Introduction   |   General    |    Shetland Norn     |    Orkney Norn    |    Nynorn      |      Forum      |      Contact        

 
     
 


  Introduction
  General
     Terminology
     Old Norse
     Articles
  Shetland Norn
     Phonetics 
     Dialects 
     Grammar 
     Hildina 
     Texts 
  Orkney Norn
     Phonetics
     Dialects
     Grammar
     Texts
  Caithness Norn
  Bibliography


  Nynorn project
     Introduction
     Grammar
     Dictionary
     Simple texts
     Tutorial
     Dialects
     Maps
  Forum
  Links
  Credits
  Contact

 

 

 

Sketch of the grammar of Shetland Norn
based on the material from Jakobsen's
"Etymological dictionary of Shetland Norn"

(See a separate overview for
 the language of the Hildina poem)

 

This overview is mostly based on forms picked up from Jakob Jakobsen's etymological dictionary. Of course, it should be kept in mind that most of those forms represent not directly Norn but rather its remnants in Shetland Scots and may well originate from different dialects and epochs. Nevertheless, we think that this material to a certain degree allows its systematisation and a contour description of the grammar of Shetland Norn (or, at least, its morphology) can be rendered. See also the chapter on Old Norse for a grammar reference.

  Short view

A. Substantives
  A.1. Indefinite declension
    A.1.1. Singular
      A.1.1.1. Strong declension
      A.1.1.2. Weak declension
    A.1.2. Plural
  A.2. Definite declension
    A.2.1. Singular
    A.2.2. Plural
B. Adjectives
  B.1. Strong adjectives
  B.2. Weak declension
  B.3. Comparative and superlative degree
    B.3.1. Comparative degree
    B.3.2. Superlative degree
C. Pronouns
  C.1. Personal pronouns
  C.2. Possessive pronouns
  C.3. Demonstrative pronouns
  C.4. Indefinite and interrogative pronouns
D. Numerals
  D.1. Cardinal numerals
  D.2. Ordinal numerals
E. Verbs
  E.1. Indicative
    E.1.1. Present
    E.1.2. Past
  E.2. Imperative
  E.3. Subjunctive
  E.4. Invinitive
  E.5. Present (active) participle
  E.6. Past (passive) participle
  E.7. Middle voice

 

A. SUBSTANTIVES

A.1. Indefinite declension

A.1.1. Singular

A.1.1.1. Strong declension

A.1.1.1.1. Nominative/accusative

The standard Old Norse (ON) masculine ending -r is dropped in most cases (merging thus with accusative), except a few words where it still shows up as -er:

(Norn < Old Norse unless specified)

erdros < arðr-áss
modera handalos < maðr(inn) handalauss
fogborder < fjúkburðr
funder, finder < fundr
hwisterester (*hwister-hester) < hestr
kidnpuster < kinnpústr

Most of the feminine and neuter strong substantives in ON had no ending in nominative and the same applies to Shetland Norn (further referred to as Norn).

A.1.1.1.2 Genitive

a) -s was a common genitive singular ending in masculine and neuter declension in ON. This ending is widely presented in Norn:

Hornshul < Hornshóll
s(j)usamillabakka (*sjósámillibakka) < á milli sjós ok bakka
Maedadalls Woe < Matdalsá
Vigadalswo < Víkardalsá
Polsgjo < Pollsgjá
marta di gons teke di veps < margt til garns, tekit til vepts
Vatshwi < Vatnskví
De Felsend < fells endi
merkis-time < merkis-tíð

As -s is the only genitive ending in English, there is no doubt that it had to stay in Norn under any circumstances. In separate cases -s shows up as -is, -sa, -ses:

Rønisfell < Hraunsfell, Rønis vo < hrauns-vágr
Markamudiswo < markamótsá
elis < éls
Vatsaros < Vatnsrás
Banufseskodda < Boðahnúfskoddi

The ending -is could have developed owing to the influence from words ending in -i, which had the genitive ending -is, e.g. ON sæti - Gen. sætis. An influence from Scots is also possible. The other examples - Vatsaros, Bahufseskodda - can contain a contamination of various genitive endings.

b) Another regular genitive ending - ar/r - was used in the strong feminine and the strong i/u-masculine declensions. In Norn it's normally preserved as -a/e (occasionally a > i), -er, -r:

masc.
de Jørnategs < Jǫrundar teigar
de Sjurategs < Sigurðar teigar
*Sunlasetter < Sǫlmundarsetr
Tronaseter (Tronister) < Þrándarsetr;
de Fjardepall < fjarðarpallr;
ryggagitel < ryggjargeitill
Skeldebrøs < Skjaldarbrjóst
Skellavelti < Skjaldarvelta?
Ballafell < ballarfell (?); de Bellagø < ballargýgr
hatterskum < *hattarskúm

