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Norreyna again (long-ish)

From:Dan Jones <feuchard@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 21, 2001, 14:44
Due to a widespread frenzied clamour (well, Aidan asking quite politely) I'm
posting a grammar of Norreyna.

1. Orthography and Pronunciation

1.1 Consonants

b   /b/, aspirated, like English
c   always /k/, also aspirated
c'  /tS/. Should properly be written as a c with a dot on top.
d  /d/ dental, aspirated
f   /f/
g  always /g/, aspirated
g'  /dZ/. Should properly be written as a c with a dot on top.
h   /h/, in some dialects is silent
l  /l/, always clear, never velarised
m  /m/
n  /n/
ng  /N/
p  /p/ aspirated
r  /r/ a trill
s  always /s/
sh  /S/
t  /t/ dental, aspirated
th /T/
w /w/
y  /j/

1.2 Vowels
a  /a/
ae /&/ (rare)
e  /E/
i  /i/
o  /o/
oe /9/
u  /u/
y  /@/
yr  /vocalic r (don't know the SAMPA)/
yl  /vocalic l/
ym  /vocalic m/
yn  /vocalic n/

1.3 Diphthongs
ay /aj/
ey  /ej/
oy  /oj/

2. Nouns
2.1 Nouns do not have gender. I was toying with the idea of collapsing ON neuter
and masculine into one and then having a dual gender system, but the
declensions for both genders turned out the same so analogy came into play and
Norreyna nouns follow natural, not grammatical gender.

2.2 Norreyna nouns distinguish two numbers and three cases- singular and plural,
nominative, genitive and oblique. There are three declensions- nouns which
change their vowel in the plural make class 1, class 3 nouns are the old
r-stems and all the rest are lumped together in class 2. Below are three
examples: lan "land", nod "poverty" and fadyr "father"

          1               2                   3
nom.   lan             nod              fadyr
gen.    lans            nodys           fadyr
obl.     lane            node            fadyr

nom.    lonyr          nodyr           fedyr
gen.    lona            noda            fedra
obl.    lono            nodo            fedro

The d in in the oblique plural is an irregularity. ON -nd- normally becomes -n-,
but not before o or u.

All those given above are "common" (threylisc) or monosyllabic nouns. Nouns which
are polysyllabic in the nominative singular are "noble" (yarlisc). Noble nouns
syncopate their final vowel before adding the plural case endings- the
nominative plural of hayden "Pagan" is haydnyr, not haydenyr.

Note that it could be said that there only two declensions, r-stems and the rest.
It just happens that some have vowel changes in the plural. The r-stems
themslves are coming more and more to be regularised into the second
declension, forms like broedyrs and breydryr are found instead of the more
correct broedyr and breydyr.

2.3 The nominative is used for the subject and object of a sentance, the oblique
is used after all prepositions and for the indirect object. The genitive in
analogous to the English posessive and the German "saxon genitive"

2.4 Adjectives and nouns are treated the same and decline the same. An
adjective is in concord with its noun, and generally comes before the noun.

3. Articles
Norreyna has two articles, the definite and the indefinite:

          def.            ind.
nom.    en              an
gen.     ens            ans
obl.     eni             ani

nom.    enyr          anyr
gen.    ena            ana
obl.    eno            ano

The articles always come first in a noun-phrase.

4. Pronouns
4.1 Personal Pronouns
        subject         dir. object     ind. obj        possesive
1s      ec              mec             mey                min
2s      thu             thec            they                 thin
3sm    say             than            tham              thes
3sf     so              thay            thar                 thara
3sn     tha             tha             thi                   thes
3ref    -               sec             sey                  sin
1p      wey             os              os                 wayra
2p      ye            yo                yo                   yara
3p      tho             tho             tham               thara

4.2 Interrogative Pronouns
                     subj.   dir. obj         ind. obj         poss
animate         cwer    cwenyr         cwam            cwess
inanimate       cwa     cwa             cwam            cwess

5.1 Verbs
5.1.1 Norreyna has two "classes" of verbs, strong ang weak. The person endings for
all verbs are the same, but the strong verbs change their stem vowel with tense
(no, I'm sorry Padraic, I can't cope with *seven* conjugations. Two of the
bastards is enough!)

5.1.2 Norreyna only inflects for two tenses, past and present, and only one mood,
the indicative. Other tenses and moods are expressed with auxilliaries, like in

5.1.3 The sample verbs calla "to call" and gefa "to give" are shown conjugated below:
               calla (wk)            gefa (str)
        1s    calla                    gef
        2s    callast                 gefyst
        3s    calle                    gefe
        1p    callom                 gefom
        2p    callyd                  gefyd
        3p    calla                    gefa
        1s    callad                   gaf
        2s    calladyr                gaft
        3s    callad                   gaf
        1p    callodom             gafom
        2p    callod                  gafod
        3p    callodo                gafo

The middle voice is sometimes found in set phrases, but is not productive: ec
callonc Osdom "I'm called Daniel" is as common as ec calla mec Osdom.

The strong verbs are derived in the main from the Seven Strong Conjugations of Old
Norse. The more common verbs became the Norreyna strong verbs, the rest
migrated to the weak conjugation.

5.2 Preterite-Present Verbs
These are the "modal" verbs- aya "to have", conna "to be able", thofyra "to need",
scula "shall", mona "will", meya "to be allowed", wilya "to want" and wera "to
be". The present tense forms of these verbs are given below.

aya: o, ot, o, ayom, ayod, ayo 
conna: can, cant, can, conom, conod, cono
thofyra: thafyr, thaftyr, thafyr, tharfom, tharfod, tharfo
scula: scal, scalt, scal, scolom, scolod, scolo
mona: mon, mont, mon, monom, monod, mono
meya: mo, mot, mo, meyom, meyod, meyo
wilya: wil, wilt, wil, wilyom, wilid, wilya
wera: em, ert, is, erom, erod, eru

5.3 Participles
Norreyna has two participles, the present and past. The present participle is formed by
adding -nd to the infinitive. Weak verbs form their past participle by adding
-d to the infinitive: calland, callad. Many srong verbs form their past
participles with -en: gefen, from gefa.

5.4 Compound Tenses
The perfect tense of verbs is formed with an auxiliary and the past participle.
The auxiliary is either aya or wera. If the verb is an intransitive verb of
motion, the auxilliary is wera: ec em comen "I have come". All other verbs have
aya as their auxiliary: we ayom callad thec "we've called you".

The future tense is formed with an auxiliary and the infinitive. The infinitives
are scula and mona. Scula implies neccessity or duty: thu ne scalt ay nida
"thou shalt not work evil". Mona has no such inference: ec mon coma "I will

6.1 Negation
Like French, Norreyna has a double negative, which "breackets" the verb. The
preceding element is "ne", and the following element is either "ay" or (more
forceful) ac'. Ec n'o ay thin bonad "I haven't got your stuff", ec n'o ac' thin
bonad "I DO NOT have your stuff!!".

There we go, a speedy outline of Norreyna. What do you think? Comments, criticisms,
questions, drinks are all very welcome!


Ka yokonáu iti báyan: "cas'alyá abhiyo".

Ka tso iti mantabayan: "yama zaláyá
alánekayam la s'alika, cas'alika; ka yama
yavarryekayan arannáam la vácika, labekayam 
vácika, ka ali cas'alyeko vanotira."
Dan Jones


Aidan Grey <frterminus@...>