1

I am using A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic and An Introduction to Old Norse (by E. V. Gordon) as my resoources.

In An Introduction, it is said that:

Some nouns declined otherwise as masculine a-stems had the gen. sg. in -ar, or -s interchanging with -ar, as skógr, smiðr (nom. pl. -ir and -ar), vegr...

I don't understand the text in bold at all. Does it mean the gen. sg. ending might be either -s or -ar, or does it mean something else?

Also, in A Dictionary, I find (-s, -ar) written right next to noun entries, like this:

stigr or stígr (-s, ar; pl. -ar, -ir, acc. - a, -u), m. path.
staurr (-s, -ar), m. pale, stake.
diskr (-s, -ar), m. plate, dish.

Is this related to the gen. sg. ending?

0

You're interpreting Gordon correctly: these masculines had two variants of the gen. sg. form. The same goes for i-stem masculines: see section 87 (p. 265), "Alternation between -ar and -s in the gen. sg. was due to partial assimilation to the a-stem declension."

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks. What about the (pl. -ar, -ir, acc. -a, -u) part in the entry for stigr? Are there alternatives for the nom. pl. and the acc. pl. (assuming the latter "acc." is for pl.)? – hello all Apr 19 '15 at 7:04
  • I also noticed something about on the (-s, -ar) thing; looking at entries such as söngr, (-s, -var) and hirðir, (-is, -ar), I believe the endings in the parentheses mark the gen. sg. and the nom. pl. ending respectively. Also, the entry for skógr goes (-ar, -ar) and that for smiðr goes (-s, pl. -ar and -ir). – hello all Apr 19 '15 at 7:13
  • I think you must be right about the dictionary; when there are two gen. sg. endings it looks like in some cases, Zoega uses "and": e.g. "vegr (gen. -ar and -s; pl. -ir and -ar, acc. -u and -a)". In other cases (like stigr) he doesn't. But presumably when he says "(-s, -ar)" without a following "pl.", the second ending is the nom. pl. It's not very clear or consistent. – TKR Apr 19 '15 at 17:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.