fem.
Engamor, Engatus, Engamosdelds; Engermorvatn < engjar-
de Gørasten, Gøstens < gýgjarsteinn; de Gørhul < gýgjarhóll
(W)Ordal < árdalr; de Orems < árheimar; Worgert < árgarðr; Orgil < árgil; (W)Orli < árhlið; Woros - áróss; (W)Orwick, Orruk < árvík
olla < ullar-
Grindavelta < grindar-
Hamnavoe < hafnarvágr
Møradelds < mýrardeildir, Mørategs < mýrarteigar
de Stranategs < strandarteigar
skotnarur < *skotanar-róðr
ufsahella < upsarhella
Tuptategs < tuptar-;
utia < útíð(ar?)
Vigagjo < víkargjá
lir, lida < hlíðar; Lifell, de Lidadal < hlíðardalr; de Lirend(s) < hlíðarendi; Lirhul (-hol, wol) < hlíðarhóll
noralegg < nálar-leggr
Maligjo < malargjá
Navigjo < nafargjá

The above examples show that -r is normally preserved in monosyllabic words (wor < ár, lir < hlíðar, gør < gýgjar), but tends to drop in bisyllabic ones. The reflexes of Old Norse hlíð show both types of this development: hlíðar > lir, lida. The choice obviously depends upon whether -ð- stays (as -d-) or disappears at all, which gives either a mono- or bisyllabic word respectively.

A.1.1.1.3. Dative

In Old Norse strong masculine and neuter nouns had the ending -i. It seems to be well-preserved in Norn. Feminine nouns had no ending in dative except the word hǫnd - D.sg. hendi:

lagi (to be in a lagi [lag] 'to be excited') < lagi, D.sg. of lag
Velli < á velli, D.sg.of vǫllr
Stakken groiti < stakkrinn í grjóti
Vo < í vági
andi < í hendi

A.1.1.1.4. Accusative

Corresponding to most Norwegian, Danish and Swedish dialects, as well as West Germanic languages (German), accusative in Norn strongly inclined to merging with nominative.  It is especially evident in the strong masculine declension where nominative has lost its masculine ending -r which made it look the same as the accusative form. In most of the feminine and all the neuter words nominative and accusative were morphologically identical.

A.1.1.1.5. Summary

  Masc Fem Neu
N (er) - -
A - - -
D i - i
G s/is/a,er a,r,er s

 

A.1.1.2. Weak declension

A.1.1.2.1. Nominative

One of the most prominent pecularities of this group of nouns is fluctuations between the masculine endings -i (oiginally, nominative) and -a (originally, accusative, dative and genitive). Their confusion can witness the blending of the nominative and accusative cases in Norn as we have already discussed above. As a result, other forms with the ending -a swapped it for -i by analogy. In neuter the Old Norse ending -a is mostly preserved or dropped occasionally.

a) Masculine

bilk, bilki, bulk < Icel. bulki m., bylki n., Nor. bulk m. < ON *bulkr
hog, hogi, hoga < hagi
ralli < Nor. Swed. ralla
rømi, remi < rjómi
slagi, slaga < slaga, slagi
skugga, skugg < skuggi (cf. to be i' skugga < at vera í skugga)

b) Feminine

floga < fluga
flukra,flokra < Far. flykra
solta < solta
Smorkelda < smœr-/smjǫrkelda

c) Neuter

jarta < hjarta
joga < auga
jora < eyra
nir < nyra

Many weak nouns have lost their ending, although in a number of forms it is still preserved (partially it owes to the occasional blending of the strong and weak declension still in Old Norse, cf. ON. stubbr vs. stubbi). The omitting of the ending is especially noticeable in female.

masc.
stubb nm. stub, stump < stubbr/stubbi
rukka, rokk < Nor. ruka

fem.
bor < bora
dagdvelj < dagdvelja
di < þýða
Greentua/Grøntu < grøn þúfa; Tuan stura < þúfan stóra; Høtu < heyþúfa; Litlatu < litla þúfa; Muklatu < mikla þúfa

 

A.1.1.2.2. Genitive

In Old Norse there was the same form for accusative, dative and genitive of singular in the weak declension of nouns. However, we have collected the examples of genitive into a separate group, because most of them are parts of compound words. In feminine the ending -u is often replaced with -a (the same change -u > -a is frequent in the plural of weak adjectives, see B.2.3.):

masc.
Mangaseter < Magnasetr, Magni
Tirvister (*Turvasetter) < Torfasetr, Torfi;
s(j)usamillabakka (*sjósámillibakka) < milli sjós ok bakka

fem.
Kellabrun < keldu-brunnr, kelda
Kjorkabi < kirkjubœr; Kjorkigert < kirkjugarðr; de Kjorkidelds < kirkjudeildir; K(j)orkhul < kirkjuhóll, de Kjorkalis < kirkjuhlíðir; Korkaseter < kirkjusetr, kirkja
pannabrod/panni- < pǫnnubrot, panna
gjonge-sop, gjonga-fish/gjonge-fish < gǫngu-sopi, gǫngu-fiskr, ganga
 

