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Subject:New, As In I Am.
Time:02:06 pm
Current Mood:excitedexcited
So, I just joined this community.
I'm doing an independent study of Old Norse with an English professor next year. I'm beyond excited. I am of Norse heritage, and, besides studying a new language, I'll be getting back to my roots as well.

I am already studying Latin and Ancient Greek, so I'm just wondering if the grammar is at all similar besides the fact that they share many of the same cases. Any other information you want to throw at me would be appreciated as well.

For those who want to know, I'm using An Introduction to Old Norse by Gordon.

Yeah, that's all.
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zahgurim
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Time:2008-06-18 04:12 am (UTC)
Completely different vocabulary, so there will be a lot to learn. ;) Old Icelandic uses nominative, accusative, genitive and dative. Nouns and adjectives are declined, unlike German where only adjectives are declined.

I recommend Alan Bower's An Introduction to Old Icelandic Morphology in addition to Gordon. Gordon is a very old text. If you want something more accessible, try Valfels and Cathey's Old Icelandic: An Introductory Course. Of course you'll still need to go through Gordon- it's tradition! ;)

Of course, a dictionary is indispensable. Zoega is widely available online, but Cleasby & Vigfusson is more comprehensive. Both are practically ancient, though to my knowledge there is nothing that's more recent and better.
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penguinprism
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Time:2008-06-18 04:53 am (UTC)
I have a Dover edition of an Old Icelandic dictionary as well. I'll also see how much supplemental information my professor provides for me.

Besides that, how much does the book by Bower run?
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zahgurim
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Time:2008-06-18 05:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, the Dover book is a reprint of Zoega.

I just checked, and the Bower book appears to be really hard to get ahold of now. When I was taking Old Norse it was like $15-$20... it was a required book in my class. I would recommend checking it out from your institution's library or ordering it via interlibrary loan, then photocopy it. It's not very long.
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linguistictim
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Time:2009-08-31 06:13 am (UTC)
Well actually, German Nouns are declined, just to an extremely lesser degree. Most masculine and neuter nouns for example take the -s or -es ending in the genitive. The dative plural -n is also preserved as well.
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linguistictim
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Time:2009-08-31 06:24 am (UTC)
The grammar and lexicon is very different than Greek and Latin. Old Norse, being a Germanic language, might seem closer to English than those two. The endings are very close to Old English, although they retain a Nominative-Accusative distinction, which is only found in Feminine and weak nouns of OE. The verbs are split into weak and strong as well. Weak verbs have a dental suffix in the past, just like English does (-ed or rarely -t). Strong verbs, like in German and English, change the root vowel to form the simple past and past participle.

I don't have that Old Norse Grammar book, but I do have A New Introduction to Old Norse, which comes in three parts: Grammar, Reader, and Glossary. They are very well put together, but I found the grammar to be vague sometimes.

However, my FAVOURITE book about Old Norse is: An Elementary Grammar of the Old Norse or Icelandic Language by George Bayldon. I have a reprinting, which was fairly cheap. The pronunciation given in this book is definitely Modern Icelandic, so you could ignore that, however the grammar section is wonderfully full and includes lists of examples and similar words. He gives a type of Noun form, then gives a list of words that are declined like it.

If you want a more analyical book, you have The Germanic Languages by Ekkehard Koenig, and Johan van der Auwera, or Old English and its Closest Relatives.

I did some extensive work with the Runes, and you can find them in the reader of the above mentioned New Introduction, as well as the book Norwegian Runestones and Runic Inscriptions.

Now, if you have any more questions about Old Norse, or Germanic Linguistics, feel free to ask me. I'd be happy to help.
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New, As In I Am. - Old Norse
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