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NORN KJOKL • View topic - Letters of the alphabet

NORN KJOKL

The Orkney & Shetland Norn Forum
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:51 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:40 pm 
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I don't want to create too much bother here... But, may I ask if the voicelessness of letter ð and the conversion of þ > t is something strictly taken from Mainland Norse or from proper Insular Norse.. As far as I remember, in the short period when Greenland was colonized by Icelanders, there was such a limited use of letter t for þ.. Like in certain names (ex. Þórðarson > Tortarson, but Sikuaþssonr - Kingittorsuaq Runestone, Upernavik, Greenland). As per Faroese itself, þ and ð were still pronounced as in Icelandic surely around 1300 (Seyðabrævið - 1298; and I think the Húsavík Letters too - 1403/05)... I don't understand why using ON as vocabulary base, write þ > t and ð > d and then using ð... for ethymological purposes?

Another thing I found complicated is the lack of the "ending" -r (Far. -ur) in the nom. sing., which in the examples I saw in the Shetland Norn lesson is basically the same as the acc. sing., thus nom:'hest' acc:'hest' dat:'hesti' gen:'hests' > nom:'hester' acc:'hester' dat:'hestenon' gen:'hestsens'... How is then possible to distinguish between the two? Do we have to rely on word order? If so, why keeping cases?

Another thing that sums the two.. Let's take for example, the ON adjective 'góðr' (good) and the word guð (god). Reading the phonetic page, I must think that the first is going to be translated as *gud and the latter as *Gud... ethymology of the words hasn't changed, but now the two words have the same form...

How should we treat those cases? In Old English, up until the refomation that gave birth to 'th', þ and ð were almost interchangable (though Ð wasn't found, as in modern Icelandic), with the first one that was even found in the middle of some words (baþu < Proto-Germ. *baþą, Eng. 'bath'; brǣþ < Proto-Germ. *brēþiz, Eng. 'breath'), shouldn't we retain the same idea of using 'þ' for the dental fricative as other Insular Norse languages (before they were "polluted" by continental cognates)?? :roll:

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en so mykid j Hiatlande ad segs skillingar ok XL hrentadi leigan a huerium tolf manadum... ok þar til oll ol gogn sidan fyrir vttan kannur ok diska ok potta ok onnur elld gogn er hon mintisk ei huorsu morg voru (Húsavíkarbrøvini, 1403)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Just a quick reply to tokførari's questions:

1. Yes, ð is used for etymological purposes (as you could have figured it out from my above discussion with Klüver), see also http://nornlanguage.x10.mx/index.php?nynorn, p. 3.2.1.

2. It's not possible to distinguish between nom. and acc. in strong masculine declension in the same way as it's not possible to do it with neuter (of all sorts) and feminine plural. So this is not something totally unique. As the language of the Ballad of Hildina shows, the -(e)r ending dropped when Norn still was a living language, see examples at http://nornlanguage.x10.mx/index.php?shet_hild#a1. So even though there's a few words preserved (recorded by Jakobsen) that still keep this ending, it was decided to get rid of it in the Nynorn reconstruction. (Hest with the article is hesten, not hester.)

3. 'Good' is gud indeed, God = Goð, (Hildina Go), see http://nynornbible.weebly.com/wordlist1.html

4. We use 'ð' as a silent letter, and 'þ' - for the real occurrences of þ/ð, that are accepted for Orkney Nynorn: http://nornlanguage.x10.mx/index.php?nynorn_dial.
Sporadically this sound was also preserved in the dialect of Dunrossness, Shetland: http://nornlanguage.x10.mx/index.php?general#ork_shet


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:35 pm 
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en so mykid j Hiatlande ad segs skillingar ok XL hrentadi leigan a huerium tolf manadum... ok þar til oll ol gogn sidan fyrir vttan kannur ok diska ok potta ok onnur elld gogn er hon mintisk ei huorsu morg voru (Húsavíkarbrøvini, 1403)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Just coming back a little bit on the topic.
Letter å and o are being described as having the same value, what about the other ON vowels? Why having two kind of the same vowel (å - o / i - y), and not using æ (talking about ON vowel, notthe Far [ea]) or marking long vowels in case ofndoubts?

Sorry for the stupid questions, feel free to insult :P

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en so mykid j Hiatlande ad segs skillingar ok XL hrentadi leigan a huerium tolf manadum... ok þar til oll ol gogn sidan fyrir vttan kannur ok diska ok potta ok onnur elld gogn er hon mintisk ei huorsu morg voru (Húsavíkarbrøvini, 1403)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:23 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:24 pm 
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I would be in favour of a deep analysis on phonology, especially regarding vowels. It seems a bit un-practical to me to shrink the vast richness of the Scandinavian languages (both mainland and insular languages), considering what has been done until now. Especially concerning what it has been done with vowels.

