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Scandinavian languages, Danish, articles

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 19, 2003, 17:41
At 10:42 AM 8/19/03 +0200, you wrote:
>At 19:07 18.8.2003 +0400, Pavel Iosad wrote: > >>As for Danish, reading it is not an insurmountable task , > >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) Værelse I can understand the problem with. It looks like it ought to mean "being" and it really means "room." My Danish is incomplete enough that I had to look up væske og taske, but now I know what they mean. What makes these confusing for the Swedish speaker?
>It helps to know the correspondance rules between Swedish and Danish >orthography and between Danish orthography and pronunciation. >I have a paper treating the subject somewhere, and have been thinking >of making a webpage on the subject.
I'd certainly be interested in reading such a paper. Of course, most of the rules of correspondence between Danish orthography and pronunciation are things that I have internalized and now come automatically to me, but it would still be very interesting to see them laid out systematically. And I would be very interested in the correspondances between Danish and Swedish orthography.
>But Danish as spoken by Icelanders is a separate language called Isdansk! ;) >In fact they use it as an inter-Scandinavian IAL and most Icelanders >do consciously **not** strive for a good Danish pronunciation.
Maybe that's a good thing in some ways, if they want to be understood. Good Danish pronunciation is awfully blurry. I've never heard of "Isdansk" before. So I've learned something else new -- and am sitting here laughing at the name!
>At 12:58 18.8.2003 -0400, Isidora Zamora wrote: > >>Does anyone have any idea how the definitite and indefinite articles in >>Scandinavian languages arose? I have been wondering about this since my >>first week in Denmark. The indefinite article is transparent. It's simply >>the word for "one" with gender marking placed in front of the >>noun. Spanish and French do the same thing. > >Yes. > >>But how do you get a definite >>article by taking that selfsame particle and postfixing it to the >>noun? > >You don't. The indefinite article is cognate with English _yon/yonder_ >and German _jener_. Icelandic and Norwegian still have it as an >independent pronoun _hin(n)/hitt_, meaning "the other one".
Thank you very much for answering my question. I have been wondering about this for the last 13 years. Do you know when the definite and indefinite articles came into their present forms? Isidora


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
BP Jonsson <bpj@...>