply-To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
                >To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: [norse_course] Hello and a Question - bias (popular word now)
                >Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 21:01:24 -0000
                >
                >--- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, Haukur Thorgeirsson
                ><haukurth@h...> wrote:
                >
                > >
                > > The typical modern Icelandic forms are:
                > >
                > > langur hafsbotn
                > > langi hafsbotninn
                > >
                > > The following forms, while perfectly understandable, are probably
                > > confined to literary usage:
                > >
                > > hafsbotn langur
                > > hinn langi hafsbotn
                > >
                > > The latter is more common in the other Scandinavian languages;
                > > in Faroese we would have:
                > >
                > > tann langi havsbotnur (assuming 'havsbotnur' is a word)
                > >
                >
                >To use a contemporary popular word, I must say thatHaukur is a bit
                >biased here. In Swedish, the form isn't
                >
                >"hinn langi hafsbotn"/"tann langi havsbotnur"
                >
                >but rather
                >
                >"den långa havsbottn-en", (my hyphenation)
                >
                >i.e., in Swedish one uses both the pronoun 'den' (cognate with
                >Faroese 'tann') and the definite article 'en' (cognate with
                >Icelandic 'hinn').
                >
                >Dialectally things are more complicated. In Northern Sweden we don't
                >like the pronoun 'den' (actually, we don't have it in the pure
                >dialects) so we would do like this instead (using standard Swedish
                >spelling):
                >
                >"långhavsbottnen"
                >
                >which would be "langhafsbotninn" in Old Norse standardized spelling.
                >A funny thing is that Old Norse "hinn langi" (the long one),
                >Swedish "den långe", would become "langinn"/"lången" (ON/Swe st sp)
                >in Northern Swedish.
                >
                >/Sjuler
                >

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              • konrad_oddsson
                Heilir góðir nemendr! ... which is somewhat arbitrary (or lacking) in the manuscripts. ... word division in normalized text isn t always the same thing. ...
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 16, 2003
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                  Heilir góðir nemendr!

                  --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, Haukur Thorgeirsson
                  <haukurth@h...> wrote:
                  > [on "ormrinn langi" vs. "ormr inn langi"]
                  >
                  > > Ok segi ek: That just looks like a difference in word division,
                  which is somewhat arbitrary (or lacking) in the manuscripts.

                  > Vel mælir þú. That's quite correct. Word division in the mss and
                  word division in normalized text isn't always the same thing.

                  > > Ok spyr ek: What are the relative frequencies of noun-adjective
                  and adjective-noun word order?
                  > > Ok spyr ek: How frequently does the article ('inn') come before
                  the noun?
                  > > Ok spyr ek: What are the relative frequencies of these [name]
                  forms?

                  > Vel spyrr þú. Kann ek eigi svá vel svara.

                  > I think adjective-noun is rather more common in Old Norse. I think
                  that the preceding article is more common than the succeeding one
                  where it is allowed. Remember that you can only have the article
                  preceding the noun when there's an adjective in between.

                  Make a note of this if your are trying to learn Old Norse. What
                  Haukur is expressing here is a very important rule in Old Norse.
                  There must be an adjective preceding the noun if the article is
                  appear before the noun. Grammatically, you must say 'hinn langi
                  ormr' and never 'langi hinn ormr', 'hinn ormr langi', 'langi ormr
                  hinn', 'ormr langi hinn' or the like - that is to say, if you intend
                  to convey to idea 'the long snake/worm'. On the other hand, you can
                  also attach the article and say 'ormrinn langi'. Both 'hinn langi
                  ormr' and 'ormrinn langi' have the same basic meaning - only usage
                  and custom, which are highly refined and somewhat changable, make
                  any distinction between the two. Native speakers would have under-
                  stood fine points of usage between 'hinn langi ormr' and 'ormrinn
                  langi', much as modern speakers do today.

                  I haven't got a clue on the proper names; my hunch
                  > is that the "Þorsteinn rauðr" type may be the least common.

                  In phrases like 'Eiríkr rauði', the article is eliptical - that is
                  to say, it is implied. 'Eiríkr rauðr', on the other hand, has a
                  different meaning, which is somewhat closer to 'Erik, the red one'
                  rather than 'Erik the Red'. Usage of the article in Old Norse is
                  quite complicated by comparison with Modern English. In Old Norse,
                  as well as in Icelandic and Faroese, one can say each of the four
                  following phrases:

                  blár himinn/himinn blár
                  blái himinninn/himinninn blái
                  himinninn blár/blár himinninn
                  himinn blái/blái himinn

                  The first two are regular and absolutely required learning. Custom
                  and usage dictate their word order. The second two are restricted,
                  conveying subtly different shades of meaning which are atypical in
                  daily speech and difficult to learn. Certain writers, for instance,
                  make a stylistic device of one or both of the latter. In English,
                  the closest translation of 'himinninn blár' I can think of is 'the
                  heaven, the blue one', while 'himinn blái' seems to imply the idea
                  that there is only one heaven. Native speakers will understand the
                  various shades of meaning implied by these phrases, even if they
                  cannot describe them in detail when asked to. In learing Old Norse,
                  focus only on the first two above. These are regular and required.

                  > We can do a little test if you like. Let's do a "frequency
                  analysis" of the first chapter of Heimskringla - even though that's
                  a way too small sample :)

                  > "Kringla heimsins, sú er mannfólkit byggvir, er mjök vágskorin.

