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Re: R: Re: Icelandic umlauts.

From:Oskar Gudlaugsson <hr_oskar@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 27, 2000, 1:54
>From: Mangiat <mangiat@...> >Subject: R: Re: Icelandic umlauts. >Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 15:27:11 +0200
> > Umlauts in noun declension is, IMO, rather uninteresting. There are too >many > > irregularities for me to recount here. You can only really count on >there > > being u-umlaut after any 'u' and 'um' endings (but not 'ur', for the >same > > reasons as above). Generally, the i-umlaut is not particularly active in > > nouns, except in the masculine strong declension. For example, the > > declension of "köttur" 'cat', with the stem "katt": > >You said that -ur does not affect the stem, but you have katt+ur = köttur. >How's it possible? AFAIR, the ending in Old Icelandic was directly -r (OI >dagr > MI dagur), am I right?
The change you refer to is correct. I'm still not sure if it was an actual phonetic change, though. I often suspect that it may merely have been an orthographic change. But well, -ur sometimes affects the stem, sometimes not. As I said, umlaut is very irregular and "uncooperative" in noun declension. We have "katt + ur" = "ko"ttur", but also "hatt + ur" = "hattur". Generally, the umlauted words like "katt" are old and rooted in the language. New words are unlikely to follow this pattern.
> > Sing Plural > > nom köttur kettir > > acc kött ketti > > dat ketti köttum > > gen kattar katta > > > > Very enjoying for foreign students ;) ([with thick Icelandic accent] >"How >do > > you like Iceland so far...?" ;) ;) > >I was thinkning to have a round there, one of these years... obviously to >learn the language! One of my dreams is to come to live in Iceland, or at >least in Scandinavia. Finland looks really nice, my teacher of Maths said >it's the most beautiful place he's ever visited (he's surely a great >traveller: this summer he'll go to Poland, Cuba and Normandy...)
I once heard Finnish mentioned as the nr. 3 most-difficult-to-learn-language-in-the-world. Is there any truth in that. In any case, I'm sure you know that Finland is not, in a linguistic sense, part of "Scandinavia", if you're just interested in Nordic languages. Iceland vs Scandinavia makes a big difference in language-difficulty; Scandinavian languages have a simple morphology, pretty much like English (no personal verb-conjugation at all), while Icelandic, well, you know! And Scandinavian has hordes of familiar loan-words from French, English, and Graeco-Latin. What is generally most difficult in Scandinavian languages is pronunciation, perhaps especially in Danish. But then Icelandic pronunciation is not exactly easy either, what with unvoiced syllabics and pre-aspiration all-around! :)
>Thank you very much!
You're welcome, Luca, I really enjoy it :) ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at