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NORN KJOKL • View topic - Kråka's word laboratory

NORN KJOKL

The Orkney & Shetland Norn Forum
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:41 am 
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Hi Rogapl :)

Shetland Nynorn HAND is pronounced /hanʲd/ due to palatalization (more about palatalization: ). "hanjd" is not the final orthography for hand (as it has been discussed somewhere on the forum before I think), and the latter should be used. Hnolt, tell me if I'm wrong.

As for the morphological change from O.N. hönd to (Ny)norn hand, it can be seen in most continental Scandinavian dialects : Swedish and some Norwegian dialects have hand, while Danish and other Norwegian dialects have hånd. O.N. hand is also recorded in Cleasby/Vigfusson Icelandic-English dictionary. This change may be due to phonological mutation, or assimilation with case inflections (hönd becomes handar in Gen. Sing. and handa in Gen. Pl.). Note also that in modern Icelandic, hönd (nom./acc. sing.) is sometimes (wrongly) replaced with hendi (dat. sing.).

In all languages, old words are the ones who suffer the most from phonological/morphological changes. The other day, my Icelandic teacher told me about the word kýr ("cow") which most Icelanders do not decline correctly, using forms that do not exist in "proper" Icelandic. The same process may have taken place in other Scandinavian languages where kýr has become ku (kú being acc./dat. sing. for kýr) . I'm no expert in linguistics, but I assume that a similar process may be the reason for hönd becoming hand in some Scandinavian languages.

Hope it helps :)


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:56 pm 
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Hi Kråka

Thank you for your explanation as to how hönd in Old Norse eventually became hand in Nynorn, and that hanjd is the palatalized pronunciation of hand in Shetland Norn. It is fascinating how words have changed through palatalization, umlaut and i-mutation from Proto Germanic to Old Norse and then into morphologically distinct but related words in modern Scandinavian languages, Icelandic, Faroese, Norn and Nynorn. In English the same types of changes can be observed between Old English, Middle English and modern English. I am looking forward to the next entry in your word laboratory.

Rogapl


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 2:32 pm 
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In Shetland Nynorn hand is pronounced [hænjd/hänjd], see http://nornlanguage.x10.mx/index.php?nynorn_dial.

Old Norse had hǫnd which developed into Icelandic hönd, Faroese hond, Danish hånd, while Norwegian dialects show different forms. Originally it came from Proto-Norse handu-, where -u made a change to ǫ (u-umlaut):

http://nornlanguage.x10.mx/index.php?term#uml

As it seems, u-umlaut wasn't as widespread in Orkney and Shetland (same is true about Denmark and Sweden), very few traces of it, probably because it was the latest of all umlauts, and it was not completed by the time when Norsemen discovered Shetland and Orkney:
http://nornlanguage.x10.mx/index.php?general, p. 3.3.1.

So those Scandinavian languages which preserve hand, have got the original form, not "spoiled" by u-umlaut.


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 9:22 am 
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Thanks Hnolt! I knew umlauts (or the absence of umlauts in this case) had something to do with that but I'm terrible at it! So I thought I'd just let you handle that part :P I need to work on it though.

New stuff coming very soon, but Hnolt, can you go through my list of hand-related expression and tell me what you think? It's not complete and might need some rectifications.


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:13 pm 
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Hi Kråka
With regard to your list of hand words. You should indicate the gender of the nouns. Hand is likely feminine, and also Handtask : handbag and Handbuk : handbook but some of the cognates may be masculine such as Handverksmann. Other compounds are likely neuter such as Handkleð : towel , Handgrip : grip/handle. In Faroese there are some words that are variations of hand eg handil (-s, handlar),nm. trade, business and the compound handilsmadur m. business man in Faeroese. A possible Norn word might be handilsmann nm.
Rogapl


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:06 pm 
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You're right, I forgot about gender. I use such words everyday at uni and it's become quite natural so I don't really think about it anymore. In my version of Orkney Nynorn however, I decided to get rid of masculine and feminine and replace them with a "common" gender, like in most widespread Norwegian dialects where these two tend to merge, Swedish and Danish. So hand would be common. As would task, mann, buk ect.

Anyway, here's another word I'd like to share with you. It isn't a pure Norse word, but rather a borrowing from Gaelic that's been a part of Orkney vocabulary for quite a long time, and was featured in Marwick's "Orkney Norn".

Megg [mɛg] c

The flipper of a seal.