A.1.1.2.3. Accusative, dative

folgju, fulgju < fulgu, fulga
grinsko, alongside grønska < grœnsku, grœnska
hurro, horro < Nor. hurru, hurra
ilsko, ilsku, alongside ilska < ilsku, ilska
fongsnoro < *fang-snarvu, *fang-snarva (Alternatively the final -o can be explained as a result of the influence from -v-, cf. dorg > * dorw > Norn dorro, like sorg > Eng. sorrow)

A.1.1.2.4. Summary

  Masc Fem Neu
N i (a) a (o) a,-
A a a, *o (u) *a (-)
D a o (u) *a (-)
G a o (u) *a (-)

 

A.1.2. Plural

A.1.2.1. Nominative

Old Norse had various plural nominative endings in masculine and feminine: -ar,  -ir, -ur, -r. In neuter there was a zero ending in the strong declension and the ending -u in the weak one. All this is narrowed down to 3 endings in Norn: -ar, -er and the neuter zero ending. The weak neuter declension has apparently borrowed the ending -er, see below jogers.

drengar < drengar (also drengir), sg. drengr
de Kletters < klettar, klettr
de Engers < engjar, eng
vister < vistir, vist
ilsker < ilskur, ilska
klør, sg. klø < kljár, sg. klé
ger (*kør, kyr) < kýr, sg.
jogers (*joger) < augu, sg. auga; cf. Far. pl. eygu, eygur

A.1.2.2. Genitive

The main genitive plural ending in ON was -a. It is quite well preserved in Norn, occasionally appearing in a slightly different phonetic form, f.ex. as -e:

dea-dumbvidlavoga < dymbildagavika, -daga-, Nom. sg. dagr
Hulmawater < hólmavatn; Hulmasjønn < hólmatjǫrn
Kollafirt < Kollafjǫrðr; Kollevo < Kollavágr; Kollefell < Kollafell; Kollerøn < Kollahraun, kollr
husamilla(n) < millum húsa; milla gorda < millum garða; skottamilliskrua < skotta milli skrúfa; s(j)usamillabakka < milli sjós ok bakka; millen fjella, Mella fjela < millum fella (fjalla); Milla hella < milli hella; Milla stakki (*Milla stakka) < milli stakka; Milla stena < milli steina; Milla vatna < milli vatna; Milja sanda < milli sanda

Gott a taka gamla manna ro < gott at taka gamalla manna ráð
de Emannasod < *eins-manna-sátr < eins-manns-sátr; cf. de Twegemanso < tveggja-manna-sátr; de Vjedemansso < veiðimanns/a-sátr.

In the last case we face the mixing of the endings for genitive sg. and pl. Logically it should have been *Emannsod, *Twegemann(a)o and *Vjedemann(a)o, but the outcome is opposite due to corruption.
According to the rule of vocalic contraction, the genitive plural ending
-a is usually dropped when the root ends in a vowel:

Sørett < sauðarétt
Millenor < millum á(a); (-r is pleonastic)

The genitive ending -na, proper to female and neuter of the weak declension shows up in few cases:

ornaskap < eyrna-, Nom.sg. eyra

A.1.2.3. Dative

The ON ending is always -um, which in Norn turned into -en (cf. the Faroese ending -um [ωn]):

Hwien < *í kvíum, Nom.sg. kví
Toften < í Toftum, tóft
De Nes(j)en < í Nesjum, nes
hwiden s(w)iglen < (með) hvítum seglum
Hulen < Hólum, hóll (or Hól(l)inn, see A.2.1.1)
Tuen < í þúfum, þúfa (or þúfan, see A.2.1.1)

A.1.2.4. Accusative

In neuter and feminine accusative plural had the same ending as nominative. In masculine it was equal to the nominative ending, but failed the final -r: Nom.pl. hestar, dalir, Acc.pl hesta, dali. Remains of this system are still to be found in Norn:

blura < blóra, Nom.pl. blórar
dimmodali < dimmu dali, *dimmudali, Nom.pl. -dalir

A.1.2.5. Summary

  Masc Fem Neu
N ar, er ar, er, r s. -, w. er
A a, i ar, er, r s. -, w. er
D en en en
G a a s. a, w. na

 

A.2. Definite declension (with the suffigated article)

A.2.1. Singular

A.2.1.1. Nominative-accusative.

a) Masculine
The mixing of nominative and accusative is evident where definite nouns are concerned, especially when a noun is followed by a (weak) adjective in accusative, e.g. pollin djuba which repeats the old accusative form pollinn djúpa, nominative pollrinn djúpi. We quote both accusative and nominative forms of the Old Norse archetypes, either separately (Acc. kollinn, Nom. kollrinn) or within the same word (eld(r)inn).

