Re: Scandinavian languages, Danish, articles
|From:||BP Jonsson <bpj@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 9:03|
At 13:38 19.8.2003 -0400, Isidora Zamora wrote:
>>No. There are a few real bad false friends tho, like
>>rolig, værelse, væske, taske.
>What's wrong with rolig? (Of course, I had the opportunity to simply
>absorb all the semantics of this word by hearing it used very frequently in
>all sorts of different contexts)
It's just that _rolig_ for some reason means "funny" in Swedish
(while _orolig_ still means "anxious, restless"...)
>Værelse I can understand the problem with. It looks like it ought to mean
>"being" and it really means "room."
And Sw. _varelse_ actually means "being" (e.g. _rymdvarelse_ "space alien").
As for Swedish _väska_ it means the same as Danish _taske_, while
_taske_ sounds like Swedish _taskig_ "rotten, lousy, mean" (not to
venture into four-letter words...)
>Do you know when the definite and indefinite articles came into their
The definite article is still not found in viking-age runic inscriptions,
but was probably present in the spoken language. In 12th century texts
in Latin script the indefinite is already obligatory, but still clearly a
clitic with its own full inflection beside that of the head noun.
Icelandic still preserves this state of affairs, e.g. _hestsins_
"of the horse". The modern reduced forms of the definite (_hästens_)
are found in Swedish from around 1600, and about a century earlier in
Danish. The written language certainly lagged behind. The modern
indefinite developed gradually between the 12th and 15th centuries.
Icelandic still hasn't got it: _einn hestur_ still means "a single
horse" in Icelandic.
B.Philip Jonsson mailto:melrochX@melroch.se (delete X)
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