                  In Modern Icelandic, the article is often omitted when the subject
                  is abstract (óhlutbundið) as opposed to concrete (hlutbundið). The
                  usage 'mannfólkit' implies the idea of a fixed singular entity. The
                  reason is that the noun 'fólk' is abstract. One can point to a tree
                  or a stone, but one cannot point to 'the folk'. One can say 'þat er
                  gott fólk' or 'fólkit er gott', but the meanings are very different.
                  However, instead of elaborating further on the usage of the article,
                  I encourage you to ask the following question whenever you see that
                  the definite article is missing from subjects modified by adjectives
                  of the strong variety: Is this subject in any way abstract? Asking
                  this question will not clarify every instance, but it will help you
                  understand the article better.


                  Ganga höf stór úr útsjánum inn í jörðina.

                  Giant seas...no fixed number implied.
                  The earth...singular entity implied.


                  Er þat kunnigt at haf gengr frá Nörvasundum ok allt út til
                  Jórsalalands.

                  A sea...some certain one, but indefinite.
                  Jórsalaland...a place name, no article in this case.

                  Af hafinu gengr langr hafsbotn til landnorðrs
                  > er heitir Svartahaf.

                  From the sea/from that one...the one named in the previous sentence.


                  Sá skilr heimsþriðjungana.

                  That(the sea bottom).

                  From here and forward, Snorri and Haukur rule the article:

                  Heitir fyrir austan Asía en fyrir vestan kalla sumir Evrópu en sumir
                  Eneu. En norðan at Svartahafi gengr Svíþjóð in mikla eða in kalda.
                  Svíþjóð ina miklu kalla sumir menn eigi minni en Serkland it mikla,
                  sumir jafna henni við Bláland it mikla. Inn nyrðri hlutr Svíþjóðar
                  liggr óbyggðr af frosti ok kulda, svá sem inn syðri hlutr Blálands
                  er auðr af sólarbruna. Í Svíþjóð eru stórhéruð mörg. Þar eru ok
                  margs konar þjóðir ok margar tungur. Þar eru risar ok þar eru
                  dvergar, þar eru blámenn ok þar eru margs konar undarligar þjóðir.
                  Þar eru ok dýr ok drekar furðuliga stórir. Úr norðri frá fjöllum
                  þeim er fyrir útan eru byggð alla fellr á um Svíþjóð, sú er at réttu
                  heitir Tanaís. Hon var forðum kölluð Tanakvísl eða Vanakvísl. Hon
                  kømr til sjávar inn í Svartahaf. Í Vanakvíslum var þá kallað
                  Vanaland eða Vanaheimr. Sú á skilr heimsþriðjungana. Heitir fyrir
                  austan Asía en fyrir vestan Evrópa."
                  >
                  >
                  > *Noun-adjective*
                  >
                  > höf stór
                  > drekar [furðuliga] stórir
                  >
                  >
                  > *Adjective-noun*
                  >
                  > langr hafsbotn
                  > margar tungur
                  > byggð öll
                  > undarligar þjóðir
                  >
                  >
                  > *Noun-article-adjective*
                  > Svíþjóð in mikla
                  > Svíþjóð in kalda
                  > Serkland it mikla
                  > Bláland it mikla
                  >
                  >
                  > *Article-adjective-noun*
                  > inn nyrðri hlutr
                  > inn syðri hlutr
                  >
                  > This slightly supports my contention that adjective-noun is more
                  > common than noun-adjective. But obviously both are perfectly
                  normal.
                  >
                  >
                  > The typical modern Icelandic forms are:
                  >
                  > langur hafsbotn
                  > langi hafsbotninn
                  >
                  > The following forms, while perfectly understandable, are probably
                  > confined to literary usage:
                  >
                  > hafsbotn langur
                  > hinn langi hafsbotn
                  >
                  > The latter is more common in the other Scandinavian languages;
                  > in Faroese we would have:
                  >
                  > tann langi havsbotnur (assuming 'havsbotnur' is a word)
                  >
                  >
                  > > Ok segi ek: As a beginner, I want to use the more common word
                  orders, etc.
                  >
                  > Vel mælir þú ok hyggiliga.
                  >
                  > Kveðja,
                  > Haukr
                • Stephen Fryer
                  Heil Konrad! ... I assume nemendr means something like learners - I don t have an ON dictionary. ... A proper name, like Eirikr, should of its own nature
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 16, 2003
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                    Heil Konrad!

                    Þu segir:
                    > Heilir góðir nemendr!
                    I assume "nemendr" means something like "learners" - I don't have an ON
                    dictionary.

                    > In phrases like 'Eiríkr rauði', the article is eliptical - that is
                    > to say, it is implied.

                    A proper name, like "Eirikr," should of its own nature be definite not that
                    anyone ever accused natural languages of being perfectly logical. So a form
                    like "Eirikr rauði" - Eric the Rowdy :-) - makes sense to me. However a form
                    like "Eirikr inn rauði" doesn't. It looks like the article goes with Eirikr,
                    which doesn't really need an article, making it "the Eric," which seems rather
                    odd. But then, how common is the pattern Name-inn-def._adjective compared to
                    Name-def._adjective?


                    --
                    Stephen Fryer
                    Lund Computer Services

                    **************************************************
                    The more answers I find, the more questions I have
                    **************************************************
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