globeren < gláparin
de Fors(in) < forsinn
Hessen gula < hestinn gula (Acc), hestrinn guli (Nom)
slagi, slaga < ON slaga, slagi
Boens < boðinn (boði)
lavin < hleifinn (Acc), hleifrinn (Nom)
Stakken groiti < stakk(r)inn í grjóti, Stakken sjukka < stakkinn þjukka, Nom. stakkrinn þjukki
hogin/hogen; de Hogen < haginn
de Kollen [Kullen] < kollinn, Nom. kollrinn
de jaderin, jadren (jader) < jaðarinn
dene komene ljus [lusa] < daginn [dǫgun?] er kominn í ljós, Nom. dagrinn
ungadrengen < unga drenginn, Nom. ungi drengrinn
Klettin rø < klett(r)inn rauði
monin, Edm. monen < máninn
hildin < eld(r)inn
kjosen < kossinn
halsin < hálsinn
Pollin djuba < pollinn djúpa, Nom. pollrinn djúpi
ratsin < rassinn
simmen < síminn
Stenavellen; Vallernes
Hulen, Hulin < hólinn, Nom. hóllinn (otherwise treated as Dat.pl, see A.1.2.3.); Hulen brenda < hólinn brennda, Nom. hóllinn brenndi; Hulen hjoga < hólinn háa, Nom. hóllinn hái (Far. høgi); Hulna hwessa < hólinn hvassa, Nom. hóllinn hvassi (or Nom. plur. hólarnir hvǫssu, see A.2.2.1.); Hulen [hollen] kwida < hólinn hvíta, Nom. hóllinn hvíti; Hulen rundi < hólinn rundi; Hul(en) skarpa < hólinn skarpa, Nom. hóllin skarpi; Hulen (Ulna) stura [sturi] < hólinn stóra, Nom. hóllinn stóri
Tuen < þúfan (otherwise í þúfum, see A.1.2.3)

In several cases the old masculine ending -inn shows up in the shape of -a or -e. The conditions of this change are unclear, although it echoes a similar development of the feminine article in Norwegian dialects, cf. ON bókin > Nynorsk boka. Nevertheless, in Norn such cases are registered mostly in masculine. Probably this is an example of the ending -a spreading out as a universal ending of Norn, see f.ex. J.Jakobsen, "Etymological Dictionary...", "Fragments of Norn", p. XCIII, "Gryle verse" ("All the old grammatical endings in this verse have been levelled to -a, except in bjadnis <...>").

sagde kolle gambli [kolla gambla] < sagði karlinn gamli
spungna ligger i gliggan < spónninn liggr í *glygganum
modera handalos < maðr(inn) handalauss

b) Feminine
In feminine the blending of nominative and accusative is especially obvious. Most examples show strong declension which Old Norse endings were
-in (Nom.) and -ina/-na (Acc.). In Norn they show up as -en/in and -ena/-na respectively. The weak endings in Old Norse were -an and -una, in Norn they appear as -en/in and -ena respectively.

mørena grøna < mýrina grœnu, Nom. mýrin grœna; mørna kwida < mýrina hvítu, mýrin hvíta; Blomørna < blámýrrin/-ina
Gjona stura <  Acc. gjána stóru; Nom. gjáin stóra; Gjona wi' < gjána við
Ørna wi < eyrina við
Wona svarta < ána svǫrtu, áin svarta
Kusena stura < kǫsina stóru, kǫsin stóra

dongjin < dyngjan
skivin < skífan
de Sletten < sléttan
jilder hjolskin! < illa heilsa(n)
Grunkens < grunnkan
pirrena < pirruna (alternative interpretation: pirr-hœna)
Smina wi < smiðjuna við
Rivena høgena wi < rifuna hauginn við

c) Neuter
The Old Norse ending for nominative and accusative was
-it. In a few Norn words the final -t  is still on, but most often it is dropped. The vowel is presented as -i, rarely -e.

tungeflet/-it < tungufallit
darget (also darg) < darget
valne vatne < fallinn í vatnit
firsta fari! < fyrsta farit
sommere litla < summarit lítla
Røni fogra < hraunit fagra; de Berrarønis < berghraunit; de Fellarønis < fellhraunit; Hjogarønis < haugahraunit; Krogarøni < krák(u)hraunit; Langa-/Longarøni < langa hraunit.
seppalama (*-lami) < søta lambit
sjønibøsni < sjónar-bysnit

A.2.1.2. Genitive

a) Masculine, neuter
The masculine (and neuter) ending in Old Norse was
-ins. Preserved in Norn.

Holsinswart < halsins varða [-i]

b) feminine
In Old Norse The feminine ending was
-innar (strong) and -unnar (weak). In Norn the final -r is dropped, the double -nn- is shortened and the initial vocal -i- or -u- reduced, so the outcome is -na:

Wonaswartadal < árinnar-svǫrtudalr
Murnategs < mýrarinnar-teigar; de Mørnabrods < mýrarinnar-brotar? (or Celt. brod?; also treated as  mýranna-brotar, see A.2.2.2.)
Nipnafell < gnípunnar-fell (also treated as gnípna-fell, see A.2.2.2.)

