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Lesson Six.

1. Irregular plural

In addition to the previously mentioned classes of substantive declension there is a small group of nouns which form their plural in a different (as they say, “irregular” way). This group belongs to the strong declension. To this group belong many common kinship terms:

fader (faðer Westside/Foula), moder, syster, dotter, son, bruder

Words are used in high style speech and have more colloquial equivalents/counterparts: påbi mw, mor, brui mw. instead of fader, moder, bruder respectively.

The following words do not change in the singular and have an umlaut in the plural wherever the root vowel allows it. The endings in plural are similar to those in the other classes of substantives. Mor 'mum' belongs to the same class and has the same plural as moder 'mother'.

Sg. Pl.
Nom. - Acc. Nom. - Acc.
fader – fader feder – feder
bruder – bruder brøder – brøder
son – son syner – syner
moder – moder møder – møder
mor – mor møder – møder
dotter – dotter døter – døter (NB single t!)
syster – syster systrar – systrar

The irregular class also includes the following words:

masculine: finger ‘finger’ (pl. finger), fud ‘foot’ (føder), mann ‘man’ (menn)
feminine: buk ‘book’ (bøker), nått ‘night’ (neter, NB single t!), gås ‘goose’ (geser), mus ‘mouse’ (møs), ku ‘cow’ (kør).

Exercise 6.1
Translate into Nynorn:

I have a father and a mother. Mothers love fathers and sisters love brothers. Nights are cold. Feet are long. Geese are seeing men.


2. Accusative of adjectives

In Nynorn the cases are proper/intrinsic/inherent not only to substantives. Adjectives and some other grammatical classes, such as pronouns, participles and certain numerals take them too. In this chapter we introduce the accusative form of adjectives (the nominative was covered in Lesson Three):

  Sg. Pl.
  Nom. - Acc. Nom. - Acc.
M. gul – gulan guler – gula
F. gul – gula gular – gular
N. gult – gult gul – gul

Notice that as in the case of substantives, adjective neuter and plural feminine forms do not distinguish between nominative and accusative.

Eg se sturan hest. Hun elskar blidan drenga. Vi finna ikke gula tasku. Du hever gott kast at gera dað. Hann ser fullan måna, hvitar sterner og brett hav. Der hava ung bånn og svarta hesta.
I’m seeing a big horse. She loves a kind boy. We don’t find a yellow bag. You have a good possibility to do that. He is seeing the full moon, a white star and the broad ocean. They (the women) have young children and black horses.

Exercise 6.2
Translate the following phrases into Nynorn:

I am placing a yellow cup on a white table. They are seeing young dogs and old birds. We are thinking about a big star. We are traveling over a green valley (dal m.s2.). They (M and W) are traveling over green valleys.

to place – at legga vw1
to think about – at tenka um vw2
valley – dal (m. s2)


3. Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns, which express ownership, can be divided into three groups:

a. min ‘my,mine’, din ‘your, thine (sg)’, vor ‘our’, dor ‘your pl.’
b. hans ‘his’, hennar ‘her’, dess ‘its’, derra ‘their’
c. sin ‘his/her/its/their own’

The words in group a. belong to the 1st and 2nd persons. They decline like adjectives, with a few exceptions for min ‘my’ and din ‘your,thine’:

1. In the accusative of masculine min and din stay unchanged.
2. In the neuter nominative and accusative min and din change to mitt and ditt respectively.

  Sg. Pl.
  Nom. - Acc. Nom. - Acc.
M. min – min miner – mina
F. min – mina minar – minar
N. mitt – mitt min – min

(din ‘yours’ and sin ‘his own’ decline accordingly).

Vor and dor decline like usual adjectives.

The pronouns in group b. belong to the third person. They are never inflected for case. These forms are actually the genitive forms of the respective personal pronouns (which will be covered in future lessons), and this is why they do not need to change any more.

As you will see later, the pronouns from the group a. descend from genitive forms of respective personal pronouns too. The only difference is that they have turned into independent words and started taking cases on their own.

The pronoun sin means ‘his/her/its/their own’. The difference between sin on the one hand and hans/hennar/dess/derra on the other can be best illustrated with the following examples:

Hann ser sin hest. He’s seeing his own horse
Hann ser hans hest. He’s seeing his (somebody else’s) horse
Hun kenner sitt atdriv. She knows her (own) business.
Hun kenner hennar atdriv. She knows her (somebody else’s) business.
Dir elska sina hesta. They (masc.) love their own horses.
Dir elska derra hesta. They (masc.) love their (somebody else’s) horses.

X kenner Y. Hann ser sin hest. Hann ser hans hest.
X knows Y. He’s seeing his (own) horse. He’s seeing his (Y’s) horse.

X og Y kenner Z og T. X og Y elskar sina hesta. X og Y elska derra hesta.
X and Y know Z and T. X and Y love their (own) horses. X and Y love their (Z and T’s) horses.

Vi tenka um vora ferd runt um Island. Eg kenni hans konu og derra bånn. De kenna etsa min bånn. Hun elskar sin bruder. Din son kenner ikke mina dotter. Dorer hestar rida øver voran voll. Miner foreldrar kenna ikke dinar systrar. De elskar derra hunda.
We are thinking about our trip around Iceland. I know his wife and their child(ren). They know my children too. She loves her (own) brother. Your son doesn’t know my daughter. Your horses are riding over our field. My parents do not know your sisters. They love their (somebody else’s) dogs.

Exercise 6.3
Translate into Nynorn:

My horses are going into your (of you=du) houses. My child is going into your (you=di) house. Her father knows my parents. I know their mother, but don’t know her sister. He is thinking about our dogs. They (M and W) find their (own) dog. My daughters love your (you=di) dogs. I’m giving you my book. You (sg.) are not thinking about your heart. He is not thinking about his (own) heart.


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