polarn (polarn) wrote in learn_nordic,

spelling with é and spelling variants

(I'm posting for someone else. This is from the same book as this post: http://learn-nordic.livejournal.com/63626.html)

Note: If there are things I didn't understand one day, often the next day or day after that they suddenly make sense. So there may be updates to clean up confusing translations.

About é

Part 5

One generally writes é in such places as it is pronounced, ex. él, hér, héðan, fé, vér, vél, þér, hérað, hélt, féll, --

Still, the exceptions are these three:

1. When after g and k one shall write e and not é, ex. gefa, gera, geta, kenna, ker, kettlingur.

2. One shall write je in the plurals of (lýsingarhætti nútíðar) present-participle forms of nouns, when the infinitive ends in ja or (skiptast þá atkvæði á milli j og e) changes there at the syllable between j and e, ex. byggjedur, kveðjendur, rækjendur, seljendur, sækjendur, verjendur, þiggjendur.

3. In the beginning of nouns of foreign origin one shall write je, ex. Jens, Jerúsalem, Jesús.

Regarding variants of words, when spelling options are between é and in the same word when written, see section 41.


41: Variants (Dual-forms) / Tvímyndir

So it is called when a sound change has taken place in a word but both forms, older and younger, are still used in the language. (Er þá oftast önnur myndin algeng, en hinn sjaldgæf) There is often one form in the illustrated words that is common, and one rare. In high language it's good to be able to understand the rarer versions. Everyone finds ex. a difference between að leggjast á hnén (to lay on one's knees?) and falla á kné (to fall to your knees?). Still sometimes there are versions where both are used just as much, ex. fell and fjall, sátt and sætt, and sometimes there are differences in meaning, ex. gátt and gætt.

(Note: I don't know the difference between those last two, my dictionary says the same thing for both.)

In the following examples will be the illustrated words set first, as those are which to be regarded correct or commonplace in comparison.

1. Changed between ö and e or é
fjögur - fégur
kjöt - ket
mjöl - mél
smjör - smél
kvöld - kveld
kvörn - kvern
gera - gjöra. Closer to spoken language (pronunciation) is gera written, and so then one should also know how to write all words that are derived from gera, ex. gervallur, gervilegur, gerningur, and so forth.

In the verbs gróa, núa, róa, snúa the past-tense form has changed in this manner:
greri - gröri - gréri
neri - nöri - néri
reri - röri - réri
sneri - snöri - snéri

2. Changed between á and ó or æ:
gátt - gætt
sátt - sætt
nótt - nátt
spónn - spánn
bón - bæn

Thrice-changed forms may also come forth, ex:
sjór - sær - sjár
snjór - snær - snjár
mjór - mær - mjár
sljór - slær - sljár

3. Changed between e and i:
einbirni - einberni
einskifta - einskefta
kviðlingur - kveðlingur
missiri - misseri

4. Changed between e and é:
ég - eg (before eg it was jeg)
éta - eta

5. Changed between a and u:
ætlun - ætlan
myndun - myndan
huggun - huggan.

Feminine (gender) words of which there are many-fold, and all (dregin af) taken from infinitives. The older ending is an, and it's obvious to use that one which is better-known.
(Clarity note: use un, not an)

6. Changed between gn and n in the beginning of words:
naga - gnaga
nauða - gnauða
neisti - gneisti
nnipa - gnipa
nista - gnista
nógur - gnógur
núa - gnúa
núpur - gnúpur
nægð - gnægð
nægtir - gnnægtir
nötra - gnötra
In these words gn is older.

7. Changed between kn and hn:
hnappur - knappur
hnefi - knefi
hné - kné
hneppa - kneppa
hnippi - knippi
hnífur - knífur
hnúi - knúi
hnútur - knútur
hnýta - knýta
hnýti - knýti
hnöttur - knöttur
The older word-forms use kn.

8. Changed in various ways:
dagverður - dögurður
forað - foræði
forusta - forysta
honum - hönum
seytján - sautján
sviti - sveiti
telgja - tegla
tóft - tótt
tólg - tólkur
vesall - vesæll
vesöld - vesæld
vesalingur - veslingur
þófta - þótta
þröskuldur - þrepskjöldur, and such forms are undesired and (alrangt) entirely incorrect.
(Clarity note: These seem to be mixed up between which ones are correct modernly and not, ex. forusta is correct but so is sautján)

These examples show, that often there are around two ways to choose from, and one will from keen knowledge and taste, choose which ones to write.

Tags: icelandic

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