A.2.1.3. Dative
a) The masculine
ending in Old Norse was -inum (strong) or -anum (weak)Norn has most often the ending -en or (respectively?) -an, i.e. the same as in accusative (see though the account on the language of Hildinakvadet where there still is a different ending).

gleggin, gleggan < glygginum, glygganum
ølt i riggen < ilt í hrygginum
Kletten rø < (á) klettinum [klettinn] rauða

b) Feminine
The Old Norse strong ending
-inni appears as -in in the only example we have found (see also an anological conclusion for the language of Hildinakvadet). No traces of the weak ending -unni have been discovered.

Møren < á/í mýrinni

No examples of dative definite in neuter (Old Norse -inu) are found either.

A.2.1.4. Accusative sg. masc. weak (strong covered above) -ann - Norn -an

agglovan < *agga-klofann, A.sg.def. of klofi
Tongan swarta < tangann svarta, tanginn svarti

Rivena-høgena-wi < rifan/rifuna-hauginn-við - a separate form which shows an influence from the feminine ending -ena.

A.2.2. Plural.

A.2.2.1. Nominative

a) masculine, feminine
In Old Norse both genders had the endings
-ar/-ir/-ur + -nir (masc.)/-nar (fem.). In Norn all these variants have merged into -erne (-ene) which must be a combination of nominative and accusative forms and is very typical for many continental Scandinavian dialects. A slightly different development is shown by donna < dyrnar, where -rn- follows straight after the root vowel.

visterne, visterno < vistirnar
Kletterne < klettarnir
Vallernes < vellirnir
Hulna hwessa < hólarnir hvǫssu (or hólinn hvassa, see A.2.1.1.)
oba donna [dønna, dønni]! < opna dyrnar!
boochsina < buksurnar (?)

b) neuter

de Lediens (ledi) < leitin Nom.pl. of leiti
de Rønins < hraunin, hraun
Ennins < ennin, enni
viln (vils) < vilin Nom. pl. of vil
de Gilins < gilin grœnu

There are few examples of the ending being -ena (-*eni, -*ini) which is the same ending as exists in Faroese and Danish, unlike the ending -in as in Old Norse:

Gilena grona (< *gilini) < gilin grœnu, Far. *gilini grønu
clovena < Nor. klov + in

The following word has formally no neuter plural article, but its final part (-in) does remind it, so that in Faroese and Danish it acquired the final vowel -e/i by analogy from the article. However, this did not happen to Norn:

sotskin < systkin, but Far. systkini, Dan. søskende

A.2.2.2. Genitive plural has a common ending for all 3 genders: -anna [-nanna]. In Norn it is normally preserved as -na, rarely -ena.

Midla jouna [jongna, jungna] < milli gjánna
Hwinarigger < kvíanna-ryggr
Hulnarift < hólanna-ript
Rivnateng < rifna-tangi
de Mørnabrods < mýranna-brotar (or mýrarinnar-brotar? see A.2.1.2.)
Nipnafell < gnípna-fell (or gnípunnar-fell? see A.2.1.2.)
Tegenavall (Tegnivaldjes) < teiganna-völlr
Husenvord (Husavord) < húsanna-varða

A.2.2.3. Dative
Unfortunately, no definite dative plural forms have been discovered.

A.2.2.4. Feminine and neuter names had identical forms for nominative and accusative plural. Accusative masculine in Old Norse had the ending -ana or -ina. In Norn these endings are merged into -ena or -na.

L(j)øgena grøna < lœkina grœnu, Nom. lœknirnir grœnu
Hulna hwessa < hólana hvǫssu, hólarnir hvǫssu
Tegena gronna [gronja] < teigana grinnu [grœnu?], teigarnir grinnu
Blettena/blekna grøna < blettina grœnu, blettirnir grœnu
Stakkena grona < stakkana grœnu, stakkarnir grœnu

Summary. Singular

(s. - strong, w. -weak, sw. - both strong and weak)

  Masc Fem Neu
N sw. en/in, a sw. en/in s. i(t), w. ?
A s. en/in, w. an sw. ena/na s. i(t), w. ?
D s. en, w. an s. en, w. ? ?
G s. ins, w. ? s. na, w. na? s. ins?, w. ?

Plural

  Masc Fem Neu
N erne erne, na in(i?)
A (e)na erne, na in(i?)
D ? ? ?
G (e)na (e)na (e)na

 

B. ADJECTIVES

B.1. Strong adjectives

The repertoire of various grammatical forms presented by strong adjectives is quite scarce. The following forms only have been registered: Nom.sg.masc/fem/neu, Acc.sg.masc., Dat.sg.masc, Nom.pl.masc (?), Gen.pl. and Dat.pl.

B.1.1. Singular nominative. Like with masculine names, adjectives in Old Norse had the masculine nominative singular ending -r but only few instances of this ending are found in the remnants of Norn:

naber [nabel] < knappr
uvolter [uvolt, uvilt] < óðvilltr (?)

