Author Topic: Norse: unknown pronoun/demonstrative/determiner  (Read 8482 times)

Offline freknu

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Norse: unknown pronoun/demonstrative/determiner
« on: July 27, 2014, 02:48:13 PM »
This is aimed at lx in particular, but anyone is free to try and help me out.

Working on what I prefer to call "illustratives" (pronouns, demonstratives, determiners, definite article, etc.) I have run into a word that I cannot reliably connect to any related forms in any other Germanic language. Maybe it's out there and I just don't have the material, but I'm stumped at the moment.

The word is used together with the proximal/distal illustratives and the correct personal/demonstrative/definite illustrative to form constructs with the basic meaning of "such as this, this kind of".

The word is [tɒɽ], which could be spelled {þol} or {þorð}, but I'm absolutely unaware of any etymological possibilities. The meaning of the word could be something along the lines of "like, such, the, that".

þol han hjenn m. prox. [tɒɽ hɑn j̊ɛnː] reduced [tɒɽɑnjɛ(nː)~-ɛ̃] — ? he here
þol han þenn m. dist. [tɒɽ hɑn tɛnː] reduced [tɒɽɑndɛ(nː)~-ɛ̃] — ? he there

þol hon hjenn f. prox. [tɒɽ hon j̊ɛnː] reduced [tɒɽonjɛ(nː)~-ɛ̃] — ? she here
þol hon þenn f. dist. [tɒɽ hon tɛnː] reduced [tɒlondɛ(nː)~-ɛ̃] — ? she there

þol hit hjenn n. prox. [tɒɽ hit j̊ɛnː] reduced [tɒɽijɛ(nː)~-ɛ̃] — ? it here
þol hit þenn n. dist. [tɒɽ hit tɛnː] reduced [tɒɽidɛ(nː)~-ɛ̃] — ? it there

Examples:

in þol han hjenn boga — a bow of this kind, a bow like this
in þol hon hjenn bók — a book of this kind, a book like this
in þol hit hjenn hús — a house of this kind, a house like this

As for etymological and/or related forms, it could be related to the 3rd person plural pronouns, þeir þær þau, but the [-ɽ-] is refusing to let itself be desciphered. Historically it could stem from [l] or [rð], so either it's a unitary -l- from somewhere, or perhaps a final -r followed by a morpheme beginning with d-. I don't know why Old West Norse has -æ- in some places instead of -á- (seems as if PG. *z sometimes triggered i-mutation), but PG. *sa ("that") has the plural forms *þai *þōz *þō.

The masculine *þai certainly developed into ON. þeir, *þōz could have developed into þær (PG. ō → PN. ā, and allowing i-mutation from z). The neuter form is somewhat strange, but could possibly come from *þai-ō (innovated from masculine form with neuter plural suffix).

What is interesting is the PG. *þō- stem, which would have become PN. *þā- and then later þá or þó, with a shortening of the vowel which appears to be quite prevalent in my dialect.

However, I lack any credible evidence, and I still don't know where the -ɽ- is from!?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 02:50:35 PM by freknu »

Offline freknu

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Re: Norse: unknown pronoun/demonstrative/determiner
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2014, 08:18:08 AM »
I might just have cracked the enigma.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced it actually consists of two separate segments: the second segment being the proximal/distal constructions discussed earlier, and the first segment being þa lík (or þá lík) "that like"; cf. ON. þat 3SG-N from PG. *þat (pl. *þō).

Thus you get:

þa lík han hjenn/þenn — that like him here/there
þa lík hon hjenn/þenn — that like her here/there
þa lík hit hjenn/þenn — that like it here/there

The first part þa lík then contrats to þali [tɒɽi] after which it is reanalysed and inflected for gender:

þala an-stem m. — equivalent to þa lík han "that like him"
þalo ōn-stem f. — equivalent to þa lík hon "that like her"
þali unknown (maybe long ja-stem) n. — equivalent to þa lík hit "that like it"

Although þali is very frequently used for any gender.

It doesn't seem too far fetched.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 12:53:09 AM by freknu »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Norse: unknown pronoun/demonstrative/determiner
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2014, 03:51:33 PM »
Some kind of compound isn't unreasonable. This seems fairly common with determiners: "alot" (written that way often despite prescriptive norms), "hella" (Californian English for 'many', from 'a hell of a lot of').
The reason I think of that is because we just had a talk today on campus about Spanish 'algun-' which means something like 'some' and appears to be a combination of some element 'alg' with the indefinite article 'un-'. (Cf. algo 'something' and algien 'someone.)
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Offline freknu

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Re: Norse: unknown pronoun/demonstrative/determiner
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2014, 12:52:58 AM »
Considering something as common as någon, något "some, something" stems from *ne wait ek hwarjaz "I don't know what/which", it's probably not too strange to see dialects (peripheral ones at that too) either preserve or innovate other contractions from compounds/phrases.

The reason I think of that is because we just had a talk today on campus about Spanish 'algun-' which means something like 'some' and appears to be a combination of some element 'alg' with the indefinite article 'un-'. (Cf. algo 'something' and algien 'someone.)

Latin ali-quod sg. n. (alius, quī)? Equivalent to PG. *alja-hwat sg. n. (*aljaz, *hwaz), and PIE. *h2elyo-kwod sg. n. (*h2elyos, *kwos).

aliquod ūnum → algo uno → alg-uno → alg-o?
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 01:04:14 AM by freknu »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Norse: unknown pronoun/demonstrative/determiner
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2014, 09:53:36 AM »
Very interesting, on both etymologies, någon especially.
I think that's right for alguno, not entirely sure about algo. It might just be alg+AGR not the article.
(Also cf. aqua>agua in Sp.)
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Offline freknu

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Re: Norse: unknown pronoun/demonstrative/determiner
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2014, 12:11:53 PM »
Very interesting, on both etymologies, någon especially.

Old Norse -k- in some environments softened to -g- in Swedish, so Old Swedish nakor became nagor, and instead of the nominative, the masculine accusative was used, nakonnagon.

With the change to a system of binary syllabic length, nagan was lengthened to naagan, which was later raised/rounded in the vowel shift, giving modern Swedish någon. The nom./acc. neuter nakot similarly became något.

nakkvarr → nakvar → nakor (nom.) → nakon (acc.) → nagon → naagon → någon

I think that's right for alguno, not entirely sure about algo. It might just be alg+AGR not the article.
(Also cf. aqua>agua in Sp.)

AGR?

Also, wiktionary gives Spa. alguno ← VLat. *alicunus ← Lat. aliquis + ūnus
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 12:15:45 PM by freknu »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Norse: unknown pronoun/demonstrative/determiner
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2014, 01:28:47 PM »
aliquod = anything, I think. So that would separate out the etymologies a bit.

Quote
AGR?
Oh, I was just lazily typing out "agreement marker" (roughly singular masculine, historically neuter)
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