We must admit that, Jakobsen - at the time he was writing his ethymological dictionary - was not properly in favour of an ethymologically based written laguage.
I have, for this reason, to recall you the first stages of the history of the written Faroese language, which was, at the time, still covered in fierce debate upon which kind of orthography to adopt. There were Jakobsen's and Hammershaimb's proposals and we all know that, in the end, for ethymological sake, luckily the latter was adopted for Faroese.

Jakobsen - I think - probably recorded Norn material according to his own orthography, the one that he used to write Faroese, which was not based on the ethymology of the words.

We now have Aa Ee Ii Oo Uu Yy Øø Åå, without distinction about vowels lenght and/or value, where Old Norse (and, consequently, Old Norwegian and Old Danish/Swedish) had Aa (long: Áá), Ee (long: Éé), Ii (long: Íí), Oo (long: Óó), Uu (long: Úú), Yy (long: Ýý), (long: Ææ - no short), Øø (long: Œœ / Ǿǿ), Ǫǫ (no long).
With nine basic vowel sounds (which, again, can be short or long, nasal or oral), it seems quite strange to me that this has been reduced to that proposed "alphabet".
Yet, I know, many times Hnolt said everything will be re-considered before editing the definitive version of this incredible work.

Going back to my footsteps: it is not so obvious that, ethymologically speaking, all the sounds might be considered by "stepping back" on vowels.
Oo in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish, for example, is uː and not as in Icelandic / Faroese.
Yy on the other hand is not Uu, but yː or ʏ.
And so on...

So, after having done a little bit of researches in this couple of months, this is what I got - regarding Norn phonology of vowels.
Sounds files are taken from Wikipedia, voice is not mine ;)
(x: denotes a long sound)

i: (Close front unrounded vowel) - Ii
ɪ (Near-close near-front unrounded vowel) - Ii

eː (Close-mid front unrounded vowel) - Ee
e (Close-mid front unrounded vowel) - Ee

ɛː (Open-mid front unrounded vowel) - Ææ
ɛ (Mid front unrounded vowel) - Ææ

ɑː (Open back unrounded vowel) - Aa
a (Open central unrounded vowel) - Aa

oː (Close-mid back rounded vowel) - Åå
ɔ (Open-mid back rounded vowel) - Oo

uː (Close back rounded vowel) - Oo
ʊ (Near-close near-back vowel) - Oo

ʉː (Close central rounded vowel) - Uu

yː (Close front rounded vowel) - Yy
ʏ (Near-close near-front rounded vowel) - Yy

øː (Close-mid front rounded vowel) - Øø
œ (Open-mid front rounded vowel) - Øø

"Shortened" sounds almost only occur preceding a group of consonants, just as it happens in Faroese:

Monopht. --- Long ----------- Short
i / y --------> hin [i:] --------> hitt [ɪ]
e -----------> frekur [eː] ----> frekt [ɛ]
ø -----------> høgur [øː] ---> høgt [œ]
u -----------> gulur [uː] ------> gult [ʊ]
o -----------> tola [oː] --------> toldi [ɔ]

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en so mykid j Hiatlande ad segs skillingar ok XL hrentadi leigan a huerium tolf manadum... ok þar til oll ol gogn sidan fyrir vttan kannur ok diska ok potta ok onnur elld gogn er hon mintisk ei huorsu morg voru (Húsavíkarbrøvini, 1403)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Speaking of phonology we first of all should concentrate on relations between sounds (or their abstract representations, AKA phonemes). Their phonetic realizations mostly belong to the scope of phonetics. Your proposals are of the *phonetic* nature too. We can't find *systematic* evidences for a slightly different quality of vowels in Nynorn depending on whether they're short or long. There are many languages where there's no significant phonetic difference in between, Icelandic being one of them. Yeah, we probably might pick up your idea of bringing in that Faroese system, but at the moment this is not the most urgent thing.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:12 am 
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en so mykid j Hiatlande ad segs skillingar ok XL hrentadi leigan a huerium tolf manadum... ok þar til oll ol gogn sidan fyrir vttan kannur ok diska ok potta ok onnur elld gogn er hon mintisk ei huorsu morg voru (Húsavíkarbrøvini, 1403)


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