Icelandic Learning Icelandic

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dan_smiff
Tuesday 31st of January 2006 03:39:20 PM
learning icelandic: i was just wondering if anyone can give me the basics for learing the icelandic language


errrkle
Tuesday 18th of April 2006 02:45:54 AM
oops, to reiterate what I said i th 'Iceland' forum;

Hi, Im in the process of learning Icelandic. I can understand basic conversation and memorise new vocabulary quite well, and although not all the grammar concepts are alien to me [genders, plural etc] I'm having trouble in understanding the concept of cases. I've got to the stage where I can think in Icelandic [simple phrases,like],however much more than I do in French, which I've been learning for five years [incidentally, I also dream a lot in Icelandic] I feel that my lack of understanding in the grammar department is my only barrier to the language, be it a rather hefty barrier!
If anyone could give me a brief explanation/site link on the concept of case declension I would be really really really grateful. Alternatively, if there's an islendingur who wants to improve their English/French in return...please reply
Takk



mrbicrevise
Wednesday 19th of April 2006 01:44:01 AM
Originally posted by errrkle


oops, to reiterate what I said i th 'Iceland' forum;

Hi, Im in the process of learning Icelandic. I can understand basic conversation and memorise new vocabulary quite well, and although not all the grammar concepts are alien to me [genders, plural etc] I'm having trouble in understanding the concept of cases. I've got to the stage where I can think in Icelandic [simple phrases,like],however much more than I do in French, which I've been learning for five years [incidentally, I also dream a lot in Icelandic] I feel that my lack of understanding in the grammar department is my only barrier to the language, be it a rather hefty barrier!
If anyone could give me a brief explanation/site link on the concept of case declension I would be really really really grateful. Alternatively, if there's an islendingur who wants to improve their English/French in return...please reply
Takk


What in particular's giving you grammatical grief? :)


errrkle
Wednesday 19th of April 2006 02:28:51 AM
The cases: Nominative, Accusative, Dative and Genitive.
How do I know when to use each case? I've got loads of language materials telling me how to put a word in a particular case; but I don't fully understand the concept of cases.


einhar
Wednesday 19th of April 2006 06:23:28 AM
Originally posted by errrkle


The cases: Nominative, Accusative, Dative and Genitive.
How do I know when to use each case? I've got loads of language materials telling me how to put a word in a particular case; but I don't fully understand the concept of cases.

Nominative: Hr er hestur - Here is a horse
Accusative: g er a tala um hest - I'm talking about a horse
Dative: g er a koma fr hesti - I'm coming from a horse
Genitive: g er a fara til hests - I'm going to a horse.

er controls nominative
um controls accusative
fr controls dative
til controls genitive



errrkle
Thursday 20th of April 2006 03:33:26 AM
Takk, I've seen a vague horse example before, but that makes things somewhat clearer.


Grendy
Monday 22nd of May 2006 03:47:23 AM
cases: Hi errrkle

Well, I don't know anything about Icelandic...but I'm hoping! I'm a beginner in Old English (pre 1066, basically) which used the nom, acc, gen and dat. cases.

The cases operate to change the endings of nouns and are used instead of our little connecting words like "to" "from" "by" "of" to show the noun's relation to the verb in a sentence.

Actually, in modern english we do still have some case-inflections: so, instead of saying "the email OF errkle", we could (and usually would) say "errkle'S email" - see: the noun (errkle) changes its ending to show the meaning, in this case it denotes possession (gen. case).

We also use word order in modern english to show the noun's case: " the cat [nom.] saw the dog [acc.] " means something different from "the dog [nom.] saw the cat [acc.]." But in a highly inflected language the word order doesn't really matter: it's the endings of the nouns (cat and dog) in the sentence that show their relation to each other and not the order they appear in the sentence.

It's quite neat. It means you're less likely to get the confusion we sometimes get in, for example: "Gandalf's eys remained bent on the hobbit. Slowly his hands relaxed, and he began to tremble." It's not clear from these sentences whether it's Gandalf or Bilbo whose hands relax and who begins to tremble. But it would be if we had little endings to Gandalf and Bilbo to tell us. [Actually, in old English the nom. and acc. endings are often the same, so they had the same problem as us in sentences like this even though it was an inflected language].