The rest of adjective forms have this ending dropped and thus coincide with the old feminine form.

modera handalos < maðr(inn) handalauss
Mukkel/Mikkel Rø < mikil Rauðey; Rø stur < Rauðey stór
Grøni < grœn ey;
Grøntu < grœn tó/þúfa

In feminine the ending -a [-e] is sometimes present. Most likely it originates from the Accusative form (góða) or, alternatively, the weak Nominative form (also góða).

Sanday Stour [stura] < Sandey stór(a)
De vare [vera] gue ti < þat var góð tíð (Nom), Acc. góða tíð

B.1.2. Neuter ending in old Norse was -t. It is well preserved in Norn.

smutt < smátt, Neu. smár
uvart < óvart, óvarr
utoitleg(t) < óþýðligt, óþýðiligr

Sometimes the neuter form includes additional inserts:

mjoget < mjótt, *mjó-ótt

In a separate case the final -(t)t is eliminated altogether:

hwī ligǝrǝ hwī < hvítt liggr í hvítu

B.1.3. Singular accusative masc. In Old Norse the ending is -an, in Norn it is preseved as -en in those few examples where it still can be traced:

goden dag! < góðan dag!

B.1.4. Singular dative. Like with the dative plural of nouns, the old ending -um shows up as -en.

hwiden s(w)iglen swerten tro < (með) hvítum seglum, svǫrtum þræði

B.1.5. Plural nominative:

ungadrengar < contamination of Acc. unga drenga and Nom. ungir drengar (?) Otherwise it might be influenced by an alternative form ungadrengen < unga drenginn or, more likely, be a reflex of a weak form: ungu drengar (see B.2).

B.1.6. The only surviving Genitive plural form is gamla < gamalla (assimilation of the standard Gen.pl. ending -ra, which changes to -la after -l-):

Gott a taka gamla manna ro < gott at taka gamalla manna ráð

B.1.7. Plural dative. Same as B.1.4.

hwiden s(w)iglen swerten tro < (með) hvítum seglum, svǫrtum þræði

 

B.2. Weak declension

B.2.1. In a number of cases adjectives are preserved in their old weak form. All occurences of this type show the masculine ending -i:

dummi < Fær. dummi,dummur/dumbur, Nor.dumm
bolleti < bǫllótti, bǫllóttr
huketi < hókótti, hókóttr
kruketi < krókótti, krókóttr
mirki < myrki, myrkr
keremi < kæri minn, kærr
kluki < klóki, klókr

Some of these adjectives appear as substantivated nouns:

halti < halti, haltr
hardi < harði, harðr
rødi < rauði, rauðr
smjongni < (hinn) smeygni, smeyginn

B.2.2. Weak adjective with an indefinitive substantive (widespread among toponymes). In the case of feminine nouns, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the old strong Accusative singular form and the weak nominative singular one, which had the same ending -a in Old Norse (see B.1.1.).

longafloga < langa fluga
de Longegø < langa gýgr
Grønablett < grœna blett, grœni blettr; Gronastakk/Gronistakk < grœna stakk, grœni stakkr, Grønitong/Gronateng < grœna tanga, grœni tangi
Kwidamørr < hvíta mýrr; Hwidanes, Kwidanes < hvíta nes; Hwitiberg < hvíta berg; Hwita-/Kwitastakk < hvíta stakk, hvíti stakkr
Brattikom < bratti kambr; Rongakom < ranga kamb, rangi kambr; Mukla Kom < mikla kamb, mikli kambr; Litla Kom < litla kamb, litli kambr
de Longemi < lǫngumið
Ruøy stoura < Rauðey stóra
Øje gamla < iða gamla
de Gamlabuls/Gamlibøls < gǫmlu ból; Gamla hellek < gamla hella
Hjoganip < høga gnípa (?)
Tjongi longi, Longatonga < tangi(nn) langi, tanga langa
sota [soti] lamb! < sœta lamb!

In the original weak forms consonantal inserts occasionally occur:

groga < gráa, grár, cf. Anglo-Saxon græg
 

B.2.3. Weak adjective with a definitive substantive. Most of the forms show the ending -a. The masculine Nominative ending -i is rather rare (gambli, rundi), the plural and feminine indirect ending -u is replaced with -a in most examples except dimmodali < dimmu dali (see a similar development in genitive feminine of substantives, A.1.1.2.2.).