The word descends from Gaelic màg "a soft, plump hand, a paw", in Orkney (and Shetland) the word has a similar meaning, but was also used to describe, more precisely, the flipper of a seal. Having (in my opinion) enough words for "paw", I think we should give it the mere meaning "flipper of a seal".

I'm still not sure about the orthography of the word. As "g" is dropped in Orkney Norn when at the end of words ("gooanda" for guðan dag), I decided to give it a supplementary "g". I'd like to hear your opinions about it.

Example of use :
Meggana hans ver(ð)a svarta [ains/ens] og/sinn søt, kruppən hans hvit [ains/ens] og/sinn drift.

Scots original : His megs sall a' be black as seut, His croopan white as driven snaw.

PS : Rogapl, handilsmann is a great + very useful Nynorn word ;) I added it to my dictionary!


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:40 am 
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Hi Kråka

Some comments on the etymology of meg and megg
The Nynorn dictionary based on the Etymological dictionary of the Norn language volume 11 has the following definition of megg
megg nn. 1. doubtless strength; 2. ability; 3. good condition; 4. well-developed state
Peter Petterson in his glossary of Old Swedish has the following entry for meg as the root of megin.
megin
• 'strength, power' neut. a-st. ; stem meg(i)n- – dat. megn-i
As you have indicated Hugh Marwick in The Orkney Norn has the definition of meg as
paw of an animal but specifically flipper of a seal.
Gregor Lamb Orkney Wordbook also defines meg as
paw of an animal or flipper of a seal. [Sc maig;
Gael mag]

I believe you should retain the orthography of meg rather than megg to avoid confusion with the use of megg which I have indicated as a Nynorn word for ability in my revisions for the English – Nynorn dictionary.
The gender of megg in Shetland Nynorn is neuter.
As for the question of using common and neuter gender in Orkney Nynorn that would be in agreement with the mainland Scandinavian languages but is counter to gender assignment in the Insular Scandinavian languages Icelandic and Faroese. In Old Norse, Icelandic, Faroese and Shetland Nynorn, as you know, the convention is to use 3 genders. However I notice that gender is not indicated for any substantives i.e. nouns listed in Jacobsen’s Etymological dictionary of the Norn language. Gender was certainly used in the original Norn language but by the time Jacobsen compiled his dictionary of Norn published in 1928 the use of gender for nouns had been not remembered or discontinued. There were no unilingual Norn speakers in the early 20th century but many Norn words were used in Shetland and Orcadian insular Scots dialects composed of Norn and Scots. Gender is not indicated for any nouns in Shetlandic dialect dictionaries such as Shetland words by Alastair and Christie-Johnson when they refer to words of Norn origin. I think we need clarification from Hnolt and others on the question of whether we should retain in Nynorn the 3 gender system of m, f and n, a 2 gender system of common and neuter or no gender assignment.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:48 pm 
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I've had a look at Kråka's list of expressions and I didn't agree with everything, but I have to research it better. At the moment I'm compiling the existing Nynorn-English dictionary into a database (whenever I have time to), so I can't comment on particular words/expressions until that is done. It would make my job much easier if you gave more info about the origin of each suggested expression, cause sometimes it is missing. I also think it would be better if you joined our effort to build up a proper Nynorn-English/English-Nynorn dictionary - after I'm done with the database, which will probably take me one month more. Obviously, we don't need to be doing 2 different dictionaries for Orkney and Shetland Nynorn (except casual dialectal differences), it will be the same vocabulary just with different spellings. We have a list of 4000 most frequently used English words and our task is to create their Nynorn translations, in order to make a proper up-to-date Nynorn dictionary. After that we can concentrate on broadening it further, filling with words like "handgranat" that are not in the top of the wishlist.

Answering now to Rogapl's post about gender - the only way to find it out is to compare words under question with Old Norse/Faroese/Icelandic. Jakobsen's dictionary doesn't list genders, just because these words were taken not directly from Norn, but from Shetland dialect of Scots, which is gender-free, so gender (and grammatical class) is to be reconstructed.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:00 pm
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Location: Paris
Hi Hnolt, I'd love to contribute in the translation of such a list... but where is it? If we're to work together, we need to be aware of such projects :/ can you send me the list of words that haven't been translated yet so hopefully I might be able to help you?

I'm working on the reconstruction of gender in Orkney Nynorn, and I have a couple of suggestions. I'll write it all down properly and post it on the forum asap.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:48 am 
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Location: Arizona & Manitoba
Hi Kråka
I am working on part of the English-Nynorn dictionary, the A to G words. Ljun and I have completed the A words. I have a draft of the B words ready to review and am now working on C words. I would welcome your assistance.


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