Hope this makes sense.


Grendy


einhar
Monday 22nd of May 2006 06:22:17 AM
Hi Errkle,

Can you figure out these cases?

I read a book = g les bk
I got this book = g ni essari bk
I'll get this book = g n essari bk
This is a book = etta er bk


einhar
Monday 22nd of May 2006 07:12:02 AM
Case control: To control a case means to control a nominal to be in a oblique case, accusative, dative or genitive. Nominal is the base, unchanged base but the other three we call oblique case, has almost always a visible cause. Some other words controls a nominal to be in a oblique case.
Prepositions controls case.
Actually you can say that prepositions do nothing but control case. Actually themselves have a meaning, fx. doesnt mean the same as r.
The main purpose of a preposition is as has been said is to control a case. If it happens that a preposition doesnt control a case it isnt preposition anymore, but its purpose has become to be an adverb. Then, some say the preposition has changed to an adverb but just there, in each case.

Faru r sokkunum (r forsetning). Stkktu yfir giringuna (yfir forsetning).
Take off your socks (off preposition). Jump over the fench (over preposition).
Faru r (r sem ao.). Stkktu yfir (yfir sem ao.).
Take off (off as adverb). Jump over (over as adverb).

You can say that prepositions and adverbs change places sometimes because sometimes adverb controls a case, behave just like prepositions and takes the purpose of the prepositions. Thats why the context sometimes rules which purpose the words have, the word class and the purpose doesnt always hold hands but these are exceptions.

Komdu niur (niur atviksor). tlaru suur haust? (suur atviksor)
Come down (down adverb). Going south next autumn/fall? (south adverb)
Komdu niur stigann (niur sem fs.). Gngum suur gtuna (suur sem fs.).
Come down the stair (down preposition). Walk south the street (south preposition)

Verbs can control case.
The main purpose of verbs are to carry the meaning of the sentences, they tell us what happens, what is or what will be, but often they take nominals with them and then they control them into oblique case ( which is sometimes called object or endurer). Then they are called transitive verbs (they have influence on the nominals they take with them). Some verbs are always transitive verbs and some never are. Many verbs can sometimes be a transitive and sometimes intransitive.
Anna skrifai vel. Skrifa strir ekki falli hrna.
Anna wrote well. Write doesnt control case here.
Anna skrifai brf. Skrifa strir falli orsins brf, setur a olfall.
Anna wrote a letter. Write controls a case of the word letter, puts it in accusative.
Anna skrifai Jnasi brf. Skrifa strir falli tveimur orum, setur Jnas gufall og brf olfall.
Anna wrote a letter to Jonas. Write controls a case on two words, puts Jonas into dative and letter into accusative.

Nonni sagi a i ttu a flta.
Nonni said you should to hurry. This is a nonsense because the verb hurry cant be intransitive, it must take a nominal in a oblique case (object)
Nonni sagi a i ttu a flta ykkur.
Nonni said you should hurry yourselves. Here the verb controls dative on yourselves (ykkur).
Strkarnir sofa en stelpurnar vaka.
The guys sleep but the girls wake. It is out of the question to have a oblique nominal here sleep (sofa) and wake (vaka) dont control case, you cant sleep mine or wake mine or yours.
Nouns can control case.
They rarely do, but it happens. If it happens then they control other nominals in genitive. It is called they take genitive.
runn er mir barnanna.
Thorunn is a mother of the childrens. (mother controls the genitive of the childrens (barnanna).
Frum inn verksti smisins.
Lets go into workshop of the craftsman. (workshop controls the genitive crafstman (smisins).

This is my translation of this page:
http://www.ma.is/ismal/malfraedi/fallord/fallstjorn.htm



errrkle
Friday 26th of May 2006 12:53:26 AM
Grendy og Einhar, takk krlega
I've printed your brief explanations out and I plan to study them intently, it will go in eventually :-)


einhar
Friday 26th of May 2006 02:54:43 AM
Anna skrifai Jnasi brf. Skrifa strir falli tveimur orum, setur Jnas gufall og brf olfall.

Word to word it should be this way.

Anna wrote Jonas a letter. Write controls a case on two words, puts Jonas into dative and letter into accusative.

I'm not sure if this is right English, but I'm showing it here so you won't be mislead.

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