sagde kolle gambli [kolla gambla] < sagði karlinn gamli
Stakken sjukka < stakkinn þjukka, Nom. stakkrinn þjukkr
seppalama < sœta lambit (?)
sjolin sjota < sálin sœta
ungadrengen < unga drenginn, Nom. ungi drengrinn
Gjona stura < gjáin stóra; Acc. gjána stóru
Blettena/blekna grøna < blettina grœnu; Dalin grøna < dalinn grœna, dalrinn grœni; Fidna grøna < fitina grœnu, fitin grœna; Ljøgena grøna < lœkina grœnu, lœkirnir grœnu; Mørena grøna < mýrina grœnu, mýrin grœna; Stakkena grona < stakkana grœnu,stakkarnir grœnu; Tona grona < tóna grœnu, tóin grœna; Gilena grona < gilin grœnu, Far. gilini grønu
Hellena kwida < helluna hvítu, hellan hvíta; Hulen kwida < hólinn hvíta, hóllinn hvíti; Mørna kwida < mýrina hvítu, mýrrin hvíta
Gorsten stura < garðstaðinn stóra, garðstaðrinn stóri; Hulen stura < hóllinn stóri;
Vadlin/Vallin stura < vaðilinn stóra, vaðillinn stóri;
Hessen gula < hestinn gula, hestrinn guli
Hulin rundi < hóllinn rundi
sommere litla < summarið litla;
L(j)øgena grøna < lœkina groenu, lœknirnir grœnu
dimmodali < dimmu dali(na)

B.2.4.  Because of vocalic contraction in Norn a number of adjectives ending in a vowel (or the original -ð-) does not allow us to detect exactly whether it is an old strong or weak form:

Klettin rø < klettinn rauða, klettrinn rauði; (undir) klettinum rauða
Rø hedler < rauðr [rauði?] hellir (Fo)
Hellena gro < helluna grá(u), Nom. hellan grá(a)
 

B.3. Comparative and superlative degree

B.3.1. Comparative degree. The older endings -ri and -ra are preserved, apart from the ending -er which must have been borrowed from Scots, despite the Old Norse form betr which also should have given the ending -er.

Øtra/Hemra Nip < ytri/*heimari gnípa
Sudra Kidn < syðri kinn
ettri < eptri,aptari
better < betr, L.Sc./Eng. better
Øver/Neder Sund < øfra/neðra sund
de øter/inner Kinnens < ytri/innri kinn
de hemer/framer Sedek < *heimara/fremra sæti or *heimari/fremri seta

Adverbial paradigm:

hema - hemer - hemest < *heima - *heimari - *heimast

B.3.2. Superlative degree

Hostanup < hæsti gnúpr
i mirkastim hura < i myrkastum 'hour' ('in the darkest hour'); see comments by J.Jakobsen on this form in his "Etymological Dictionary...", p. CXVI.
 

C. PRONOUNS

C.1. Personal pronouns

1. sg.: Nom. ek < ek, Acc. mog < mig:
ek ska(l) skjera < ek skal skera
æve rigrive mog < (ek) efa(sk) (at þú) hrygghrífir mik

2. sg.: Nom. du, Acc. dig,dok < þig, Gen. din < þín, Dat. djer. Like in Old Norse, the nominative form can be used in the imperative form of a verb, cf. ON halt þú > haltu:
Shetland Scots looks-to! < look + tu (< þú)
Shetland Scots haltu dog at djer < haltu (þik) at þér (double recirpocal form)

3. sg.: Nom. hann, haņņa
hanna daga < hann dagar


2.pl.: Nom. di < þit/þér?, dor < Fær. tygur; Gen. dor(a) <
Goden dag til dor(a)! < góðan dag til yðvar
Shetland Scots kwar'r dor gaun? where are you going?

C.2. Possessive pronouns

1. sg.: mi,mit
lammit < lamb mitt
keremi < kæri minn

2. sg.: dit, det

C.3. Demonstrative pronouns

Shetland Norn der < þat er
it(t)a, jada < þetta, masc. þessi, Fær. neu. hetta

C.4. Indefinite and interrogative pronouns

marg; neu. mart(a) < margr, margt
kwar, sing.neut. kwart < hvert (uppo kwart ura < uppá hvert eyra) or kwat < hvat: kwat a ita? kwat e jada? < hvat er þetta?
 

D. NUMERALS

D.1. Cardinal numerals

de Emannasod < *eins-manns-sátr; de Twegemanso < *tveggja-manna-sátr
fire,føre < fjórir, Far. fýra '4'
trettin < þrettan '13'
fjomtena, fjumtan < fimmtán '15'
seks < sex; cf. sekserin,seksærin < sexæringr
tretti < þrjátíu '30'

D.2. Ordinal numerals

firsta fari!  second anari! < fyrsta farið, annað! ('1st', '2nd')
trid < þriði '3d'
(tiind < tíund 'tithe' in bot(is)tiind)
trettind < þrettándi '13th'

E. VERBS

E.1. Indicative

E.1.1. Present. The system of endings in the present seem to be the same as in Faroese: 1.sg -e, 2,3.sg -er,-ar, pl. -a. In many instances the final -r in 2,3.sg is dropped, most probably when the next word begins in a consonant.

1. sg.
æve rigrive mog < (ek) efa(sk) (at þú) hrygghrífir mik
3. sg.
ligga, liger < liggr
siter < sitr
seve < sefr,søfr
leka < leikr
hanna daga < hann dagar
kaller < kallar
3.pl.
wakna < vakna
gonga, gonge, gongera < ganga
honge < hanga

Preterito-present verbs:
1,3 sg.
skal skal, skall, skar < skal
Shetland Scots who æs it? < hver á þat?
2.sg.
sal du < skalt þú
1.pl.
skola < skulum
 

E.1.2. Past. In some cases the respective infinitive form is also mentioned after the past form.

E.1.2.1. Strong verbs

gret, grot < grét, gráta
wann, winn < vann, vinna
strød/strøded, strø < streyði(?), streyja
lep/loped, lop < hljóp, hlaupa
gat, get < gat, geta
dret, dräit < dreit, dríta
strok < strauk, strjúka
skrē < skreið, skríða
kom < kom

E.1.2.2. Weak verbs. Once again, the endings are practically the same as those of Faroese: -e in sg., -u [-e] in pl.

sagde kolle/a gambli/a < sagði karlinn gamli, segja
sokketu < sóktu/sóttu, sækja
vogede < vǫktu
rude < *róðu/reru, róa

E.2. Imperative

Preserving the old imperative, Norn shows a tendency to add a vowel if the imperative did originally not have it, cf. kome < kom, ria < ríð. Either it is the result of a levelling influence from weak verbs or it is just the infinitive used in the imperative meaning.

trivi < þríf í!
Halt < halt
tak < tak
kome < kom
gera so! < gera svá!
klapa < klappa
ria < ríð
ræn(na) < renn

A number of forms have preserved the old Old Norse imperative particle -tu which originates from the personal pronoun 2.sg. þú:

høredu < heyr þú, heyrðu
Shetland Scots looks-to! < look + tu (< þú)
Shetland Scots (or Norn?) haltu dog at djer < haltu (þik) at þér (double recirpocal form)

E.3. Subjunctive

twit se dee! < tvít sé þér!
welawirdi < vel verði þér, Fær. væl verði tær!
twiti var dee! < tvítt veri þér! twiti varg dee! < tvít verði þér! (?), Fær. tví vorði [vorti] tær
I ver vi dee! < ek veri með þér! probably mixed with Eng. I wish I were here (?)

E.4. Infinitive.

Infinitives of the verbs listed in Jakobsen's dictionary normally have a zero ending according to the rules of English/Scots. However, the Scandinavian infinitive ending -a is still preserved in a few obscure forms apart from a number of forms from the Norn texts.

ek ska(l) skjera < ek skal skera
skottamilliskrua < skotta milli skrúfa
tia,tiæ < þegja, Far. tiga

E.5. Present (active) participle

The original ending is preserved only in a few forms. In the most of cases the Scots ending -in/en is used instead.

driljandi < drillandi
gemsina < gemsanda, Gen.pl. of gemsandi
gløen < glóandi

E.6. Past (passive) participle

In some cases the respective infinitive form is also mentioned after the participle.

E.6.1. Strong verbs

groten, grot < grátinn, gráta
sukken, sukk < sokkinn, sǫkkva
dritten, dräit < dritinn, dríta
teke < tekit
halden < haldinn
voksen < vaxinn
smjongni < hinn smeygni
fonn < fundinn, but:
hjogfinni < haugfundit?
nomin < numinn
boren < barinn
lopen [lupen], lopa < hlaupinn, hlaupa
upplopen < upphlaupinn
wantriven < *vanþrifinn or rather L.Sc. wanthrivin?
dene komene ljus [lusa] < dagar [dǫgun?] kominn í ljós
valne vatne (FO fadlin) < fallinn í vatnið
vanvordin, vanvurden < vanvorðinn
runnin < runninn

E.6.2. Weak verbs

Hulen brenda < hóllinn brenndi
lengdi < lengðir
teldar < taldar Fem.pl.
run, rin < hruninn, hrynja
uppadoga < uppidagaðr
vandet < vandaðr
supet < sópað
hoitted, -et < háttaðr

E.7. Middle voice

helsk < helsask (?)
pinnis < pínask (?)
 

 
 

  Latest updates:

  - 'Shetland Nynorn tutorial' updated (lessons 10-12 added)
  - 'Shetland Nynorn tutorial' updated (lessons 6-9 added)
  - Forum opened
  - 'Nynorn texts' updated
  - 'Caithness Norn' uploaded
  - 'Orkney Grammar' and 'Orkney's Lord Prayer' uploaded
  - 'Orkney' and 'Shetland dialects' uploaded
  - 'Terminology' uploaded
  - 'Language of Hildina' uploaded
  - 'The Ballad of Hildina' uploaded
  - 'Phonetics of Shetland Norn' uploaded
  - 'Phonetics of Orkney Norn' uploaded
  - 'Grammar of Nynorn' uploaded
  - 'Texts quoted by Edmonston&Jakobsen' uploaded
  - 'Nynorn dialects' uploaded
  - 'Nynorn dictionary' uploaded
  - 'Introduction into Nynorn' and 'Simple texts' uploaded

 

 

     
 

   ©2006-2016 Hnolt